Up to one million commuters could benefit from new and enhanced concession schemes proposed by a committee reviewing public transport fares.
In a 85-page report released Tuesday, the Fare Review Mechanism Committee recommended new concession schemes for low income workers and people with disabilities. If approved, the two new schemes would add about 500,000 people to the 1.2 million commuters currently receiving some form of public transport concessions - a 40 per cent increase. The committee suggested the Government fund these schemes.
The 14-member panel also proposed a myriad of enhancements to existing concessions could benefit up to 500,000 commuters already enjoying discounts. Committee chair Richard Magnus said his team had received a strong sense from various feedback that the concessions framework had to be enhanced.
It has also called for children aged below seven to be given free travel. Currently, those below seven but taller than 0.9m have to pay primary school student fares. A cap for heavy transport users and concessions for senior citizens was also proposed, and a discount on hybrid passes for all users.
Another suggestion is to adjust various student concessions to make them more beneficial to users. Polytechnic students in particular will see their concessions move closer to their peers in junior college, if the committee's recommendations are accepted by the Transport Ministry.