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Fare hike for public transport in October?

Posted by theonlinecitizen on July 26, 2007

By Andrew Loh

The Public Transport Council (PTC) has given public transport operators until August 2007 to apply for any fare revisions they wish to make. (Straits Times, Mar 23, 2007).

Any fare hike will take effect from October, according to a PTC spokesman quoted by the Straits Times.

Undoubtedly, any increase in fares will have commuters up in arms, as was the case in previous years. Any rise in transport fares will come on the back of an increase in the Goods and Services Tax (GST), and the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

 

Consumer Price Index

The Department of Statistics, in its press release on the CPI for May 2007, said:

“Compared with the same month a year ago, the consumer price index in May 2007 was 1.0 per cent higher.”

For the CPI in June, the TODAY newspaper reported:

“The consumer price index (for June) rose 1.3 per cent from a year earlier… Transport and communication costs, the second-biggest component at 22% of the index, climbed 2.8% last month from a year earlier.”

The CPI is used in the formula by the PTC to determine how much any fare increase will be, as posted on its website:

Maximum Fare Adjustment = 0.5 CPI + 0.5 WI – 0.3%

CPI = Change in Consumer Price Index over the preceding year, WI = Change in Average Monthly Earnings (Annual National Average) over the preceding year, adjusted to account for any change in the employer’s CPF contribution rate , 0.3% = The productivity extraction based on a sharing of productivity gains achieved by PTOs

 

A chronology of fare hikes since 1990 (PTC website):

1990: BUS FARE REVISION

  • 10 cents increase in non air-con fares generally.
  • 5 to 10 cents increase in air-con fares with no change to the minimum (60 cents) and maximum fares ($1.20).

 

1994: BUS FARE REVISION

  • Extension of the maximum bus fare by another fare stage (over 14.4 km), to $1.00 and $1.30 for non air-con and air-con services respectively (equivalent to a 10 cents increase)

 

1995 : BUS FARE REVISION

  • Extension of the maximum bus fare by another fare stage (over 18.4 km) to $1.10 and $1.40 for non air-con and air-con services respectively (equivalent to a 10 cents increase).
  • 5 cents increase in feeder fares and industrial fares to 30 cents and 45 cents respectively, with the corresponding introduction of a 5 cents transfer rebate for feeder buses.
  • $2 increase in concession stamps prices for tertiary students, NS men and SBS shareholders.

 

1997 : BUS FARE REVISION

  • 5 cents increase across the board for non air-con services on farecard fares. No change for air-con farecard fares.
  • 10 cents increase across the board for air-con and non air-con services on cash fares.
  • Conversion of flat fare to distance-related fares for industrial bus services.
  • $3- $5 increase in non air-con bus concession stamp prices.

 

1999 : NEW FARES FOR BUKIT PANJANG LRT

Similar to fares on existing RTS lines, distance-related fares were adopted for Bukit Panjang LRT.

 

2000: BUS FARE REVISION

  • 10 cents increase in adult feeder bus fares (cash and farecard) with a corresponding increase in the feeder transfer rebate by 10 cents (from 5 cents to 15 cents).
  • 5 cents increase in child/student feeder bus fares (cash and farecard) with a 10 cents increase in the feeder transfer rebate (from 5 cents to 15 cents).
  • Extension of the maximum fare by another fare band (over 23.5 km) to $1.30 and $1.60 for non air-con and air-con services respectively for cash fares, and $1.25 and $1.50 for non air-con and air-con services respectively for farecard fares.
  • Addition of 2 fare bands to the fare structure of Jurong industrial bus services (maximum fare was increased by 20 cents).

 

2000: LIGHT RAPID TRANSIT (LRT) SINGLE TRIP FARE

10 cents increase in the LRT Single Trip Ticket adult fares (the new minimum became 80 cents while new maximum was $1.00). No change in adult farecard fares (minimum was 60 cents and maximum was 80 cents).

