The increase has started. Fares on 11 SBS Transit premium bus services will be going up from 21st July 2008. The fare increase ranges from 30 cents to 60 cents. The affected bus services are 532, 533, 534, 535, 536, 538, 539, 542, 543, 544 and 545. In addition, bus services 537, 540, 551, 575, 577 and 580 will be removed due to low demand. This is probably an expected move with the increase in diesel prices – even though it had just gone down yesterday. With this increase in premium services, fares on normal bus services, including those of SMRT buses will probably be increased soon. With this, fares for SMRT and SBS Transit trains will probably go up as well since increase in oil prices will affect electricity costs.

From the way things are going, public transport – including taxis, will be more expensive even as more people are giving up their cars. This is probably expected since the transport companies now have to spend more on maintaining and upgrading their buses and trains. At the end of the day, commuters are losers and the real winners are the transport companies. We should just be glad that it is still somewhat affordable now.

Higher fares on 11 premium bus services

By Yeo Ghim Lay

FARES on 11 SBS Transit premium bus services will go up from Monday.

The increases, ranging from 30 cents to 60 cents, come as transport operators are feeling the pinch from rising fuel costs.

New fares on the 11 services will cost $3.30 to $3.60, up from $2.70 to $3 previously.

These services serve residents in areas like Jurong, Clementi, Yio Chu Kang, Toa Payoh, Pasir Ris and Bedok.

They each run one trip during the weekday morning peak hour, ferrying commuters from the heartland to the Central Business District.

The fare increases come on the back of higher electricity and fuel costs for operators. SBS said these have gone up by more than 50 per cent in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period last year.

The 11 routes that will see fares go up are: premium services 532, 533, 534, 535, 536, 538, 539, 542, 543, 544 and 545.

Besides the fare increases, SBS will also cancel six premium bus services starting from Monday because of low demand.

These are: premium services 537 and 540, which serve Jurong West and Yuan Ching Road respectively, and CityShopper services 551, 575, 577 and 580, which ferry shoppers from the heartland to town.

Surging diesel prices have also hit private bus operators, some of which plan to charge higher fares on their premium services.

There are currently more than 70 premium bus services running in Singapore, and half of these are operated by SBS.

Source: Straits Times Interactive, http://www.straitstimes.com/Latest%2BNews/Singapore/STIStory_259021.html

Article extracted on 18th July 2008



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