Everything seems to be going up nowadays, but the recent rise in premium bus fares somehow reminds me of the rise in ERP charges. Someone mentioned that "if motorists pay to use the road, they will be assured of a smooth ride". It would have seemed that the public transport companies are taking the same stance, except that they are quoting "raising fuel costs" as the main reason.

As with previous announcements on hikes of whatever nature, it is never complete without an face-palm statement, quoting Mr Ong Kian Ming, deputy chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport, that "yes, bus operators are running a business, but it’s also a time to attract more people to switch to public transport".

Right.

Premium bus fares to go up

By Yeo Ghim Lay

PREMIUM bus fares will soon go up, as operators here feel the pinch from higher fuel prices.

SBS Transit, which runs more than half of such services, will raise fares by 30 to 60 cents, up to a maximum of $3.60 per trip.

The fare hike will affect all of its 40 premium services. Details are being worked out.

Currently, a trip on an SBS Transit premium bus costs between $2.70 and $3.60.

A company spokesman said that its electricity and fuel costs have increased by 52.4 per cent in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period last year.

Rival SMRT has already increased fares for premium service 531, which travels the Simei to Central Business District route, from $3 to $4. Fares on its remaining premium services remain the same.

Smaller players Bus Hub and the Singapore School Transport Association have also applied to raise their fares by 50 cents to $1.

Bus Hub runs two premium services; the association has five.

The Public Transport Council (PTC), which approves bus-fare increases, said it ‘generally would not object to changes in premium bus services fares as operators make their own commercial assessments and risks to adjust their service pricing’.

Mr Ong Kian Min, deputy chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport, hopes fares will not go up drastically.

‘Yes, bus operators are running a business, but it’s also a time to attract more people to switch to public transport,’ he said.

Premium services, a key plank of the Government’s push to get more commuters to take public transport, have been gaining in popularity lately: There are now 76 services, up from 42 in January.

This includes six new SBS Transit premium services to be rolled out on Monday.

ghimlay@sph.com.sg

Source: Straits Times Interactive, http://www.straitstimes.com/Free/Story/STIStory_252343.html

Article extracted on straitstimes.com on 28th June 2008



Reader's Comments

  1. Why not let private companies come in? | Monk philosophy on everything under the sun | June 28th, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    […] such companies. But still it’s something worth trying for the sake of Singaporeans right? Going up: Bus fares for Premium Bus Services: […]

  2. Sham | June 30th, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    since yer at it, perhaps you may want to know that the Night Rider fares have been increased from $3.50 to $4.50.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: