Peak-hour travel fares might rise as costs of new rail infrastructure and renewal works mount


Public Transport Council Chairman Richard Magnus has indicated that public transport fares for peak hour commuters may be raised as the Council “cannot turn a blind eye” to the mounting costs of maintaining new rail infrastructure and renewal works on existing infrastructure, as it has to ensure the “viability of the public transport system.”

In a blog post on the PTC’s website, titled Balancing Sustainability and Affordability, Magnus revealed that the government intends to invest S$20 billion in new rail infrastructure over the next five years, on top of S$4 billion to renew, upgrade and expand rail operating assets. An additional S$4 billion will be set aside for bus contracting subsidies over the same period.

He wrote:

“While these investments are a necessary part of the Government’s push to improve the public transport experience, they raise operating costs and impose a heavy cost burden on taxpayers.”

To combat this, the PTC is studying differentiated transport pricing for peak hour, off-peak hour and pre-peak hour commuters.

Magnus said that the Council is considering whether free pre-peak travel and lower off-peak travel fares should be instated permanently to incentivise off-peak travel:

“The concentration of travel within a few hours each day is resource-intensive and inefficient. A more sustainable solution is to spread out travel demand across the day.
“The council is therefore evaluating travel patterns to determine how a differential fare mechanism can best help smoothen travel demand in Singapore.”

However, this likely means that peak-hour travel fares might rise as off-peak and pre-peak fares decline, in the effort to “spread out travel demand across the day” and protect the viability of the increasingly costly system.

Magnus ended his post by asserting “Singapore’s rail fares are among the lowest in Asia, and considerably lower than those in Australian, European and North American cities,” before assuring:

“We must, and will, continue to keep the voices of our commuters firmly at the forefront, even as we consider the rising costs.”

The PTC is presently in the midst of its annual fare review exercise, and is reviewing the 2017 fare adjustment and rail operators’ proposals “against this background” of mounting costs.

The Council aims to strike a balance between “keeping our public transport fares affordable and ensuring the long-term viability of the public transport system.”

Public Transport Council begins 2017 fare review exercise as new hours-long breakdown hits NSEWL

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  1. Facebook Profile photo
    William Lim ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    nonsense. peak hours crowd is due to people going to work or school at the same time. its unavoidable.
    even if you raise fares, it will not change crowd behaviour.
    why is he so stupid?

  2. I always feel that we are paying for the incompetence of the leaders. Want good service must pay more, now if u want crap service, u still have to pay more.

    Why don’t they reduce the million dollar salary of these deadwood n pay more for the real people doing the actual work?

  3. Low Jerry says:

    The simple formula is “Fare Hike is equal to Pocket Hike”. This transport system is formulated not entirely to serve the people but the pocket of the few. Now that the MRT is wholely own by one HOLICHING and gangs.I guess probably to patch some big holes somewhere.

  4. Jimmy Ng says:

    If you are going raise price, then don’t claim the Govt invest in the infrastructure. Does these companies pay back loan to government? Any proper accounting that is published? Otherwise these companies will make more profit and they get bonuses that does not reflect on their performance

  5. Edwin Kwan says:

    Ok. But the head of Public Transport Council said there are rising costs and he needed to be cognizant of that. So, is he hinting that MRT fares will go up ? While service and reliability goes down. What the shit is that logic ? Elections is coming! People have short memory over things that don’t really affect them daily like PE. But the MRT problem affects more people in a condensed period of time and the pain is not going away. And meanwhile they see high level ministers and civil servants paid a lot of money when the population are going through downsizing. This pain will remain till the next GE. And no amount of freebies will ease the pain. Because you just can’t give everyone who is affected something. To sweeten them. The last time they just gave to the Pioneer / senior generation. And the Budget deficit will balloon and will the government draw from reserves ?

