Public transport fares to increase by 2 to 5 cents from April 5

Commuters boarding a SMRT bus near Clementi MRT station. Bus and train fares will go up by 2.8 per cent from April 5, the Public Transport Council (PTC) said on Wednesday. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Commuters boarding a SMRT bus near Clementi MRT station. Bus and train fares will go up by 2.8 per cent from April 5, the Public Transport Council (PTC) said on Wednesday. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - Bus and train fares will go up by 2.8 per cent from April 5, the Public Transport Council (PTC) said on Wednesday.

For adult commuters, this translates to an increase of between two and five cents per trip, depending on the distance travelled. Student concessionary fares will also increase by one cent.

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Despite the hike, more than 1.1 million commuters will not see any changes in their fares. Senior citizen fares will remain the same, as will prices for existing travel concessions passes including student monthly concessions and the $120 adult monthly travel card.

Lower-wage workers and people with disabilities, who currently benefit from a Government travel discount scheme, will also not be affected by the fare hike.

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"In approving the fare increase and deciding on the quantum, the Council made a concerted effort to minimise the impact on commuters, even to the extent of insulating some from the increase altogether," said PTC chairman Richard Magnus.

The two public transport operators - SBS Transit and SMRT - will make an additional $48.5m in revenue with the fare increase, but they will have to contribute $5.5 million and $8 million respectively to the Public Transport Fund. The Government will draw down $7.5 million from the fund to provide 250,000 vouchers of $30 each to low-income households.

For SBS Transit, this $5.5 million represents about 25 per cent of the additional fare revenue, while for SMRT, the $8 million they are setting aside accounts for about 30 per cent.

Mr Magnus also noted that the upcoming fare adjustment is lower than previous round's.

Last year, the PTC recommended fares to be raised by 6.6 per cent. But as this was deemed too much to be implemented in one go, only 3.2 per cent of the increase was implemented.

The outstanding 3.4 per cent increase was rolled over to this year. However, this was adjusted down to 2.8 per cent, due in large to falling energy prices.

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