To commuters’ dismay, public transport fares went up on 26 Dec.
As many Singaporeans depend on buses and trains to get around, especially the lower-income group, they might understandably be worried about making ends meet.
Help is on the way, however, in the form of Public Transport Vouchers.
About 280,000 Singapore households have already been offered them, and they can be used to top up their fare cards.
In a news release on Monday (3 Jan), the Ministry of Transport (MOT) said each voucher has $30 in value.
They can be used for:
A total of 600,000 vouchers will be available, and they must be used by 31 Mar 2023.
However, not every Singapore household can get them.
To be eligible for the vouchers, households should have a monthly income of not more than $1,600 per person.
In a Facebook post on Monday (3 Jan), Transport Minister S. Iswaran said this criteria was raised from $1,200 per person in the 2019 voucher distribution exercise – which was also the last time fares were raised.
This will benefit more households, he added.
That means a total of 600,000 vouchers are available to eligible households – the largest number ever set aside.
Households who got vouchers in 2019 should already have received letters via post, notifying them to redeem another voucher this time round.
280,000 households would’ve gotten the letters in Dec, MOT said.
Those who’re eligible but haven’t received any voucher yet can apply for one at https://go.gov.sg/ptv from 10 Jan-31 Oct.
If they prefer to apply for the vouchers in person, they’ll have to wait till 14 Feb to do so at their local community centres/clubs till 31 Oct.
This also applies to those who need additional help, which will be assessed by Citizens’ Consultative Committees (CCCs) accordingly.
Those who’ve successfully applied for vouchers will receive a notification in the post.
Minister Iswaran said the Government recognises that “many households face difficult economic circumstances”.
Thus, the vouchers will help households cope with the public transport fare hike.
He also assured that “the necessary support” will be provided to help people tide through this period.
The minister also noted that about 2 million commuters in Singapore still enjoy subsidised fares of up to 70% less.
This is because groups like students, seniors and the disabled will have their fares increased by only 1 cent per trip.
There is also no price increase for monthly concession/travel passes.
It’s good that the Government recognises that fare hikes cause more hardship to certain households, and are willing to help.
Though a one-off $30 rebate on public transport may not seem like much to those with disposable income, it might be a lot to those who’re are struggling to make ends meet.
Do you think the vouchers help ameliorate the impact of the fare hike? Do share your thoughts with us.
Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at email@example.com.
Featured image by MS News.
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