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Bus and train fares could possibly see 7 per cent increase next year

The fares could go up by 10 cents, the maximum increase that can be allowed under the current fare formula, a measure implemented from 2018 to the year 2022

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Bus and train fares may go up by up to 7 per cent next year as the Public Transport Council (PTC) begins its annual fare review exercise.

If approved, this would be the highest fare increase in recent years.

The fares could go up by 10 cents, the maximum increase that can be allowed under the current fare formula, a measure implemented from 2018 to the year 2022.

According to a statement released by the council earlier today (September 3), transport operators must submit applications regarding proposed fare increases.

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As per a Straits Times report, the PTC said that the largest contributing factor to the potential fare hike was the double-digit increase in energy prices, which rebounded 26.2 per cent in 2017, and 32.3 per cent in 2018.

A drop in energy prices between 2015 and 2017 saw a combined 8.3 per cent reduction in fares during that time, though last year saw a 4.3 per cent increase in fares.

“Over the last five years, the gap between costs and fares has been widening. This gap has, thus far, been funded by the Government together with the rail operators,” said the PTC.

In July, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said the Government is currently subsidising more than 30 per cent of public transport operations, and that higher fares are necessary to keep these subsidies in check.

The council’s decision on the fare adjustment quantum will be announced in the last quarter of this year.

Last week, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan announced announced the possibility of extending the intervals between trains during off-peak hours of the day.

The longer wait times are part of efforts to better match demand and supply, and also help to reduce unnecessary wear and tear on the system.

Cost-efficiency is another key area of focus, Mr Khaw said, adding that new efforts and initiatives by SMRT and SBST have led to total savings of more than S$25 million. /TISG

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