Bus & Train Fares Will Increase By Up To 11 Cents In 2023, More Hikes Expected In Future Years

PTC Sets Fares Increase For Public Transport At 7.0% In 2023

On Monday (18 Sep), the Public Transport Council (PTC) announced that it has granted an overall increase of 7.0% on public transport fares for 2023.

Adult card fares will increase by 10 to 11 cents per journey. Adult cash fares will increase by 20 cents.

However, PTC said it has implemented a lower increase of four to five cents per journey for concession card fares.

Meanwhile, concessionary cash fares for bus rides will increase by 10 cents — about two million concession card holders will be affected.

The 7.0% is not the full fare amount increase, which is actually 22.6%. However, the remainder will be deferred to future fare adjustment reviews.

All adjustments are applicable from 23 Dec 2023.

PTC said it is committed to ensuring commuters enjoy better rides with affordable fares, while keeping public transport system financially sustainable.

Fares increase will take effect from 23 Dec 2023

In a press release, PTC said the total maximum amount is 22.6%, combining 12% for 2023 and 10.6% from the fare review exercise in 2022.

This is due to “continued increase in energy prices, core inflation and strong wage growth in 2022”.

The following are the fare increases for card fares.

Source: PTC

Cash fares will increase by 20 cents for adults, while other groups will see an increase of 10 cents.

However, the fare adjustment for other groups will only see an increase of four to five cents.

This is to better support vulnerable commuters.

Similarly, PTC said it will provide greater support for heavy users of public transport who belong to concessionary groups.

It’ll reduce the prices of hybrid — that is, both bus and train — monthly concession passes by up to 10%.

The monthly concession pass for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) will also decrease from S$64 to S$58.

“Additionally, the Government will introduce a new hybrid monthly concession pass for Workfare Transport Concession Scheme (WTCS) card holders to help lower-wage workers,” PTC said.

It’ll be priced at S$96, or S$32 off the price of the Adult Monthly Travel Pass.  The Government will bear the cost of the discount.

The changes to the monthly concession passes will benefit about 60,000 existing and expected new monthly pass holders. Existing hybrid monthly pass holders will see savings of up to S$9.50 per month.

SMRT & SBS must contribute 15% and 30% of expected increase in revenue to Public Transport Fund

PTC additionally announced that SBS Transit and SMRT Trains must make a larger contribution towards the Public Transport Fund.

For 2023, PTC decided that SBS Transit and SMRT Trains should respectively contribute 15% and 30% of their expected increase in revenue.

This works out to a total of $15.85 million — S$3.14 million and $12.71 million respectively – to the Fund.

PTC recommended that the Government draw on the Fund to provide further assistance to lower-income resident households in the form of Public Transport Vouchers.

Fares need to increase due to higher costs

The Chairperson of PTC, Janet Ang, said in a statement that fares have to increase to account for the higher costs of providing public transport services.

However, she said PTC strives to ensure that fares remain affordable, especially to vulnerable commuter groups.

PTC hopes that changes to the monthly concession passes would encourage more heavy public transport users to consider purchasing a pass to help reduce their public transport costs by S$4.50 to S$9.50 a month, while Public Transport Vouchers would also offer additional help on a targeted basis.

She mentions the PTC being “heartened” that the Government will contribute another S$300 million in 2023 to cover the deferred 15.6% of the maximum allowable fare quantum.

“We will ensure that public transport remains affordable for commuters, but we seek commuters’ understanding that the fare increase is necessary to meet rising costs and ensure that we can continue to provide better salaries and training for about 22,000 Public Transport workers.”

More hikes are expected in future years due to the deferred fare quantum, according to Channel NewsAsia (CNA).

PTC chief executive Tan Kim Hong confirmed this to reporters today (18 Sep).

“What is important is over the next few years, how does the council then decide what is the number that we should put up where by it still balances both the commuters and the taxpayers?” he added.

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