Public transport watchdog to decide on revised fares soon

Both SBS Transit and SMRT have made a fare review submission to the Public Transport Council (PTC).
Both SBS Transit and SMRT have made a fare review submission to the Public Transport Council (PTC).PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - Both SBS Transit and SMRT have made a fare review submission to the Public Transport Council (PTC), even though the fare formula prescribes a 1.9 per cent cut in bus and train fares this year.

The Straits Times understands that both public transport operators had made the submissions as "a procedural process" rather than a request for a fare revision.

SBS Transit put out a statement Wednesday that they had made the submission but would not say more, while SMRT would not even comment on whether it had done likewise.

The PTC however, confirmed that both companies had made their submissions - even though out-going Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew announced in August that fares would be cut by "up to 1.9 per cent" following a sharp and sustained drop in oil prices.

The council will still deliberate on how much fares for each journey and each commuter group will be adjusted, taking into consideration the submissions by the operators.

The two publicly-listed companies are understood to be appealing for smaller reductions, citing higher costs such as manpower needs, and repair and maintenance to meet higher service standards.

The PTC is expected to decide in the next few weeks. The new reduced fares should kick in by the time Downtown Line Stage 2 starts running on Dec 27.