Bus and train fares set to rise by not more than 10 cents per journey in latest fare review exercise

Bus and train fares set to rise by not more than 10 cents per journey in latest fare review exercise
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Bus and train fares are set to rise by as much as 4.3 per cent next year, going by a new component in the review formula.

In a statement on Monday (Sept 3), the Public Transport Council said the 2018 review will include the network capacity factor (NCF), which tracks how much bus and rail capacity has changed in relation to actual usage.

The NCF, indicating that ridership had not kept up with capacity growth, will lead to a 3 per cent hike as part of the review.

Together with increases in the wage index, energy index and core consumer price index, the formula would give rise to a fare increase of as high as 7.5 per cent.

But because of a 3.2 per cent fare cut which was carried over from last year, the cap would be 4.3 per cent.

Council member Vincent Chua said the 4.3 per cent increase provided for in the formula, if granted in full, "should not result in fares increasing by more than 10 cents per journey".

The council also announced new transfer rules which could result in lower fares for commuters who are willing to walk a bit more.

It gave the example of someone travelling on the Downtown line from Little India to Bendemeer, 11 stops away.

But if he got off at Rochor, walked several hundred metres over to Jalan Besar station and continued his journey on the same line, he would pay 77 cents instead of $1.16. The 39-cent discount applies only if he completes the transfer within 15 minutes.

Currently, such transfers between stations are not allowed.

The council noted that public transport fares had fallen by 8.3 per cent in the last three consecutive years, largely on the back of double-digit falls in energy prices.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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