As energy prices fall Singapore slashes public transport fares

The Public Transport Council says there is a possibility of a further reduction of 1.5 per cent in 2018.

Singapore: Public transport fares to be reduced from Dec 30 due to lower energy prices
Buses waiting at SBS Transit bus terminal in Singapore Reuters

Singapore Public Transport Council (PTC) announced on Thursday that the public transport fares will be slashed by 4.2 percent from Dec 30, resulting in a reduction of 1 to 27 cents for commuters paying by fare cards.

The council cited the falling energy prices as a key factor and said there is a possibility of a further reduction of 1.5 per cent in 2018.

Commuters who will be riding fully-underground lines like the North-East Line (NEL), Circle Line (CCL) and Downtown Line (DTL) could see fares go down further, with a shift towards distance-based fares for all rail lines.

Reports say the fare reduction is calculated using a formula, which is valid till the end of the next year. The formula is fixed to the changes in the Core Consumer Price Index, the Wage Index and the Energy Index over the preceding year.

According to the sources, the adult fares will be lowered by one to 27 cents, while the senior citizens' fares will go down by one to seven cents. The fares for student concessionary card will be slashed by 1 per cent.

PTC said the fare reduction was split into two phases to ensure sustainability. "Because next year we're not sure what's going happen. The economy is suffering some challenges, the oil prices is quite volatile. So, we want to be able to carry that through to sustain our public transport system," Richard Magnus, PTC chairman said at a media briefing on Thursday.

The council also noted the standardisation of rail fares and said adult fares on the NEL, CCL and DTL are slightly higher at present by 5 to 25 cents. These are reflecting the higher costs of operating fully-underground lines. The rail fares are also scheduled to start from Dec 30.

"The difference in fare structures for rail line has, however, resulted in fare exceptions that may be confusing to commuters," the statement added.

"We thought it's a good opportunity now, with the large fare reduction, to effect a major change in our transport system framework," Magnus added.

On the other hand, The Transport Ministry announced that fares for lower-wage workers and disabled people will also be reduced as they will be effective from Dec 30.

According to the reports, concessionary card fares for lower-wage workers are supposed to be decreased by 1 to 25 cents, while people with disabilities will enjoy lower fares of 1 to 7 cents.