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Distance-based fare: An outrageous hike in disguise, says NSP

Singapore’s public transport will switch to distance-based fares from tomorrow, 03 July 2010. The following is the National Solidarity Party’s press release on the change.

We are greatly disappointed by the new fare system that the PTC intended to implement on 3rd July 2010. Our recent research on SMRT as well as LTA Public Transport websites shows that almost all the MRT fares that we have checked from different lines have increased quite substantially.

Please refer to the following table for our findings:

We are not able to do a complete table on the various fare comparisons for all possible rides but from our sample findings, it shows that fare increase resulted from the new Distance Fare system ranges from 3.75% to more than 7%.

The PTC has not made such straight forward indications when they try to convince Singaporeans that most of them will enjoy lower fares for their daily travels on public transport. The PTC should stop misleading Singaporeans with its assertion that most Singaporeans would benefit from this new fare system. PTC should be more truthful upfront by publishing the whole matrix of comparisons between fares for MRT rides between all possible combinations.

Any fare increase more than 2% in such simple straight forward MRT rides is totally unacceptable as wage increase for many of the lower wage earners who utilize public transport most do not have much increment on their wages.

Many Singaporeans rely on MRT for their travelling needs and there is little alternative to MRT rides without wasting great amount of time in interchanging between buses and being trapped in traffic jams. Such enormous outrageous hike in fares is totally unacceptable for a monopoly like SMRT.

On the other hand, it is impractical to expect bus commuters to waste time changing buses during peak hours just to “enjoy” any lower fares. Such “lower fares” may only be lower in comparison with the new long haul trunk services.

We believe that even with such “lower fares”, it will still be higher than the old fares for long haul rides. PTC should present to Singaporeans the comparison between NEW and OLD fare structures for some main trunk services.

We strongly condemn PTC for its attempt to implement such a fare system which is in fact an outrageous hike in fare in disguise.

Goh Meng Seng
Secretary General of the 13th CEC