The Public Transport Council (PTC) "has struck a good balance" in the new fare adjustment and overall public transport will be kept affordable for Singaporeans, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said in a Facebook post on Thursday.
"The PTC has struck a good balance by keeping the fare increase a few notches below the average wage increase in 2013," he wrote, "while enhancing concessions for a significant segment of commuters like the students...and providing new products like the unlimited travel monthly passes for senior citizens and for other adults.
"Overall, I believe this will continue to keep public transport affordable for Singaporeans."
Mr Lui went on to elaborate on the two new fare concession schemes, funded by the Government for the first time. Low-wage workers will receive discounts of 15 per cent off adult fares, and persons with disabilities will receive between 25 per cent and over 50 per cent. For a start, close to half a million Singaporeans will benefit, he said. There will also be more than twice the number of vouchers that were disbursed in 2011 available year-round to help others who need assistance.
Mr Lui said that the application process for the concession schemes will be made as fuss-free and smooth as possible, although he noted that some hiccups may be encountered as the infrastructure and processes are being set up from scratch. "I hope that applicants will understand and I assure you we will try our best to get the concession cards to you as quickly as possible."
More details of who is eligible for the schemes, and how and when to apply, will be provided in the next few weeks, he said.