"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.