Josephine Teo takes issue with Workers' Party's comments on public transport fares

SINGAPORE - The Workers' Party (WP) statement on the public transport fare hike drew a swift response from Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo on Friday.


Get the full story from The Straits Times.

This is the full statement the SMS for Transport posted on Facebook:

The Workers' Party never misses an opportunity to pander and its response to the fare review exercise was, to a large extent, predictable.

First, they claimed credit for the concessions. That's always easy. Except someone else did the real work of sorting out the math and getting the balance right.

Then, it criticises the Government, for directly funding programmes like the Bus Services Enhancement Programme.

It also opposes operators getting more fares through the adjustment.

But, it wants better services.

It conveniently avoids the question of how better services are to be paid for.

More buses, more drivers, more trips on the road, more depots and interchanges, more maintenance, more equipment.

In WP's world, these things can all be achieved without more effort and resources.

Not in the real world.

As most reasonable commentators agree, the current package of fare increase coupled with significant concessions is to be lauded.

Government will contribute as much as commuters are contributing, while fares are kept affordable.

One million plus commuters stand to benefit - and many have said they appreciate it.

Finally, WP does it again. They demanded that the new fares start only when new concession schemes kick in July for low-wage workers and persons with disabilities. Would have been better if they read the reports carefully - transport vouchers of between $30-$80 are going to both groups from Apr to tide them over. And everyone else who needs extra can get additional vouchers year-round.

Gerard Ee and his team deserve our thanks for taking on this incredibly difficult job.

WP should just give its unqualified endorsement of their great work done.

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