It has been earlier announced that the Public Transport Council’s (PTC) has scrapped the $40 monthly unlimited travel pass for seniors above the age of 60.
When the two-year Off-Peak Monthly Travel (OMTP) pass trial was announced by the Ministry of Transport through a media release in January 2015, the Government said that it was meant to encourage public transport commuters who are able to shift their regular travel out of peak periods to do so, and “consequently reduce their monthly travel expenditure.
The $40 travel pass allowed elderly commuters to make unlimited bus and train rides during off-peak hours on weekdays, as well as all day on weekends and public holidays.
The scheme was started in July 2015, which was just two months before the 2015 General Elections.
In defence of the decision to scrap the scheme, PTC said in a response to Straits Times that since the trial was implemented, fewer than 200 rail commuters shifted to travel at off-peak hours.
A PTC spokesman said: "Senior citizens with concession cards can continue to enjoy a discount of around 25 per cent off adult card fares, depending on the travel distance. Those travelling pre-peak will also enjoy a 25 per cent discount off the lower pre-peak fares."
Citizens were puzzled at the decision by PTC to scrap the travel pass and voiced their disagreement on the issue.
May Ong wrote, "I always find this PTC is a useless and hopeless committee, a pro public transport operators instead of we commuters!"
Manjit Singh wrote, "Another unsympathetic and clueless decision by the PTC. This PTC is a joke and a clear reflection of our useless government. I dare say that all members of the PTC making these decisions own and drive private vehicles so would they know or care about those that rely on public transport?!
What is the point of running a 2-year ‘trial’ only to discontinue it entirely? Might as well call it a sale! Running the ‘trial’ itself was a waste of money if the end outcome is a decision to abandon it instead of tweaking it based on the results.
How is off-peak senior citizen passes accounting for 50 percent (7,500) of all off-peak passes sold per month not a positive?! FFS! Senior citizens are retirees. You don’t expect them to wake up at 5:30 am and head to work at 7 do you?!
It would be good if the Government and PTC use their brains once in a while instead of preserving them in jars of vinegar!"
Andrew Ong Kah Heng wrote, "The PTC is another rot at the top. If MRT, LTA, MOT have all failed both in planning, policies and upkeep. PTC is certainly another institution that needs to be dismantle or renewed.. The stark inability to understand and even communicate it's own finding with general public speaks the lack of dedication, commitment and impotency. They are not forward thinking San thinking at all."
Michelle Tan wrote, "Shame on you! Public transport for seniors should be free in the first place. $20 per senior also want to save. Hows this compared to ministerial pay or money spent on enforcement of PMDs for able bodied souls?"
Kevin Loh wrote, "So much for showing appreciation for those who gave their youth to build up this country. Paying full fares to report for work - clearing trays in a food court.
We should all fear for our future."
Tan Thian Hock wrote, "How many senior citizens make use of this scheme? Only a handful benefits it and yet PTC scrap the $40 monthly unlimited travel pass. Only thinking of making profits for the bus companies."
Lee Jerry wrote, "Many countries offer free rides to their elderly. Here in China above 65 public buses and subway is free. I wonder how first world Singapore is. Is our government spreading fake news day in day out on how first world we are? And they spend money printing 300000 posters and flyers to notify the public. How much did that cost?"
Thomas Andrew wrote, "This is how we take care of our seniors."
Angie im wrote, "These days they keep telling you GDP low because our seniors no use. Then they say Singaporeans cannot agree on how to fund caring for seniors. Now they remove all perks to seniors. It’s clear Singapore prefer to take in young new citizens, otters, but prefers our seniors to disappear like magic. So do not ask us how to instill national pride or loyalty to the country next time."
Happy Huishan wrote, "I am feeling disappointed about the higher travel fare for our seniors. Other countries are providing free transport fees or affordable fees for them. We can’t have it. Therefore, our elderly accepted the off-peak travel at $40 and most users making it in a good use. Now additional of $20 is increasing their financial burden."
Adrian Djong wrote, "All this so called independent committee or whatever are just puppets doing the governments bidding. So after the trail, what was the data collected and show it to the public."
Kok Chwee Sim wrote, "Shame on you PTC! I guess with SG50 dead and buried, it is time to roll back all those warm and fuzzy garbage about honouring our pioneer generation."
Tan Tze Ing wrote, "Encouraging seniors to continue working and scrapping the retirement age, yet taking away their travel pass concession? So the G expects seniors to take up the additional burden of paying for their fares to and from work? Is the PTC even relevant now that SMRT is a wholly owned subsidiary of Temasek and delisted from the Singapore Exchange since late 2016?"
Mohammad Ammar Azhar wrote, "What happened to the rhetorics of taking care of our pioneer generations during the GE 2015? Its a sad day for Singaporeans."
Jackson Oh wrote, "Its the pioneers, playing individual instrumental roles that built and paved the road for Singapore making us who we are today.
To not appreciate on what they had done for the country and now scrambling to scrap the initiative is totally uncalled for.
The council has no grounds on this if they are just coming in to make a business decision.
On a personal note, am concerned on how government policies would be affecting me for the future. Appointing councils or commitees to make recommendations does not seems to be on the right approach for making decision for us as a citizen."
Sim Hui Hwang wrote, "Who make up this PTC? Are they seniors? Are they forming a huge proportion of cleaners employed to clean after others? Do you want to encourage seniors to be active and to try to stench the onset of dementia if they aren't encouraged to be active? Have seniors been consulted? $20 cant buy the PTC team refreshments when they meet to discuss how best to ensure that the seniors are not taking cheap rides to amuse themselves? Peak hours? They help to clean hospitals and buildings and serve you your cup of kopi. How to make them not gate crash with respectable long sleeved workers who jostled to get into trains to work in air conned offices? If they start work after peak hours, do you think your toilets will be fresh for our able bodied office workers to use? Why make a study and dump it? Are you real? Government give the elderly priority and the feeble priority seats. What are you giving the seniors? Your pea brains?"
Low Jun Wei wrote, "Give elderly a break la. Increase fare, you say want to better target lower income families. I hope it's really true. Some times I wonder if economy grows too well is a good thing. Yes it create job, creates wealth. But things don’t get cheaper, don’t they? Our economy grew well last few quarters, ordinary citizens don’t feel the benefits actually. This is one of the examples. Still tax or GST gonna rise. Quite funny ah. like one big lie. Next time got bad times, inflations go up then they say, oh economy not as well. So can tell me if economy good or not good that is ideal?"
John Chan wrote, "If there are parents of these senior Government. Officials enjoying private transport. When was the time you travelled on public transport? If you share fellow senior citizens plight, please, speak up! Do not widen the class divide Communists are laughing."