Singapore’s private public transport operator SBS Transit announced today (Sep 30) that they have applied to the Public Transport Council (PTC) for a transport fare “revision”. Over the past 8 years since the Singapore government created the PTC, every fare “revision” has become a fare increase.
The two public transport operators SBS and SMRT have never once submitted a review for lower fares. Although SBS refuse to reveal if it applied for an increase or decrease, the stock-exchange listed company is only answerable to its shareholders and are likely to have applied for a fare raise.
What we do know for sure is that reducing fares will not require approval from the Singapore government. An application for revision is definitely an upwards revision.
The government PTC last raised the transport fares by 2 to 5 cents five months ago on April 5 this year. Soon after, SMRT made more than S$20.1 million in net earnings, while SBS posted its quarterly profits 22.8% higher than 2014. In 2012, the Singapore also gave S$1.1 billion of taxes to the two companies. All these profits however, have only resulted in worsening train breakdowns with the worst-ever breakdown two months ago on July 7. In the meantime, SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek took home S$2.5 million in salaries – the highest ever for a CEO in the public transport sector.