Bus and train fares reduced by overall 4.2 per cent; fare structure to be further simplified

The Public Transport Council (PTC) has announced an overall reduction of 4.2 per cent on fares for buses and trains.
The Public Transport Council (PTC) has announced an overall reduction of 4.2 per cent on fares for buses and trains.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Bus and train commuters will enjoy an overall fare reduction of 4.2 per cent from Dec 30, the Public Transport Council (PTC) announced on Thursday (Oct 27).

For adults using travel cards, this will translate to savings of between 1 and 27 cents for a journey. Senior citizens will have their fares lowered by 1 to 7 cents, and students by 1 cent across the board.

As part of the 4.2 per cent reduction, the fare structure will be simplified, the PTC said.

Fares for fully-underground rail lines, such as the North-East Line, Circle Line and Downtown Line, will be lowered to be the same as those of above-ground lines, such as the North-South and East-West Lines.

Trips on the fully-underground lines currently cost 5 to 25 cents more for adult commuters, but this differential - to reflect higher operating costs such as air-conditioned station platforms - will be removed.

"This will benefit commuters further as more new fully-underground lines are opened in coming years," said PTC chairman Richard Magnus.


GRAPHIC: PTC

From Dec 30, train fares will also be calculated based on the shortest path between the commuter's origin and destination. Currently, they are calculated based on the fastest travel path, which may not always be the shortest in term of distance.

"Commuters will enjoy more flexibility in choosing the most convenient travel path, without worrying that they have to pay more because the journey is routed through a fully-underground line," the PTC said.

This will result in commuters always paying the lowest fares possible, the council added.

The PTC is guided by a fare adjustment formula for its annual fare review.

While falling energy prices in 2015 resulted in an allowable fare reduction of 5.7 per cent, the PTC decided to grant only a 4.2 per cent cut for prudence.

The remaining 1.5 per cent reduction will be rolled over to next year's fare adjustment exercise, it said.

Mr Magnus said: "A prudent and balanced approach is however necessary to ensure the longer term sustainability of our public transport system. We will continue monitoring this closely."

The 4.2 per cent reduction in fares will mean a cut in revenue of $8.9 million for SBS Transit and $34.6 million for SMRT. Revenues for bus fares, which now go to the Government under the bus contracting model, will drop by $35.6 million.

The combined reduction of public transport fare revenues is about $79 million.

The Government also said on Thursday that it will reduce fares for lower-wage workers and persons with disabilities, by a proportionate level to the PTC's fare adjustments. 
Concessionary card fares for lower-wage workers will be lowered by 1 to 25 cents. Concessionary card fares for persons with disabilities will be lowered by 1 to 7 cents.