  6. Low Jasper says:

    Earn money given to share holder
    Skip maintenance and cheaper assembly in third party country resulted present stage
    Now spending on overhead at our expenses by increasing price, your mistake and hold us responsible and started blaming us for over crowded during peak hours except never blame yourself to increase foreign talents and non talents in short years

  7. Just send back all foreigners. Just remind the S’pore actual population. Why want to import…only know/want to squeeze from lay men n women. There LOST HUGE money in investments…..rubbish

  8. Seng Boon says:

    Not sure the rationale of this chairman. Service of provider is so bad. Instead of penalizing them, this guy still wants the public to pay more, and say thank you to lta/mrt? I think we should sack/fire this richard magnus.

  9. James Lai says:

    Singaporeans complaint a lot… but at the end still give in lol… the least they doing something la…what to do….. u not happy they more happier!

    1. James Lai says:

      they treating us like children … nothing can do more much! cos all already living good life dun need to be like other countries creating riot, protest …

  10. Gerry Ng says:

    Every excuse in the book can be used to increase our burden and their coffers.
    I am deeply disgusted. Seriously.
    We pay taxes. Why are we still being asked to pay for so many different types of expenses??
    All our hard earned $$$ gone to feed the nincompoops, so they need to wring more out from us.
    Thanks so much, 70%. Because of your strong support, they can implement anything and change any constitution.

  11. Sim Phongy says:

    Now many places don’t have free car parks on Sunday and public holidays or limited …. they always claims residents feedback to remove them … true or lies ? ….

  12. Suzen Chan says:

    What we have been seeing many staff are elderly ones who are friendly to commuters in directing or assisting any enquiry. How much can their salary being increased”)? Furthermore the most crucial root cause hasn’t even resolve – breakdown. No need to see the increase of fare can be equal to good maintenance. This kind of trend is very unhealthy. Bromance with the sph.

  13. Andy Yeo says:

    PAP will never offer FREE things! So never ever trust them on what they offer you ok! Be smart and vote wisely against them on the coming GE! If not they will take us for a ride for the high mandate we have entrusted them!

  14. Commuters are forced to take responsibility for the train operation breakdowns by having to pay more. This is what SMRT CEO means by ‘..taking responsibility’ It’s the commuters’ responsibility, not his nor SMRT.

  15. Why is the commuter paying for what is essentially capital costs? and isn’t this cost supposed to be borne under the auspices of the LTA? Isn’t this double taxation?

  16. 1st they will justify raising fares on a select segment.
    Then they will say “inflation”, “need to be fair” etc to raise fares on another segment or on the rest.
    NEW PAP pattern more than badminton, but didnt we c what kinda pattern they have?

  17. Bruce Wee says:

    Please help the transport operators to sustain their businesses:

    SMRT‘s profit
    2014 – S$061.9m
    2015 – S$091.0m
    2016 – S$109.3m

    SBST‘s profit
    2014 – S$014.3m
    2015 – S$016.7m
    2016 – S$031.4m

    1. Jason Chan says:

      Elections only take place after GST Vouchers and Upgrading programs. Nobody will step down.

      In fact, after elections, there will still be Parliamentary supermajority. The Constitution can be unilaterally altered as long as 5 GRCs don’t fall.

  18. Bcos if your incompetency failure of not knowing to run a train company with no inclination of technical know how, get a professional person to run the business. Not Stupid pen pusher, cock talker rubbish pusher, finger pointer, apologising with such snobbish arrogant with no remorse at all. Then we made a humongous mistake in voting for this kind of Selfish idiot to run our country for majullah singapura only to benefit themself, and got a cheek to increase the fare, where we have to pay the mistake and selfishness self centred minded asshole to throw upon us?? Wake up people, its singaporean rights, not foreign trash or the government, they dont give shit about you. VTO!!

  19. Frank Lam says:

    i really don’t understand why the PTC chairman is announcing this kinda shit when really regulation is what the PTC should do, not being a mouthpiece for other agencies.

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