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The Singapore’s Public Transport Council (PTC) today (Oct 27) announced that there will only be a 4.2% reduction of bus and train fares instead of the 5.7% calculated under the old formula.

Under the old formula, oil price reductions in 2015 should give Singapore commuters 5.7% reduction instead of 4.2%.

As the older formula do not work in their favour, the government also said that they abolished the older formula calculation:

“From Dec 30, train fares will also be calculated based on the shortest path between the commuter’s origin and destination. Currently, they are calculated based on the fastest travel path, which may not always be the shortest in term of distance.”

It is unknown how PTC came out with the 4.2% reduction without using any formula.

According to state propaganda media, 4.2% translates to 1 to 27 cents for adult fares and 1 cent decrease for students for each journey.

The PTC also announced that they will start to charge the same price for trains going underground, instead of the profiteering method adopted that charges more for passengers commuting in underground stations.

“Commuters will enjoy more flexibility in choosing the most convenient travel path, without worrying that they have to pay more because the journey is routed through a fully-underground line. This will result in commuters always paying the lowest fares possible.”

However, it appears that the general public did not know that they were previously charged more for trips along underground stations.

Despite the 4.2% reduction, SBS Transit and SMRT will remain profitable at tens of millions for FY2017 even if it means their profits were trimmed.

Just announced in May 2016, SBS Transit posted a S$40.3 million profit from public transport fares [See article here]. In FY2015, SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek took home S$1.87 million, while SMRT made S$106 million in FY2016 [See article here].

The PTC then published a propaganda chart comparing transport fares without considering inflation and average purchasing power. It is understood that Singapore’s public transport fares is the lowest because Singaporeans have the lowest out-of-pock income in cash as compared to city dwellers in Sydney, Beijing, Tokyo and other major cities around the world:

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Graphic from Public Transport Council

There is no mention of linking transport fares to the number of train breakdowns, even though it was repeatedly mentioned that service quality has to commensurate with transport fares.