2020 Fare Review Exercise: No Change to Public Transport Fares & $50 Public Transport Vouchers
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2020 Fare Review Exercise: No Change to Public Transport Fares & $50 Public Transport Vouchers

profileKenneth Fong
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Good news everyone!

After the 2020 Fare Review Exercise, the Public Transport Council (PTC) has announced that there will be no change to public transport fares from end 2020 to the next Fare Review Exercise.

This decision was made to help commuters cope with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based on the 2020 Fare Review Exercise, the maximum allowable fare adjustment quantum should have been 4.4 per cent.

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

Yep.

It seems like it could’ve been a pretty substantial increase until you realise that bus and train fares increased by 7 per cent in 2019.

That was the highest percentage jump in fare prices since 1998.


TL;DR: How Does the 2020 Fare Review Exercise Affect Me?

Seedly 2020 Fare Review Exercise

At a glance, this is how the 2020 Fare Review Exercise will affect everyone:

Fare Review 2020Changes to Bus and Train Fares
Senior CitizensNo change to senior citizen concessionary fares
(discounts of up to 55% off adult fares)
Working AdultsNo change to adult fares
Polytechnic & Diploma StudentsNo change to student concessionary fares
(discounts of up to 70% off adult fares)
Students
Lower-Wage WorkersNo change
(discounts of up to 25% off adult fares under Workfare Transport Concession Scheme)
May also qualify for the 2019 Public Transport Voucher
(extended application deadline from 31 Oct 2020 to 31 Jan 2021)

Need Help With Your Fares? You May Be Eligible for a $50 Public Transport Voucher

If you need help with your public transport fares…

A total of 450,000 Public Transport Vouchers, worth $50 each, are available to help lower-income families.

About 30,000 eligible households will receive the vouchers automatically.

The redemption letter will be sent by post, and they will be able to get their vouchers as early as December 2020.

FYI: these households are under the Ministry of Social and Family Development’s ComCare Short-to-Medium-Term Assistance and Long-Term Assistance schemes.

Also, the 2019 Public Transport Voucher exercise was initially open for applications from 11 November 2019 till 31 October 2020.

But it has been extended to 31 January 2021 instead.

You can apply for it at your local community centre or club (CCs).

Who Is Eligible for the 2019 Public Transport Voucher?

According to the Ministry of Transport, the 2019 Public Transport Voucher is available for households whose monthly income per person from all sources does not exceed $1,200.

This criterion covers around 1 in 5 households, compared to about 1 in 10 for the 2018 Public Transport Voucher exercise.

The voucher covers the fare increase for a typical household of 2 adults and 2 dependent for about half a year.

And can be used to purchase or top-up fare cards, or buy monthly concession passes.

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 your neighbourhood community centres or clubs (CCs).

The CCs 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.

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 you can apply to.


How Does the 2020 Fare Review Exercise Affect Me?

SBSTransit Bus and SMRT Train
Source: TIB1218R | Flickriver

Let’s get down to the deets, shall we?

What Does the 2020 Fare Review Exercise Mean for Adult Commuters?

No change to current bus and train fares until the 2021 Fare Review Exercise.

What Does the 2020 Fare Review Exercise Mean for Commuters on Concession Card Fares?

No change to current bus and train fares for:

  • students (including poly students)
  • senior citizens
  • lower-wage workers
  • persons with disabilities

until the 2021 Fare Review Exercise.

What Does the 2020 Fare Review Mean for Commuters Using Monthly Concession Passes and Travel Passes?

No change to current prices for Monthly Concession Passes (MCPs) and Adult Monthly Travel Passes until the 2021 Fare Review Exercise.

Monthly Concession Pass and Travel PassPrice Before 2020 Fare Review ExercisePrice After 2020 Fare Review Exercise
Bus MCPs
Primary school students$24.00No change
Secondary & poly students$29.00
Uni students & full-time NSFs$55.50
Train MCPs
Primary school students$21.00No change
Secondary & poly students$26.50
Uni students & full-time NSFs$48.00
Hybrid MCPs
Primary school students$43.50No change
Secondary & poly students$54.00
Uni students & full-time NSFs$90.50
Monthly Travel Pass
Adult$128.00No change
Senior Citizen$64.00

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

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:

PTC Fare Formula
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:

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

And here’s the same formula in action for the 2020 Fare Review Exercise:

2020 Fare Review Exercise Fare Adjustment Formula
Source: Public Transport Council

Yep, there’s a science to it.

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

3) Why Did the PTC Grant SMRT and SBS Transit the Full 7% Fare Adjustment Cap Back in 2019?

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 was due to:

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

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About Kenneth Fong
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.
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