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241121 - 2021 Transport Fare Review

Transport Fares To Increase in December: Here’s What You Need To Know

profileKenneth Fong

2021 Fare Review Exercise: Bus and Train Fares To Go Up by 2.2%

Following the annual Fare Review Exercise (FRE) this year, the Public Transport Council has announced that there will be an increase in public transport fares by 2.2% from 26 Dec 2021 onwards.

Due to the difficult economic circumstances since the start of the pandemic, the PTC has kept bus and train fares unchanged in last year’s review.

One of the key considerations for the latest fare review this year was the sharp decrease in public transport ridership and high operational costs.

With rising operational costs, it would not be possible to continue deferring fare increases.


TL;DR: How Does the 2021 Fare Review Exercise Affect Me?

Latest Bus and Train Fare Adjustments From 26 Dec 2021

At a glance, this is how the 2021 Fare Review Exercise will affect everyone:

 Fare CategoriesFare Adjustment (from 26 Dec 2021)
Card FaresAdult Card Fares3 to 4 cents

3 cents for journeys ≤ 14.2km
4 cents for journeys > 14.2km
Concession Fares
Student Fares1 cent
Senior Citizen Fares
Person with Disabilities Fares
Workfare Transport Concession Fares
Cash Fares or Single Trip TicketsAdult Bus Cash FaresNo change
Student Bus Cash Fares
Senior Citizen Bus Cash Fares
Single Trip Ticket for Trains
Monthly Concession or Travel PassesNo change

Bus And Train Fare Changes for Adults in 2021

For adult fare journeys up to 14.2km, there will be an increase of 3 cents.

This makes up about 75% of public transport journeys taken by adults.

Adult fare journeys beyond 14.2km will see an increase of 4 cents.

There will be no change to Adult Monthly Travel Pass, cash fare and Single Trip Ticket.

Bus And Train Fare Changes for Students in 2021

There will be an increase of 1 cent per journey for students.

There will be no change to monthly concession passes, cash fares and Single Ticket Trips.

Bus And Train Fare Changes for Senior Citizens in 2021

There will be an increase of 1 cent per journey for senior citizens.

There will be no change to monthly concession passes, cash fares and Single Ticket Trips.

Bus And Train Fare Changes for Children in 2021

Children will continue to enjoy free travel.

Bus And Train Fare Changes for Lower-Wage Workers in 2021

There will be an increase of 1 cent per journey for lower-wage workers.

There will be no change to monthly concession passes, cash fares and Single Ticket Trips.

Bus And Train Fare Changes for Persons With Disabilities in 2021

There will be an increase of 1 cent per journey for persons with disabilities.

There will be no change to monthly concession passes, cash fares and Single Ticket Trips.

Need Help With Your Fares? You May Be Eligible For Public Transport Vouchers (PTVs)

To provide support for households to cope with fare adjustment, the Government will be providing 600,000 Public Transport Vouchers (PTVs) with the Public Transport Fund.

To date, this is the largest number of PTVs set aside with the broadest household coverage, in recognition of the COVID-19 situation.

Each PTV is valued at $30 and will help eligible households cushion the impact of the fare adjustment.

Who Is Eligible for the Public Transport Voucher?

According to the Public Transport Council, the Public Transport Voucher is available for resident households whose monthly household income per person does not exceed $1,600.

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 Exercise has been like over the years, here it is at a glance:

Fare Review ExerciseAnnual Fare Adjustment
2014+2.8%
2015-1.9%
2016-4.2%
2017-2.2%
2018+4.3%
2019+7%
2020No change
20212.2%

2) How Does the Public Transport Council 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:

Source: Public Transport Council

This formula takes into consideration cost changes due to:

  • inflation
  • wages
  • energy prices
  • network capacity

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

Source: Public Transport Council

And here’s the same formula in action for the 2021 Fare Review Exercise:

Yep, there’s a science to it.

They don’t just anyhow pluck the numbers from thin air.

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