By Han Hui Hui, Roy Ngerng and Leong Sze Hian
Transport fares increased 0.3% from 2006 to 2013?
Ravi Philemon posted on his facebook –
“”From 2006 to 2013…in the last seven years do you know how much our transport fares have increased? 0.3%. It has almost remained the same. Even though it increased for some years, during the 2008 financial crisis, it was reduced. In the past year, there was no change in the fare.” – Minister without Portfolio, Mr S Iswaran in a Tamil programme in Vasantham (http://video.xin.msn.com/
Must ask Uncle Leong and Roy if the statistics are correct. And also, why is 2006 the baseline?”
The substance of the debate on fares?
Instead of getting into the nitty gritty of subjective arguments about whether it’s right to use 2006 as the baseline year, or whether there are any countries in the world that increase public transport fares in about 10 out of about 13 years, or whether the change to distance fares was actually an increase or decrease, or whether there are still any developed countries that do not give concessionary fares to persons with disabilities or polytechnic students?
Comparison with Sweden?
– We shall try to answer Ravi Philemon’s query by attempting to do a comparison with the Nordic countries which of late seems to be Singapore’s favourite country of comparison in so many things.
Comparing per trip fares?
The rhetoric and argument over the years that Singapore’s per trip fares are much cheaper than the per trip fares in other developed countries may be a flawed argument, because hardly anyone who uses public transport pays per trip fares, in these countries. They use annual, 6-monthly or monthly unlimited multimodal passes.
Sweden is as much as 58 to 30% cheaper?
For example, an annual pass in Stockholm cost as little as SEK4,990 (S$954 or $80 a month) for people below 20 or over the age of 65. Other adults pay SEK8,300 (S$1,586 or $132 monthly).
In contrast, Singapore’s MRT and bus monthly pass (only introduced in recent years) is S$190.
So, Stockholm is about 58 to 30 per cent cheaper than Singapore.
I also understand that it may even be cheaper or free in the smaller towns in Sweden.
Finland is 58% cheaper?
In Finland, an adult pass in Helsinki for 30 days is only 45.9 Euro (S$79), which is 58 per cent cheaper than Singapore’s.
Fare increase soon?
We rest our case, and await with anticipation as to what reasons may be given (the usual ones over the years?) for the expected fare increase in the next few months.