Forum: Public transport fare hike may push up demand for cars

Commuters boarding a bus outside Braddell MRT station.
Commuters boarding a bus outside Braddell MRT station.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

The rise in public transportation fares is necessary to cope with the rising costs of bus and train operations, but it could also trigger an increase in demand for private cars (Bus, train fares could rise by up to 7% next year, Sept 4).

As the gap between the cost of owning a car and the cost of taking public transport narrows, more people may opt for private cars.

Although taking public transport will still be cheaper than owning a car, a smaller cost gap may make owning a car more attractive.

If the demand for private cars increases, the demand for public transportation will decrease, resulting in lower revenues for public transport operators.

Besides the cost gap, other factors may make commuters favour owning a car to taking public transport.

They include the waiting time for a ride, the time taken for a trip and how far the bus stop or train station is from the starting location.

Charru Mithra

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 28, 2019, with the headline 'Public transport fare hike may push up demand for cars'. Print Edition | Subscribe