 

2001 : BUS FARE REVISION

  • 10 cents increase in feeder bus fares with corresponding increase in transfer rebates by 10 cents (feeder bus transfer rebate became 25 cents, the same as the transfer rebate involving non-feeder bus services).

 

2002: BUS FARE REVISION

  • 3 cents increase in adult EZ-link card fares.
  • 5 cents increase in adult farecard fares.
  • 10 cents increase in adult cash fares.
  • 50 cents increase in concession stamp prices for primary/secondary students.
  • $2 increase in concession stamp prices for tertiary students.
  • $3 increase in concession stamp prices for NS men.

 

2003: NEW FARES FOR NORTH EAST LINE (NEL)

  • Differentiated fares for the NEL at 5 cents to 25 cents higher than the existing RTS fares, or an average of 16.5 cents more.
  • Fares for child/student/NS men concessions remained the same as that for the existing RTS lines.

 

2005 : BUS FARE REVISION

  • 1-2 cents increase in adult EZ-link card fares.
  • 10 cents increase in adult cash fares.
  • 1 cent increase in senior citizen EZ-Link card fares and 10 cents increase in senior citizen cash fares.

 

2006 : BUS FARE REVISION

  • 1-3 cents increase in adult EZ-link card fares.
  • 1 cent increase in senior citizen EZ-Link card fares.

From 2000 to 2006, fare revisions were carried out every year except for 2004.

If the PTC approves a fare hike this year, it would make it the 7th hike in 8 years!

 

Profits

The main point of unhappiness – if any hike were approved – perhaps, will be the profits that the transport operators are making.

 

 

 

The SMRT has announced a profit after tax of $135.8m for financial year 2007, an increase of 31% from the previous year. (Link)

In the years 2003 to 2007, SMRT’s profit after tax are as follows:

2007 = $135.8m

2006 = $103.6m

2005 = $126.6m

2004 = $90.2m

2003 = $72.2m

 

 

 

For SBS Transit, its profit after tax for the years 2003 to 2006 are as follows (obtained from its website):

2006 = $56.1m

2005 = $51.5m

2004 = $49.2m

2003 = $19m

 

Questions raised again

Singaporeans will again be asking: Should public transport providers be seeking ever more profits? How much is enough?

It seems that there is a revision of fares every other year and the transport companies are making good profits. SMRT’s profits have almost doubled from 2003 to 2007 while SBS Transit has more than doubled its profits from 2003 to 2006.

Will the PTC approve any application in fare hike this year?

The following weeks will provide the answers to these questions.

Theonlinecitizen will be featuring a few articles on public transport in the coming days.

If you wish to have your say, or to share your experiences using public transport, please do write to us at theonlinecitizen@gmail.com

 

*Update: SMRT Q1 profit rises 38.5% to $37.94m – SMRT website, media release, 27 July 2007. Visit the SMRT website “Announcement” page for more details on the 1Q FY2008 results.

————————————————

*SMRT Buses has a fleet of 800 buses. SMRT also operates the main MRT line and the LRT in Bukit Panjang. (Link)

**SBS Transit owns 75% of the scheduled bus market share in Singapore with 217 bus services and has a total fleet of more than 2,700 buses. It also runs the NEL MRT line and the LRT in Sengkang and Punggol. (Link)

Read also Singapore Alternative’s “Crutch Mentality Of Public Transport ”:

“The demand of regular fare hike is a crutch mentality in the making. There are really many other ways that public transport companies in Singapore could make profits, not just from fare but from their strength in convenience and the masses they command. If we continue to allow other GLCs or SLF to develop prime areas in towns instead of the transport companies, how could there possibly be full utilization of resources and cross subsidies to public transportation companies?”

 

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39 Responses to “Fare hike for public transport in October?”

  1. Clarence said

    I’m going to offer an opinion that will run counter to many people’s ideas.

