Fare hikes okay if commuters, not shareholders, benefit

Passengers boarding a bus in Yishun bus interchange on Feb 11, 2019.
Passengers boarding a bus in Yishun bus interchange on Feb 11, 2019.PHOTO: ST FILE

The Public Transport Council is already holding the view that bus and train fares could go up by 7 per cent, even before it has started its annual fare review (Bus, train fares could rise by up to 7% next year, Sept 4).

I do not oppose a fare increase as I accept that we need to pay for an efficient public transport system. However, the current business model is flawed and untenable.

Commuters have been told that fare increases are necessary to maintain an efficient public transport system.

But all profits made by transport companies go to their shareholders, who include banks and investment funds. Nothing goes back to ordinary Singaporeans.

A review and restructuring of the business model for public transport companies is required. We need a system where there is greater equity. Commuters will be more willing to bear any fare increase if profits are returned to them.

Patrick Tan Siong Kuan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2019, with the headline 'Fare hikes okay if commuters, not shareholders, benefit'. Print Edition | Subscribe