The Ministry of Transport and People’s Association issued a joint statement yesterday (18 Sep) saying that at least 192,000 households have benefitted from last year’s Public Transport Voucher Exercise.
The statement also stated that more than $5.8 million have been disbursed to help “needy families” since its commencement on 12 November last year. This is slightly more than half of the $9 million set aside for 300,000 households.
Application for the $30 free voucher is still open till 31 Oct next month for the needy households to apply if they haven’t done so.
“Applications for the 2018 Public Transport Voucher Exercise can continue to be made till 31 October 2019. Households with an income of $1,900 or below, or per capita income of not more than $650 are eligible for the vouchers,” the statement said.
“Eligible households who have yet to apply are encouraged to do so at their local community centres/clubs (CCs). Upon successful application, each household will receive one Public Transport Voucher worth $30, which may be redeemed any time before 31 March 2020.”
CCCs decide who gets additional free transport vouchers
For households that require more help, they can get additional vouchers through the CCs.
“The Citizens’ Consultative Committees (CCCs) will assess each application, and help deserving cases who marginally miss these criteria, or provide additional Public Transport Vouchers to households which may be deemed to need more help. Residents may approach their local CCs if they have any queries,” it added.
So, in the case of opposition held constituencies like Aljunied GRC or Hougang, the WP MPs have no power to decide on the allocation of these free transport vouchers. Only grassroots leaders appointed to CCCs by the losing PAP candidates in these constituencies have the power to decide if additional vouchers could be disbursed to those needy households.
In the joint statement, the Ministry of Transport and People’s Association highlighted the case of Mdm Alimaton Bte Mohd Tahil, 47, who lives in a rental flat in Sembawang with her three children.
Mdm Alimaton shared that the vouchers have helped to defray her transport expenses. She said, “As I needed to go to the hospital for regular follow-up medical checks after undergoing a leg surgery, the $30 Public Transport Voucher came in handy.”
In a blog last September, Dr Vincent Chua, an economics professor at the Singapore University of Social Sciences, pointed out that public transport has become more affordable for lower-income households in Singapore over the past decade.
No doubt, these lower-income households would naturally be grateful to their grassroots leaders and PAP politicians, including those losing PAP candidates like Victor Lye in Aljunied GRC.