    I think that public transport companies should not be begrudged their fare hikes, but if and only if they can show that they have done something to improve their fleet (changing a substantial number of their vehicles to new ones, for eg.) such that passenger comfort is enhanced. Or could be that they invest in technology such that buses arrive on time/less crowding occurs on MRTs/buses etc.

    I think the MRT regularity really needs to be improved. The morning peak hour traffic is horrendous, as is with the evening peak hour human traffic. For the amount of supernormal profits that these two giant monopolies earn, they should be decent enough to increase their frequency of buses/trains.

    And the fare hikes will need to be watched closely – any of these hikes should be commensurate with the amount of upgrading they do.

  2. at82 said

    You may wish to include the fact the Temasek Holdings holds 55% of Smrt’s shares and thus would be the one who will be reaping most of the profits.

    http://www.temasekholdings.com.sg/our_investments/linked_companies.htm

  3. Numb Already said

    Econs 101: transportation services are public goods (service). As such, it should, in economic theory, be provided by the Govt. However, there will of course be the usual economic inefficiencies. Therefore the argument to have such services privatised. However, once privatised, these companies running such public services are motivated by very different criteria in providing such services, chief among them would be generation of profits for its shareholders. The irony in Singapore’s case is that, our cheng hu claims to be very efficient and capable, (therefore, their millions $ pay) so maybe they shud relook into reclaiming the running of such services again (then can justify the Transport minister’s pay?). Also, guess who are the significant shareholders of these public transport companies (directly or indirectly). When motivated to enhance shareholders’ value, these companies will definitely apply for watever increase that is allowed under the current PTC formula. That’s not surprising. In fact, it will be surprising if they do not (their shareholders will in fact question them in their next AGM!). Can such a situation/environment be sustainable? Sure, in Singapore! Look at the ingenious structuring of the whole transport system! Win-Win for everyone! (low-income consumers get help so can be used as a tool to address income gap?) Majority of Singapore voters bought into all these. The “pain” is not significant.

  4. Ace said

    From my memory, PTC has never rejected any fare hike revision requests. (Somebody correct me if I am wrong).

    The entire exercise of proposal and approval is a complete waste of time and a big charade, kind of like a wayang show for the public.

    With the added advertisement revenues generated from TVmobile, advertising screens at MRT stations and other ads, the standard of service and the transport experience has not improved at all, esp. during peak hours. The additional revenues have not been used for any kind of offset for the need to not have fare hikes and that is not acceptable.

    The most ridiculous part is that all the fare hikes has been position as for the betterment of the general public???

    No actual facts here, but I be surprise if any of the PTC council members actually use public transport for their daily commute.

    Somehow, I feel that this round will be no different from the previous and fares will be higher.

    And the story will go on and on……

  5. Hi all,

    Does anyone know of any other country which allows its public transport operators to apply for fare hikes every year?

    Thanks.

    Regards,
    Andrew

  6. kitsura said

    Is it just me but I’ve a feel that the quality of service has gone down over the years. The population has been increasing logarithmically, since the gahmen doesn’t place any migration caps, yet public transport capacity has not been increased sufficiently to accomodate this increase. Either that or the transport companies are just trying to cut costs to generate more profits. Don’t count on anything changing in the future either since providing a better service is really a conflict of interest for these privatised tranport companies.

  7. scb said

    If honest mistakes are acceptable, profiteerings by cartels are acceptable and unreasonable pay hikes are acceptable, let’s ask; what else can you expect?

  8. ahtiong73 said

    OK with regards to the impending hike/review (who are we kidding, its gonna go up). I think with the new media now, we have the channel to voice out frustrations. Write to the transport companies, write to PTC, write to your MP, write to the Minister for Transport, write to the popular/more read/bigger blogs/forums. Spread the word people!

    Remember Li Hongyi? TCM now know that they can’t just rubbish/cover things up.

    Wanna stand up for Singapore? Do more than waving the flag and ooo-ing and waa-ing at the fireworks this year.

