We thank Mr Joe Chua Cheok Kwang for his letter (MRT advertising space not maximised, Oct 11).
In ensuring the financial sustainability of our public transport network, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) is exploring ways to maximise non-fare revenue, for example, through revenue generated by MRT advertising and retail businesses.
In August, we outsourced the rail advertising and retail business for the first time for the upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL).
Over the TEL's 16-year concession term, we expect this arrangement to bring in approximately $164 million in concession fees, which is significantly more than today.
Given the strong market interest and quality of the bids for the TEL non-fare tenders, we are also considering the possibility of outsourcing the advertising and retail business for other rail lines, buses, bus interchanges, and road and pedestrian infrastructure.
This will help to increase non-fare revenue and contribute to the financial sustainability of our public transport system.
We are also mindful that public transport operators should not be distracted from their core business of running a safe and reliable MRT service, even as we encourage them to strive to increase non-fare revenue.
Ong Hui Guan
Deputy Group Director
Policy and Planning
Land Transport Authority