Train fares here among lowest in major cities worldwide

Train fares in Singapore are among the lowest, compared to other major cities worldwide.

For a 10km rail trip, commuters here pay $1.33, the sixth cheapest in a comparison of 36 cities across Asia, Australia, Europe and North America, according to a study. Only Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen in China, and Taipei in Taiwan, have lower fares than Singapore for a train trip of the same distance.

The study, conducted by SIM University, was released by the Public Transport Council (PTC) on its blog yesterday.

PTC chairman Richard Magnus said in the post: "We will continue to conduct such comparison studies, to ensure that we are kept abreast of international fare trends and uphold PTC's commitment to keep fares affordable for our commuters, while ensuring the sustainability of our public transport system."

Besides comparing fares for a 10km train trip, the study also looked at the lowest rail fare in the 36 cities. Singapore's lowest train fare is $0.77, placing it fourth among the 36 cities. Only Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Taipei have a lower minimum fare.

Mr Magnus said of the findings: "Within Asia, the rail fares in Singapore are among the lowest, while rail fares in cities like Tokyo and Seoul lie on the higher end of the spectrum in Asia."

He added: "When compared to cities in Australia, Europe and North America, rail fares in Singapore are considerably lower."

With the exception of Taipei, fare levels for the cities were converted to Singapore dollars based on each city's purchasing power parity (PPP). This accounts for any differences in the strength of currency and cost of living across the region.

Without an official PPP conversion factor, fares in Taipei were converted to Singapore dollars using the prevailing exchange rate.

The PTC's blog post comes ahead of an overall fare cut of 4.2 per cent for bus and train trips, which will kick in on Dec 30.

On that day, fares will be levelled down so commuters pay the same amount for the same distance, regardless of whether they hop on a train line that is underground or above-ground.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 06, 2016, with the headline 'Train fares here among lowest in major cities worldwide'. Print Edition | Subscribe