    *Comments edited by editor

  9. ahtiong73 said

    sorry about the hokkien speak. Moderator delete if deem inappropriate

  10. Andrew said

    I think Melbourne has yearly price hikes…the price of a bus/train ticket has increased each year since i was here…though it could be just to keep up with the speed of inflation…i’m not too sure about the reasoning behind it though I do know that the public transport companies here are losing quite alot of money…

  11. lesile said

    Andrew, you say it is losing money ?
    But what is profit ?
    Profit = Revenue – expense and that the company has > $100 millions profit,
    now how can that be losing money.

    Andrew, the millions dollars is not revenue but profit. Do your math right.

  12. at82 said

    Lesile,

    Andrew is talking about Melbourne la. And he is right Melbourne transport companies are losing loads of money ever since they are privatize.

    Ask anyone who depend on Melbourne’s public transport they will fill u with all the details, with all the vulgarity included lolz…

  13. at82 said

    By the way what is the record for MRT fare hikes? Why is there only bus fare increase recorded in this article?

    Isn’t there is a increase in train fare last year?

  14. Joey said

    I’ve experienced the London tube first hand and it’s appalling! *shudders* I’m so thankful for the new and oft-upgraded MRT trains. So I have no complaints with the MRT. Yet.

    SMRT’s buses are atrocious, though. They are cramped and the bus drivers drive like F1 racers. Even seated, you have to be alert in order to avoid falling out of your seat when the bus speeds around bends. What they need to do with the profits is (i) have more buses during rush hour and (ii) train their drivers properly.

  15. KC said

    Andrew,

    U dun seem to understand by the word PROFIT leh. They earning profit every year if u noticed so how u justify they lose $$$? Are u one of the shareholder of SMRT?

  16. Here in Canberra, the cost of a bus ride is a flat rate of A$3.00, though there are many varied concessions which makes it more reasonable. And, except for major bus routes, the frequency can be as low as one per hour. So in comparison, Singapore’s bus service is not completely unreasonable.

    But then again, with the cost of cars so absurd in Singapore, it is necessary that public transport is affordable. So a direct comparison should not be done, though it might be interesting to know.

  17. Cyph said

    You should never take into account of train replacement or upgrading as an excuse to raise fares as this is the reason you earn profit in the first place(earn profit to reinvest into your business not just keep raising price to maintain increasing profit margins) . A lifetime of a train + maintainence + driver + support crew is already included into the cost of the fares are we paying.

    To earn 136 Million in a year is on average earning $90K PROFIT a day. That dividing by a daily rides of 1.4million passengers, on a one way trip basis = 6 cents PROFIT per passenger per trip per day. An increase of even 2% of FARES(lets says $1.20) = 2.4 cents. Their profit margin is going to go up by another guess what? 2.4/6 = 40% for next year.

    Huzzah.

  18. lesile said

    Pandemonium,
    we should keep cost down rather than keep comparing our system with other countries’ system. If what you say make sense, why not simply make it a flat rate of $2.99 cents per journey in Singapore , and it still one cent cheaper ! And yes, why not increase it to $6 because it is still cheaper than Japan.

    What I trying to say it doesn’t make sense to compare country to country, what you should do is to justify the price hike rather merely compared blindly.

    Our gov love to compare one-side, and only compare thing that give them upperHand, the rest of negativism (millions dollars salary etc, no voice in cost increment) is never even mentioned or compared.

    So don’t act like a PAP MIW…

  19. Lesile:

    Of course, costs should be kept to reasonable limits, but what is reasonable? It can’t be the lowest possible for the transport company, since they, being private companies, have to make profit.

    And as I stressed once again, a direct comparison should not be done. On top of the reason I’ve already cited, there is also a difference in the cost of living between the two cities, as well as many other factors involved (such as social attitudes).

    Nonetheless, having an idea of how public transport are like in other countries does shred some light on the state of Singapore’s public transport.

