In a press statement today (Nov 24), the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced that Singaporeans will have to pay SMRT for train-replacement shuttle bus services at the new Tuas West Extension line until June 2018:
“LTA and SMRT will also share in the costs of operating these additional bus services.”
Train-replacement bus services has always been free and rightly so because SMRT is responsible for the train collision. This will be the first precedent Singaporeans pay for train-replacement bus services and likely be so in the future when train services are unavailable.
The LTA did not explain how much taxes will be paid to SMRT, but an estimated cost for bus operations for the 8km stretch is at least S$10 million for seven months. LTA also did not justify why taxes have to fund SMRT, which posted a quareterly S$26 million profit in March. The legalised corruption to enrich SMRT is final and not open to debate.
According to LTA, SBS Transit and other third party bus service providers will be providing additional buses to support the train-replacement bus services.
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan is unavailable for comments on the increased public spending.
The newly-built S$3.5 billion Tuas West Extension was opened in June and shut down after a train collision in November. No explanation was given by SMRT or the authorities why the train system was untested resulting in the collision.