The Singapore government through the Land Transport Authority (LTA) rewarded private public transport operators SBS and SMRT a combined of S$1.2 million as incentives for “improvements” in services. SBS received S$816,000 while SMRT received S$384,000.
In their joint press release announced today, LTA said that they conducted a Bus Service Reliance Framework trial between December 2014 and May 2015, and found that SBS and SMRT has provided “more regular wait times and less crowding on buses”.
The LTA however did not provide evidence for their claims and there is no mention on crowding on the MRT trains. LTA also did not justify if these “improvements” are worth S$1.2 million of taxes, or comment if the recent major train disruptions including the critical lapse by SMRT were factored into the incentives.
SMRT made more than S$20.1 million in net earnings in its recent quarter, while SBS posted its quarterly profits 22.8% higher than 2014 at S$6.09 million. SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek took home S$2.5 million in salaries – the highest ever for a CEO in the public transport sector.
A second fare hike has been applied for by SBS and SMRT last month, right after the Singapore General Elections.
The new transport Minister is Khaw Boon Wan but there is no response on the S$1.2 million incentives for the profit-rolling transport operators.