  20. […] it again, namely some of them have already applied to PTC to increase their fares. This rather informative post by TOC actually maps the timeline of such increases. The information speaks for itself. Suffice to […]

  21. ptc said

    Read the anti competitive suit against British airways yesterday?Can the public sue PTC for anti competitive behaviour? They seem to be working on the behest of the shareholders. Oh yeah – this is Singapore, not UK! I forgot.

  22. David said

    Pandemonium,
    “Of course, costs should be kept to reasonable limits, but what is reasonable? It can’t be the lowest possible for the transport company, since they, being private companies, have to make profit.”,

    true enough, they should make profit, but aren’t profit the transport company earning in term of hundred millions more than reasonable consider that they are using taxmoney to build infrastructure and upgrading ? How is the money spend on profit is not even indicated and accountable ? Those are profit not revenue, and having such big profit consider that it is not fully privatised but gov’related is unhealthy. We know that we having a bad dose of gov’s own mismanagement recently (EDB, ShinCorp etc,) that gov has successfully erased us from these by focusing on other distraction ?

  23. David:

    Fair enough indeed, if the profits are hundreds of millions, it is too much to raise fares. However, as I remember from last year’s fare hike arguments, it was pointed out that the profits which the companies reap from local operations is low. But of course, this serves to complicate arguments, as 1) it is even hard to determine if their local profits are reasonable, and 2) if it the company should use overseas profit to “subsidise” local profits?

    In any case, I have been entertaining myself with the idea of using private transport to subsidise public transport. It goes like this: since public transport is generally used by the poorer people, raising fares will heave a greater burden upon them, while richer people who own cars are spared of this raise. It is then not possible to link a form of tax on cars to a subsidy on public transport, such that the fare hike is placed on car owners (who are richer anyway). In this way, if carefully planned, the usage of public transport over private transport can be regulated indirectly. It is also stable (at least in appearance), in the sense that if there is an increase in car owners for some reason, then the subsidy will increase, thus lowering public transport fares, resulting in an incentive that will counteract the increase in car owners.

    The only objections I can think of is that this regulation is against the spirit of a free market, and that it might lengthen administrative red tape.

  24. Andrew Loh said

    Hi Pandemonium,

    That is definitely a “thinking-out-of-the-box” idea. An interesting one. The idea would, of course, be premised on the assumption that car owners would not be up in arms about effectively paying for something which they do not use.

    Also, I think car owners are already being taxed quite enough – if what my car-owning friends tell me is true.. 🙂

  25. David said

    Pandemonium,
    that’s a interesting suggestion you gave.

    I seen that in long term, this may not be workable. It is workable if the gov tell us the truth and we believe an honest gov. What if gov tell us half-truth statistic and data that skew towards their benefits like those recently uncover by percentage foreign talent in university etc? Do you trust gov body’s statistic ?

    For one, I don’t, and most likely, ppl who read blog more than newspaper will probably don’t likewise.

    In the worst scenario I view is that without been openedly honest from gov, the greatest burden lies in poor people and middle people who own cars get penalised because gov will charge both way, one from poor people, another from those who own cars. Remember the initial purpose of ERP where it main claim is to resolve traffic congest ? ERP is now way to make money from public that even gov admit.

    For your system to work, the gov’s body have to accountable and responsible about the data they gave, not just give any figure they like to pacify themselves.

    As long as gov remain unconvincing in their act, whatever they do to raise price will be subject to public uproar.

  26. Pui yee said

    pandemonium

    you talk about the “spirit of the free market”… lol what makes you think public transport in sg is a free market sector? pls. if ptc wants to be fair and support free market principles, private buses would be plying the same routes as tlc protected smrt/tibs buses.

    free market in sg??? lol. nothing, NOTHING IS FREE in sg, not even “free-dom”. lolololol

  27. scb said

    How I wish Singapore practises Free Market System; it signs Free Trade Agreements with other nations but liked Pui Yee says at Post 25 hardly anything is in the spirit of free practice.

