$120 adult travel pass not cheaper option, say 60% polled

Six out of every 10 commuters say they will not get the new $120 monthly adult travel pass that is being introduced in April, because they do not spend that much on public transport.

Fifty-eight of the 100 commuters polled yesterday by The Straits Times said they spend between $50 and $110 a month, as they make only return trips from home to office on weekdays and travel little on weekends.

Many suggested that the pass, which gives unlimited bus and train rides, be priced at $100 or less, so that it can cater to average public transport users too.

Ms Phoebe Teo, 36, who does hotel valuations and goes to the Central Business District from her East Coast home, said the pass did not make sense as she spends at most $100 a month.

"I don't think most people go very much farther than work or home on weekdays," she said.

Some say they have to do their sums. "I take a shuttle to work daily, but this isn't included in the adult pass," said restaurant manager K.T. Tan, 55.

But nearly a third of those polled said the pass was what they had long waited for.

These heavy users said they face long daily commutes or have to criss-cross the island repeatedly for work. Many spend between $120 and $200 every month.

The Transport Ministry estimates that about 40,000 to 60,000 commuters will buy the new pass. A similar pass for senior citizens is priced at $60.

Insurance agent Michelle Goh, 25, said she racks up $300 a month visiting potential clients.

The new pass would save her more than $2,000 a year. "I waited for this for so long that I gave up on it already," she said.

Bank executive Foo Su Zhen, 32, who spends $150 a month on transport, said: "It's just like a student pass, but for adults."

Some were enticed by the convenience the pass offers, while others were just glad to save even a little, given the fare hikes.

"While there may not be much savings given how I travel now, every bit counts, especially after the price hikes," said Madam Nora Mohammed Noor, 37, a clerk.

More might opt for a travel pass if Singapore were to take a leaf out of London's book and introduce passes by zone, suggested bank executive Ryan Loke, 33.

For example, a travel pass covering just the central areas could be made cheaper than the $120 islandwide one, he said, making the passes more attractive to those living closer to the city centre.



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