79,000 residents apply for public transport vouchers

The Government has set aside $7.5 million to fund 250,000 vouchers of $30 each to help needy families cope with a fare increase that will kick in from April 6.

Unlike previous years where applicants had to make two trips to community centres to apply and then pick up the vouchers, those who apply this year will only need to make one trip to sign up for the vouchers.Unlike previous years where applicants had to make two trips to community centres to apply and then pick up the vouchers, those who apply this year will only need to make one trip to sign up for the vouchers.


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Here is the full statement from the Ministry of Transport and People's Association:

The first four days of the 2014 Public Transport Voucher (PTV) Exercise saw some 79,000 residents applying for PTVs worth $30 each at the 107 Community Centres and Clubs (CCs) island-wide. This year, $7.5 million from the Public Transport Fund has been set aside to fund 250,000 PTVs to help needy families cope with the increase in public transport fares that will take effect from 6 April 2014.

Residents will find the application process for this year's Exercise more convenient. Unlike previous years where applicants had to make two trips to the CCs to apply and then to collect the PTVs, applicants this year need to make only one trip to the CC nearest to their homes to apply for the PTVs. Successful applicants will receive a letter by post, which will serve as their PTV, to be presented at any TransitLink Office to top up their travel card, or purchase a monthly concession pass. For added convenience, successful applicants can also top up their travel card at any of the 74 Add-Value-Machines (AVMs) located at selected MRT stations, interchanges and bus stops, thereby avoiding having to queue at the TransitLink Offices.

Unlike the last PTV Exercise in 2011, where there was a deadline for applications, this year's Exercise will be opened for applications year-round. There is no need to rush to apply for the PTVs.

Some needy residents were relieved to learn about the availability of the PTVs. 57-year-old cleaning supervisor Mr Hussein lives with his wife and a secondary school-going daughter in a 3-room HDB flat. Drawing a monthly salary of $800, Mr Hussein said, "I don't get to save much after paying for household expenses. This public transport voucher will definitely help cover some of my daughter's school transport expenses. Besides applying for myself, I am also spreading the message around so that my friends and colleagues who are in need can also apply for the PTVs."

Another applicant is 58-year-old part-time cleaner Mdm Poh Sok Teok, who lives in a 3-room flat. She said, "When I heard that there will be fare increases, I was worried as I have to travel daily. I am glad that I can apply for the public transport assistance. I was also told that I can apply again if I need more help. This is good news for me."

Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport, Mrs Josephine Teo added, "We have improved the process for helping needy families through Public Transport Vouchers. This is largely thanks to feedback by grassroots leaders and commuters themselves. We hope those who have benefited will spread the word so that everyone who needs help gets it." The People's Association will continue to work with the Citizens' Consultative Committees to help needy families apply for their vouchers.

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