Popular blogger mrbrown posted on his Twitter account yesterday about a suggestion he received to implement a surge pricing system for public transport.
mrbrown, or Lee Kin Mun, said in his tweet that “Someone just suggested surge pricing for Public Transport”.
Someone just suggested surge pricing for Public Transport. I can’t even pic.twitter.com/jBYM8IYu9r
— mrbrown (@mrbrown) July 25, 2018
In his tweet, he shared a screenshot of a letter to the Straits Times titled, ‘Consider dynamic pricing for public transport’. In it, the writer Riddhiman Sarawgi wrote, “Perhaps it is time the public transport sector also starts to use dynamic pricing strategies, where fares rise during peak hours, just like fares for taxis”.
His rationale for suggesting surge pricing: “There will always be a demand for public transport”.
He also added that “Even if each commuter is charged a few cents extra during peak hours, people will still use public transport because the surge in taxi fares at the same time would be much higher”.
While the motives of his article only seemed to be for Singapore to “make higher revenues without losing anything”, the response of netizens to his article were not positive.
Even mrbrown himself replied and said, “I can’t even”.
It is true that while raising the price for public transport during peak period may increase revenues, it does not serve any other purpose as according to a survey in 2016 alone, six out of 10 Singapore residents took public transport to work.
With a majority of Singaporeans taking public transport, increasing the price would not only lead to many unhappy citizens, it might also result in fewer people using the public transport service – hardly a favourable outcome.
Many replied to mrbrown’s tweet expressing their distaste at Sarawgi’s commentary.
Before you know it, someone will suggest surge pricing for healthcare. Better get that heart attack when there is low demand
— marcus lowe (@marcuslhw) July 25, 2018
That last paragraph where he throws in some Econs 101 terms to legitimise this really bad idea…
— Small Sister (@angrysmolkat) July 25, 2018
“Throws in”. That guy doesn’t actually grasp Econs 101 or Business 101, like the concept of public good, opportunity costs, lost productivity for Singapore or consumer welfare. Reads like an haphazard answer to some Econ Exam Q of a JC1 student when his time is almost up.
— hai_Priesty (@hai_Priesty) July 25, 2018
Surge pricing for toilets, especially for the ladies. Better get that high tide when there is no queue.
— mrdesmond (@mr_desmond) July 25, 2018
Surge pricing for restaurants. Triple the price during mealtimes. MUUUUNNNEYYYYYYYY
— hankster (@hankchang) July 25, 2018
The consensus amongst netizens was that implementing a surge price was hardly in favour of Singaporeans.