The Straits Times reported that rail operators in Singapore will pay as much as 2.5 times more in annual fees to the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
In all, the regulator will collect $7.53 million or $1.75 million more from April, when the increases take effect, said a government gazette. The sum, however, excludes the fee of the new Downtown Line 1, which opened last month.
From April, SMRT will pay $663,000 to operate the three-year old Circle Line. The rise is more than 2.5 times the current rate. As for its North-South and East-West lines, the fees will go up by over $1 million to around $5.7 million. The increases for other lines are smaller. SMRT’s fee for the Bukit Panjang LRT will rise from $34,240 to $40,000.
As for SBS Transit, which operates the North-East MRT and Sengkang-Punggol LRT lines, the fees went up from about $880,000 to around $1.1 million. Meanwhile, its fee for the Downtown Line was set at around $1.9 million a year.
Explaining the hikes, an LTA spokesman said yesterday, “The main reason is we have stepped up our regulatory oversight and put in place more stringent monitoring of performance standards.” The move follows recommendations from a high-level Committee of Inquiry that called on the LTA to improve its oversight of rail maintenance, after two major breakdowns in 2011. The fee rises are unlikely to be passed on directly to commuters.