Parliament: Fares refunded, complimentary rides given during prolonged disruptions, says Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew

SINGAPORE - Fares are refunded to affected commuters during prolonged train disruptions, while free bus services are also activated, Minister of Transport Lui Tuck Yew said in Parliament on Monday.

A complimentary ticket is also provided for a future ride, he added.

Replying to a question by Mr Lim Biow Chuan (Mountbatten), Mr Lui said implementing a comprehensive regime to compensate commuters affected by train disruptions is "not a straightforward exercise", because different commuters are affected to different degrees.

"There are those in a very very severe disruption who may have to de-train, get down to the track and walk to the station. There are those who are stuck on affected trains. There are those who...can drop off at an interchange station and find a way around," he said.

The difficulty, he said, lies in finding a framework that is fair to all affected parties, as commuters may not be accepting of a blanket compensation that is the same for everyone.

"And much as we've given thought to it over the last year or so, we've not been able to come up with something that we think applies fairly across to all commuters who are affected," he added.

Instead, operators are fined for such disruptions, and the money then goes into the public transport fund. The fund has been tapped for $7.5 million this year and in 2014 to provide lower-income households with Public Transport Vouchers to help defray their transport costs, said Mr Lui.