Oh yes, it’s the time of the year again – time to raise the transport service fares! Woohoo! It’s been quite a long wait since October last year and I am so glad that it finally arrived!

The last time they raised the fare, I mixed up the announcement date and the actual date that the fares would be raised. Naively, I thought that there would be no raise… but realised subsequently that the fares didn’t seem too right. This year, I would be better prepared – October 2007! 🙂 In fact, I think I’d mark it in my calendar.

Raising bus fares really add an element of surprise when I take public transport and it really spices up life a little – like realizing that I won’t have enough fare to take a bus out from school because there was supposed to be $0.01 left, but turned out to be $0.06 instead, in deficit. Argh! I should stop being a smarty pants and should just top up my card regularly. Moreover, there are no top up machines in school, so there’s no way to top up the card. Pay cash? That spells almost a dollar.

Raising bus fares (and giving rebates) also provide a sense of satisfaction when you alight from the bus. “Yes! I’ve saved another 20 cents!” when in reality… you probably ended up paying more. Somehow, they all add up – these little cents or 2, because I happen to need to take 2 buses and a train to school. 🙁

Perhaps if they stop spending millions of dollars trying to make the bus stop look like an airport with all the arrival notices, they can probably use that to offset the cost? Gah! And…. a jam is a jam is a jam… I just wonder how the arrival notification system is going to predict the duration of the jam anyway. Then again, it probably does work… after all, it did cost more than an arm and a leg.

The PTC is supposed to regulate and moderate the fares by approving fair fare hikes when the economy is good. But I which company will apply for a fare drop when the economy is bad. This is totally ridiculous. And the last time SMRT was commenting that they were going to be in the reds if the fares weren’t increased, they ended up having surpluses that outperformed the previous year’s earnings! That’s so utterly disgusting. You mean to say that few months of hikes can give you that kind of surpluses? Then the hike probably wasn’t fair in the first place. I’d never forget that news report.

Argh… why do I care anyway? I can’t do anything to stop them and PTC will just simply approve the applications. After all, a record 61,900 jobs were created last quarter and the property market is booming and everyone’s coping with the 2% GST hike and no one seems to be complaining. What’s a fare hike?

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