  28. Andrew:

    Thanks! Indeed, car owners are bound to protest against this increase, and one method to prevent this unhappiness is to use some existing tax as this tax I’m talking about, though, truth be told, it is highly unlikely for that to happen.

    In any case, it is an increase either for the public transport users or the car owners; i.e. an increase either for the poor or the rich.

    David:

    True, a government has to be transparent and accountable to the people for that to work, but if you understand what I’m trying to say, you’ll see that it is the primary consideration here. If an increase is inevitable, should it be placed on the public transport users or the car owners?

    Anyway, it may be a surprise to you, but I do think that the government is accountable enough. The incident of the error in the percentage of foreigners in the local universities is, I believe, a mistake. I do not doubt that the statistics released in general as true; it is the interpretation that we must be very careful of. It is utterly foolish for the government to fudge data and modify statistics… it is too risky a task. Skewed interpretations, selective release of statistics, yes, but deliberate changing of data, no.

    In addition, there are already numerous watchdogs on the government, both international, and local (i.e. blogs like these). The government cannot get away so easily as one might think.

    Pui Yee:

    When I talk about the spirit of the free market, I’m not really comparing it with any market, but more in absolute terms. That is, whether the public transport market is free or not, I still object (to a certain extent) any policy that contradicts the free market spirit. Yes, this way that I’m carrying it, it is a principle, but that’s the way I am.

    Anyway, you mentioned about the opening up of lines for private bus companies to use. This has been dealt with, to my satisfaction, by the PTC in the following argument. The two bus companies in Singapore are given the profitable lines. In exchange, they are also required to ply non-profitable lines. Unless those private bus companies are committed to the same rules, it won’t be fair to let them to operate on profitable routes while larger ones must run on routes which makes less profit or even losses.

  29. Correction:

    “but if you understand what I’m trying to say, you’ll see that it is not the primary consideration here.”

  30. David said

    Pandemonium,
    that’s good comment from you.

    As long as ppl not willing to do anything beyond just commenting in the blogosphere, gov will never change its stand because the gov think that’s not much the ppl can do anyway. The many recent laws set by gov prevent protest, incur fear into public etc. The foreigner is even warn against going local domestic affair !

    Case in point :

    EDB writing off NSW loans of $17.3 million, so what can public do ? Gov seem smart to find a distraction of auditing to find some fault to pacify the public. Unfortunately, those audit is more reactive than proactive ! What is a probably a fake $2millions loss compare to $17 millions ? And still those figure remain non-credible because no one who read blogosphere trust the gov. No actual document is ever reveal to public only words, nothing but words.

    Minister’s pay and president’s roles is just long forgotten suddenly and never mention by ST again. Why need a good=for=nothing president who waste so much tax money of $3.1 millions ? These are our hard-earn money and we don’t have a say in it ! Incredibile !

    ShinCorpse issue is now just non-existent for the gov. It become a urban legend.

    etc.

    It doesn’t really matter if gov say it not deliberately hide the truth (but then, do you believe that ?) as long as the action show otherwise.

    The gov long accept the fact that blog and ranking doesn’t do much because as long as the Lee’s family still in control, everything seem secondary. Sure, you find something mention in newspaper talking about blog issue once a while, but that’s about it. The gov just move on without giving you an answer. Remember the famous elite girl and his Stanford MBA MP father ? Well, the case is forgotten and never mention again and keep well as recorded memory in blog. But that about’s it.

    Forget about fair election, as GCT has say “It’s just politics”.

    Pandemonium, what I trying to convey is, as long as the people on top remain the same persons and nepotism, nothing has really changed. The form has changed but substance still remain the same.

    Have you see the youtube video of Sylvia debunking the nomination of members by PM into constitution and than accuse by MIW of conspiracy ? So, Pandemonium, tell me what has changed ? This issue is again forgotten by gov and move on. No answer to me and you, but just a constant reminder that gov can accuse you and walk away as nothing happen but not the other way round.

