Photo of PTC Richard Magus from Straits Times

Singapore’s Public Transport Council (PTC) is refusing to follow its existing fare formula which is giving a 5.7% reduction due to falling oil prices. Instead, PTC chairman Richard Magus wants to change the formula so that the fares will not be reduced by “large negative quantum”.

Calling for a new formula to “standardise fares”, the PTC chairman sneakily suggested that such “large negative quantum” should not be granted:

“I am thinking about the 2016 fare exercise. We are in a unique situation of having a fairly large negative quantum of 5.7%…The big picture seems to be this.

While the fare reduction quantum reflects the sharp fall in energy prices over the last year, it may rebound sharply in the following years… The current fare formula lapses end 2017; and there will be an overall review of the fare adjustment mechanism.

With the significant -5.7% quantum we are seeing this year, it certainly seems like an opportune juncture for PTC members to make a recommendation to standardise fares for all rail lines and bus routes.”

The PTC chairman then continued praising the existing public transport model, claiming it is affordable and reliable, according to some Choa Chu Kang residents he met:

“Public transport fares have remained relatively stable and affordable. At a recent meet up with some Choa Chu Kang residents, they have informed me that they spend about $60-$80 a month on public transport expenditure. They hope that fares would remain affordable.”

Richard Magus also blamed Singaporeans for having an “increasing expectations for service delivery”, and reminded Singaporeans that they have to pay for this:

“Our commuters’ increasing expectations for service delivery, especially in train reliability are understandable. Maintenance of our rail systems would need to be rigorous. Obsolete assets in the rail system will need to be replaced. I expect heavy investments in these areas. I expect heavy investments in these areas.”

You may read the PTC chairman’s blog here.