Friday, August 01, 2008

LATEST : Transport Operators press for fare hikes!

"Can the cleaner press for higher pay without getting arrested?" - Lucky Tan
Recently, the fare structure for public transport was changed to be based on distance travelled vs # of transfers so that "4 in 10 people will pay less"....if you read beyond the headlines, 6 in 10 people will end up paying more after this change. Even before the change, SMRT saw its profits soar by 6% to $40M for 1st quarter 2008. Now the transport operators are asking for more fare hikes.
Singaporeans will be given a chance to contribute more to our transport monopolies.
Transport operators to press for fare hikes
TRANSPORT operators SBS Transit and SMRT Corp are submitting applications for fare hikes later on Friday, but insiders are not holding their breath for any measurable rise. This is because the Public Transport Council (PTC) declared last month that fare adjustments this year were likely to be far smaller than last year's average 1.8 per cent increase. PTC chairman Gerard Ee has said that keeping the rise 'below one per cent' was a distinct possibility. This, in part, has to do with a 'redistribution' of fares, when commuters who make transfers during their journeys will pay less than they do today. For the past several years, those who make transfers, for example, from train to bus or bus to train, or bus to bus, end up paying substantially more than those who take a direct service to their destination - even if the distances of both journeys are the same. The Government has decided that fares should be purely distance-based. With this, those who need to make transfers will pay less when the new fares kick in on Oct 1. But those who enjoy direct services are likely to foot the bulk of the fare adjustment. Four in 10 commuters today make at least one transfer a day. While their journeys involving transfers will cost less from October, they are likely to pay more for other trips. As before, the fare adjustment is likely to hit commuters who pay in cash hardest. But on the whole, the PTC has committed to keeping the average fare hike to one per cent or less.


life warrior said...

price increases seem to be hallmarks of our time.

Anonymous said...

Wage stagflation seems to be the hallmark of our time too. Can increase prices but cannot increase wages. But when it comes to themselves, can increase their salaries to high heaven. That's the logic of the one who is good in reinventing job designations to fool the naive and gullible. Wage inflation? Never heard of it till now. Is there such a term?

Anonymous said...

that description by the PTC to manage fare increases seems as convoluted as their heads.

no where else in the world have i seen such complex pricing for public transport.

reminds me of the anecdote about US and Russian space agencies, where the US spent millions of dollars developing a pen that could write in zero gravity, whereas the russians just used a pencil.


Anonymous said...

Increasing employee's wages can contribute to inflation but increase transport fares will not contribute to inflation.

Majority of singaporean accept it as part of parcel of being a singaporean.

I have given up hope in this garment.

Anonymous said...

Why worry? Come 2011, 3 years from now, when the PAP starts to dole out 'Progress Package' all is forgotten, and once again I would not be able to vote because of GRC and walkovers.

Capt_Canuck said...

when it comes to the bus and MRT in Singapore, you definitly have it better than us in Canada. Buses and MRT are cleaner and you pay as you go as opposed to the one fee for all distance here in Canada (a 1 minute trip or a 45 minute trip all cost $2).

Granted, on the downside, the only time I have ever been on a bus or MRT as packed as even the normal times in Singapore is when it is morning school hours and it is packed with teens going to school cause they are one year away from buying their first car.

Anonymous said...

and they encourage us to take public transport instead of cars?


We're screwed both ways. Bring out the bikes.

Anonymous said...

Dear fellow citizens,

I am ashame of myself for not speaking out about economic policies which are global best practices for fighting inflation.

Inflation in sg induced by cost and demand push.

for demand push:
1. we need to introduce capital gains tax for speculators. This can reduce the money supply in circulation. Does the average Singaporean has $20,000 to buy just 1 miserable lot of shares. Capital gains tax affects the rich or the poor?

2. we need to introduce progressive income tax for the super wealthy. Why is that we group people who earns $300k with someone who earns $3 million in the same 20% tax bracket. Can we group students from ITE, Poly and JC together?

3. We need to differentiate GST for basic necessities and luxury goods such as GUCCI bag that cost $10,000. Why is it that the branded stuff (useless) and staple foods/medicine (things that we need to survive) are group together in the SAME 7% GST bracket? Does this make sense to you? Which other developed nations use this?

4. Better control of immigrants coming into sg. Pushing 4.5 million to 6 million in a tiny island in a short time will increase inflation. In a market economy,when the supply is fixed/constant,the price of the goods will based on the highest bidder. Now do you understand why buying HDB is so expensive? We must thank ALL the PRs who become citizens of Singapore Inc.

Cost push inflation:

1. No petrol tax for public tansportion,taxis and lorries that are used to carried foods. Heavy vehicles have their own petrol kioks? is it that hard to differentiate vehicles that use petrol for necessities and leisure?

2. Those power companies that use 80% gas to turn into electricity, must charge the customers based on gas prices and NOT oil. Has the price of gas gone up as fast as oil?

3. We cannot raise wage when there is high inflation because the increased in wages will be passed on to the consumers. This was what happened in the 80's. So if you are earning $2.5 million last year, we cannot increase your salary to $3,000,000 this year.

Conclusion: Why are singaporeans who read economics in Oxford,Cambridge, Harvard,Stanford,MIT,Chicago quiet on the inflation issue in Singapore? Is it because inflation doesn't hit them as HARD as someone who earns less than $1.5k?

Shame on those Singaporeans with PhDs in Economics who goes into hiding when they heard that GST can help the poor.

Why are Singaporean economists remain quiet when the national newspaper confused between standard of living and cost of living in fighting inflation? You think we can fight inflation by buying Fairprice bread instead of Gardenia bread when the cost of wheat has more than doubled?

SHAME on You! SHAME on You! SHAME on US!

"Small holes can sink a great ship."

Anyway, WE all know why we remain quiet right?

Singaporean economists are quietly saving their money to move to USA,CANADA,EUROPE and AUSTRALIA where WELFARE IS NOT A DIRTY WORD. Am I RIGHT?

A dirty word is a four letter word starting with F. Why US, Europe, Australia and Japan has welfare?

Happy 43rd birthday Singapore!!!

LuckySingaporean said...


I thought everyone drives in Canada? The cars are so cheap it is considered almost free to Singaporeans. Gas is a fraction of the cost in Singapore. The only people your public transport are Singaporeans tourists visiting Canada and checking how inferior your public transport is compared with the world class one we have in Singapore. Whatever it is your public transport can never match the high utilization we see in Singapore today, we make sardines look inefficiently packed.

I don't know why you guys pay a flat fare. That is strange. May be Canadians will have trouble if things get "complicated"?

Anonymous said...

this is what singapore gahmen trying to promote - Uniquely Singapore! A very unique country where gahmen monopolise on everything A - Z, and still got the cheek to hike prices except our wages (except the ministers' rocket high perks).

Anonymous said...

a good article by simon tay on 'good and cheap no more' in today's papers.

it all boils down to what kind of a city you are building.

PrinceOfEgyt said...

SHAME on You! SHAME on You! SHAME on - the elites and policy makers.

The old book was never wrong. The love of money( colluding, collaborating, cahooting, copulating, consulting with mammon) is the root of all evil.

The sin of omission and silence by those who have fatten themselves with the Prosperity Gospel!

Anonymous said...

When thousands of Singaporeans migrate to Australia, US, Canada and New Zealand every year......there has to be a reason.

PS. No matter what the powers that be says, these people are NOT "quitters" but rather people with the foresight to see that this country does very little for the citizens.