192,000 needy families get $5.8m in transport vouchers

Some 192,000 households have received about $5.8 million in vouchers in the 2018 Public Transport Voucher Exercise, part of an annual exercise to help needy families cope with transport expenses.

This is slightly more than half of the $9 million set aside for 300,000 households, after the last fare revision exercise last year.

The latest annual voucher disbursement exercise, which began on Nov 12 last year, is open for applications till Oct 31, the Ministry of Transport and People's Association said in a joint statement yesterday.

Households with an income of $1,900 or below, or per capita income of not more than $650, are eligible for the vouchers.

Eligible households which have yet to apply are encouraged to do so at their local community centres.

Each household stands to receive one Public Transport Voucher worth $30, which may be redeemed any time before March 31 next year.

Households which require more help can apply for additional vouchers through community clubs.

The citizens consultative committees will assess each application and help deserving cases which marginally miss the criteria, or provide additional Public Transport Vouchers to households which may be deemed to need more help.

 

In a blog last September, Public Transport Council member Vincent Chua, an economics professor at the Singapore University of Social Sciences, pointed out that public transport has become more affordable for lower-income households over the past decade.

He cited the Public Transport Affordability Index, which has dropped from 4.1 per cent to 2.7 per cent.

"In fact, a recent benchmarking study - done independently by McKinsey, a global management consulting firm - ranked Singapore's public transport system as the most affordable across 24 cities globally," Associate Professor Chua wrote.


Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2019, with the headline '192,000 needy families get $5.8m in transport vouchers'. Print Edition | Subscribe