    Has Sylvia say that gov has conspiracy, all I can imagine is that LKY and his cronies will start giving deflamation lawsuit against Sylvia and prevent her from ever stepping on politics again just she post a threat to Lee’s regime.

    Could I blame the MIW, probably no. They are smart to work with the system and get their huge pay. Public ? Forget about it, the public are not even willing to help themselves but just whiner and complainers as the MP will glad to tell you.

    After all these years, where China and India and third world countries are growing, Singapore is still trying to reinvent itself fruitlessly. Why ? Just because Singapore did not liberate itself but rather tolerate such society as normal and be flexible to accept as such. In the end where MP migrate after reaping millions from taxmoney, the public still say “No choice la”.

    Indeed, we are still very same old Singaporean mentality even the world has changed around us.

    Well, many say that this has nothing to do with LRT, and other gov’s body, but you can’t deny the fact of politics’s and Lee’s power over decision make in gov’s stepboard and companies.

    It’s probably because of LKY, that GLC companies never has accountability and responsibility towards the public, though I feel that once LKY go to heaven (All dogs go to heaven, don’they ?), the situation will probably change.

  31. David said

    There is not such thing as honest mistake. The term is just simply coined by MIW to evade responsibility and accountability.

    If such term is acceptable, why not simply tell your boss about your honest mistake ? A mistake is simply a mistake, nothing honest and dishonest about it.

    And sure, how much can you tolerate honest mistake by gov at the expense of you and the public ?

    How about sending useless and old people (could be us since we use up our CPF, money) to Batam for retirement because Singapore become an expensive place manned for the rich and elite only ? Is this consider an honest mistake because eventually lot of young talented and sensible Singaporean will migrated because they know eventually they be treated as shit after they expire their prime time ?

    Ppl vote for gov and yet in the gov want to vote us out.

    We need freedom not oppression.

  32. David said

    Anyway, Singaporean has an extremely high toleration for oppression so I simply rest my case.

  33. […]is what happens when you have a state-monopolised yet privatised ‘free market’ for a crucial public service. And still, you see no buses appearing for 15 minutes, then 3 of the same at once in 2 minutes[…]

  34. Keith said

    That is really no surprise. Prices and fares have always rose the year after an election. You can be sure that the PTC will approve the increase.

  35. lesile said

    Of course, PTC will approve it and ST will just list 101 reasons of why transport hike need to increase. One obvious is to give fat salary to ministers, and of course this will be left out of OB marker.

  36. Keith said

    It’s sad that ST always put all those justifications and pros for fare hike, price increases in their news header. An example would be like this: Minister XYZ: GST increase to help poor Singaporeans.
    The cons and objection are usually in small prints and reported in such a way that they are minor issues.
    Having said that, they did highlighted the plight of the low income in a saturday feature recently.
    It would be good if they report news with an objective to help the citizens rather than being seen as a mouth piece of the govt.

  37. David:

    I do not agree with you on every point, but I see what you’re trying to say and I must say some of them are quite compelling evidence of the lack of accountability on several issues. But still, like I said, I think they are accountable enough. Definitely not 100%, and there are a lot more that can be done, but it is not an opaque governance either. If anything, we can take heart at the fact that, willingly or unwillingly, the government is moving towards greater accountability (albeit slowly).

    Thanks for the long comment!

  38. lesile said

    Pandemonium ,
    let hope that both you and me are still alive to see those changes ! Those changes might just take zillions years !

  39. Dave said

    Hi Pandemonium,

    In which situation u think that the government is moving towards greater accountability?

    In the case of Temasek Holding doing a wrong investment?
    The case of Transport company given the freedom to “roam” and increase their profit year after year?
    The case in which Minister pay is increase?
    The case in which Poor people welfare cannot be increase because more money will lead to them been over dependent on governement?
    The case that our “poor man” company (NTUC) is earning millions and can afford to build a building in the most expensive area in Singapore?
    Or any other cases that i might have forgotten…..

    Can you kindly highlight which is the case that show our great government accountability?

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