ST Picks: Bus, train fares to go up: How will you be affected

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SINGAPORE - From Dec 23, public transport fares for adults who pay by card will climb by up to 11 cents, as the overall cost of bus and train rides goes up by 7 per cent.

Adult card fares will increase by 10 cents for journeys of up to 4.2km and 11 cents for rides beyond 4.2km, the Public Transport Council (PTC) said on Monday after it concluded its yearly fare review exercise.

For example, the adult card fare for an MRT ride from Simei to Tanjong Pagar, which costs $1.85 now, will go up to $1.96.

Concessionary fares for seniors, students, people with disabilities and low-wage workers who pay by card will go up by four cents for journeys of up to 4.2km and five cents for longer rides. About two million commuters, or half of Singaporeans, are in this group.

This year’s increase is the steepest since the hike in 2019, when fares also rose by 7 per cent. The 11-cent hike is also the highest on record.

The PTC said fares could have gone up by 22.6 per cent in 2023 – the highest allowable increase since 1998, when the council began using formulas to set a cap on fare changes.

This comprises a 12 per cent increase derived from a new fare formula introduced for the 2023 exercise, as well as a 10.6 per cent hike rolled over from the 2022 exercise, said the PTC.

The 2023 adjustment was spurred largely by a 62.3 per cent rise in energy prices in 2022, as well as growth in core inflation and wages, said the council.

Transport operators SBS Transit and SMRT Trains had applied for the full 22.6 per cent hike in 2023, citing reasons such as higher energy prices, a competitive labour market, as well as a slow and uncertain recovery in ridership.

Public transport ridership remains at about 90 per cent of pre-Covid-19 levels.

PTC said it decided agai...

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