How does higher capacity translate to rising transport costs?

The Public Transport Council (PTC) said that the new fare component "does not attempt to recover costs incurred by the Government in constructing our public transport infrastructure", and that "the Government will continue to subsidise public bus and rail services" (What PTC considered for new fare formula; March 28).

But what the PTC failed to understand is that it is not intuitive for the layman to associate the increase of capacity with higher operating costs.

Aside from infrastructure costs, which are already borne by the Government, what expenditureis so significant that drives up operating costs by so much?

In addition, there is so much talk on how the train operators are leveraging technology, such as the SMRT Maintenance Operations Centre, and its partnership with McLaren to assess train performance. Aren't these supposed to drive costs down?

It does not help that the train operators are still posting healthy profit margins after tax despite higher maintenance costs.

Desmond Teo Mingjie

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 30, 2018, with the headline 'How does higher capacity translate to rising transport costs?'. Print Edition | Subscribe