The Public Transport Council (PTC) released a statement on Monday (September 23) announcing that it received applications from SBS Transit and SMRT Trains requesting for a fare increase which could see bus and train rides costing up to 7 percent more per ride.
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According to a representative from PTC, the recent mark-up in energy prices contributed to the potential increase. In addition, rail operating costs have gone up due to service enhancements as well.
Fortunately, the applications only apply to train fares, as the Land Transport Authority (LTA) now owns the fixed and operating assets for buses. LTA has also submitted information on the bus industry financials to help in the fare review process.
SBS Transit confirmed the submission in their statement on Monday but did not share details of its fare application.
“The cost of rail operations has been increasing due mainly to higher repairs and maintenance costs. As a result, SBS Transit has continued to incur rail losses despite the growth in ridership,” it said.
“It is hoped that an increase in fares will help mitigate some of these cost increases.”
SMRT Trains CEO Lee Ling Wee said that the company supports a 7 per cent fare increase for “high performance and sustainability of the rail service”.
“In financial year 2019, SMRT Trains’ maintenance-related expenditure accounted for 71 per cent of rail fare revenue, up from 62 per cent in financial year 2018,” he added. “Because of intensified and comprehensive maintenance efforts, the total operating cost has exceeded fare revenue and is not sustainable.
“While PTC deliberates on the fare review, SMRT will press on with cost management efforts including our Kaizen initiatives to drive productivity and cut wastage, as well as greater use of technology.”
The PTC will announce its decision on the fare adjustment in the last quarter of 2019, the spokesman said. This increment of 7 percent would translate to 9 or 10 cents more per ride.