Unfair concession becoming a source of “disappointment and disillusionment” among students

The following is a press release from the organizers of the campaign for fairer transport fares for tertiary students.

Press Statement

Re: 4.6% Reduction in Bus & Train Fares From 1 April 2009

We refer to the joint press release by the Public Transport Council (PTC), SBS Transit, SMRT Corp. and the Ministry of Transport (MOT) on 19 February 2009.

This student campaign welcomes the latest announcement by the Public Transport Operators (PTOs) to reduce the concession fares of tertiary students by $2 and $4 for monthly bus and train concession passes and hybrid concession passes respectively. We are heartened to know that the PTC, PTOs, and MOT have taken the perspectives and recommendations of this campaign into consideration during this fare revision exercise.

However, we wish to highlight that the fundamental issue of unfairness in concession fares between a JC/ITE student and a tertiary student continues to remain unresolved.

Nevertheless, this latest fare reduction is a positive step towards future reforms in the concession fare structure for tertiary students. As such, we would like to take this opportunityto urge the PTC, PTOs, and MOT to initiate the implementation of a concession fare mechanism for tertiary students.

This can take the form of setting up a differentiated category for Polytechnic and University students and a fare formula which will translate into greater transparency and accountability in the decision-making process in future fare revision exercises. In light of the implementation of a distance-based through fare structure in June 2010, a reform of the concession fare structure would be especially essential.

We would like to highlight that this inherent unfairness within the concession fare structure is becoming a source of disappointment and disillusionment amongst the student community. We recommend a decisive gesture on by the PTC and PTOs to resolve this inherent conflict. In the same spirit of engagement initiated by the PTC and PTOs on 5 February 2009 with this student campaign, we would like to encourage further discussion and engagement with the various student groups and the respective policymakers.

This student campaign is more than willing to participate in the reform process and work out a new and fair concession fare mechanism with the relevant stakeholders.

Thank you.

Bernard Chen

Organiser(s) of National Petition for Fairer Transportation Fares for Polytechnic/ Tertiary


[email protected]

21st February 2009

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