Fare Review Exercise 2019: The 7% Bus & Train Fare Hike And How It Affects You
 
83
shares

Fare Review Exercise 2019: The 7% Bus & Train Fare Hike And How It Affects You

Kenneth Fong
83
shares

It’s official.

Bus and train fares will rise by 7 per cent from 28 December 2019.

Ice Cube And Chris Tucker Going Damn
Source: Friday | giphy

The fare hike is the maximum allowed according to this year’s Fare Formula and is the highest percentage jump since 1998.

However, the Public Transport Council (PTC) has taken steps to ensure that special attention will be paid to concession groups such as the elderly and needy commuters during this Fare Review Exercise.


TL;DR: How Does The Latest Fare Review Exercise 2019 Affect Me?

Changes ToHow Does It Affect You?
Adult Card FaresIncrease by $0.09
Adult Monthly Travel PassIncrease by $8
Concession Card Fares (students, senior citizens, lower-wage workers and persons with disabilities)Increase by $0.04
Concession Card Fares extended to Polytechnic and other diploma studentsDecrease by $1.54
Monthly Concession PassIncrease by $1 to $5.50
Cash Fares & Single Trip TicketsIncrease by $0.20

A total of 450,000 Public Transport Vouchers (PTVs) worth $50 each, will be available to help lower-income families cope with the fare adjustment.

Applications for the 2019 PTV exercise starts 11 November 2019 till 31 October 2020 and can be done at your local community centre.


SBSTransit Bus and SMRT Train
Source: TIB1218R | Flickriver

What Does The Fare Review Mean For Adult Commuters?

The 7 per cent fare hike means that bus and train fares for adult card users will increase by $0.09 per journey.

And if you’re a regular commuter and are still using cash or single-trip tickets, you really should switch to a fare card now or you’ll have to contend with a $0.20 increase.

What Does The Fare Review Mean For Commuters On Concession Card Fares?

The fare hike translates to a $0.04 increase in bus and train fares for:

  • students
  • senior citizens
  • lower-wage workers
  • persons with disabilities

What Does The Fare Review Mean For Poly Students?

After years of lobbying, polytechnic and diploma students will now qualify for student concessionary fares!

It's About Damn Time
Source: giphy

Prior to the announced changes, poly students were paying adult fares (… I know right?!) which were capped at $2.17 per journey. Whereas student concessionary card fares are capped at $0.63 per journey.

THAT’S A $1.54 DECREASE PER JOURNEY.

More than 80,000 polytechnic and other diploma students are expected to benefit from this change so there’s the little silver lining of this Fare Review Exercise – if you’re looking for one.

What Does The Fare Review Mean For Commuters Using Monthly Concession Passes And Travel Passes?

The fare hike also means an increase in prices of travel passes.

Here’s a list of the new prices for Monthly Concession Passes (MCPs) and Adult Monthly Travel Passes:

 Price After Fare ReviewPrice Before Fare Review
Bus MCPs
Primary school students$24 (up by $1.50)$22.50
Secondary & poly students$29 (up by $1.50)$27.50
Uni students & full-time NSFs$55.50 (up by $3.50)$52
Train MCPs
Primary school students$21 (up by $1)$20
Secondary & poly students$26.50 (up by $1.50)$25
Uni students & full-time NSFs$48 (up by $3)$45
Hybrid MCPs
Primary school students$43.50 (up by $2.50)$41
Secondary & poly students$54 (up by $3)$51
Uni students & full-time NSFs$90.50 (up by $5.50)$85
Monthly Travel Pass
Adult$128 (up by $8)$120
Senior Citizen$64 (up by $4)$60

Some Commonly Asked Questions

1) Why Is There A Fare Review Exercise?

The annual Fare Review ensures that public transport fares can keep up with the costs of running a public transport system smoothly, safely, efficiently and reliably.

Our fares pay for:

  • diesel to fuel our buses
  • electricity to power our trains
  • salaries & training for public transport workers, as well as
  • other miscellaneous costs

If you’re wondering what the Fare Review has been like over the years, here it is at a glance:

YearAnnual Fare Adjustment
2014+2.8%
2015-1.9%
2016-4.2%
2017-2.2%
2018+4.3%
2019+7%

2) How Does The PTC Calculate The Fare Adjustment Rate?

The Fare Adjustment Rate is determined by the current Fare Formula, which was implemented in 2018 and will be in place till 2022.

It’s used to cap the maximum allowable fare adjustment and it looks like this:

PTC Fare Formula
Source: Public Transport Council

This formula takes into consideration cost changes due to:

  • inflation
  • wages
  • energy prices
  • network capacity

And just in case you still think that the PTC anyhow come up with the 7% Fare Adjustment Cap, here’s a full breakdown of the computation of the 2019 Fare Formula:

Computation of the 2019 Fare Formula output
Source: Public Transport Council

Yep, there’s a science to it.

3) Why Did The PTC Grant SMRT And SBS Transit The Full 7% Fare Adjustment Cap?

According to the PTC,  the full adjustment quantum was necessary to sustain “a high level of service as the costs of running the public transport system continues to rise”.

Once again, the rise in cost is due to:

  • Rising energy prices
  • Wage increments of public transport workers
  • Increase in resources required to run an expanding public transport network

4) Why Is There A Fare Increase When Public Transport Operators Seem To Be Recording Good Profits?

According to the PTC, both SMRT Trains and SBS Transit have incurred significant losses for their rail businesses.

SMRT reported losses of $155 million due to higher operating costs, and SBS Transit incurred losses in the tens of millions for its train operations.

5) What Kind Of Assistance Is Available For Low-Income Earners?

A total of 450,000 Public Transport Vouchers (PTVs) worth $50 each, will be available to help lower-income families cope with the fare adjustment.

There are also various community-led initiatives and work support schemes under the MSF/Community Development Councils and the Citizens’ Consultative Committees ComCare Fund which individuals can apply to.

For those who need help coping with their public transport expenditure, they may approach their local community centres or clubs (CCs) or TransitLink Ticket Office for assistance.

Eligible households may submit their application for the PTV at their local CCs.

6) Who Is Eligible For The Public Transport Voucher?

Under the 2018 PTV Exercise, households with an income of $1,900 or below, OR per capita (per person) income of not more than $650 are eligible.

Upon successful application at your local CCs, each household will receive one PTV worth $30 which may be redeemed any time before 31 March 2020.

If you haven’t applied for it yet, applications for the 2018 PTV Exercise can still be made till 31 October 2019.

Under the recently announced 2019 PTV Exercise, households with an income of not more than $1,200 will receive one PTV worth $50. Similar to the 2018 PTV Exercise, applications can be made at your local CCs.

Applications for the 2019 PTV exercise is from 11 November 2019 till 31 October 2020.

7) What If I Require More Assistance? Can I Apply For Additional Vouchers?

Yes, you can.

Households that require more help can apply for additional vouchers through the CCs.

The CCCs will assess each application to either help deserving cases who marginally miss the stipulated criteria.

Or provide additional PTVs to households which need more help.

Whether you love or hate our content... WE WANT TO HEAR WHAT YOU THINK!

About Kenneth Fong
Editor of Seedly's blog. Owner of a 4-room HDB BTO and married to a financial clutz. Probably the closest to an adult you can find on the Seedly team.
You can contribute your thoughts like Kenneth Fong here.

Still have more questions after reading the article? Fret not, ask our community here!

Stay updated with the latest finance tips!
Receive bite-sized finance on Telegram here.

What's Popular

    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
Comments
83
shares

What's Popular

    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles

Still have more questions after reading the article? Fret not, ask our community here!