Public transport service

Recently, I came across this discussion about our Singapore public transport service both on television and from reading the papers. Apparently, the government has came up with a 10 year outlook for our public transport service and this includes various means of upgrading that includes adding more railway lines, providing better service — all comes with a possibility of increased fares.

If you were to observe closely, one would realise that our public transport fares are affordable and convenient to a certain extend but the rates are climbing slowly by a few cents during each increment. Many would agree that due to many factors such as upgrading of buses, higher oil prices etc warrants the increase of fares in order to stay profitable. However, we all know for the fact that the annual turnover for these operators turns out to be millions of dollars. This makes me and many others wonder if the fare increase is justified.

Next, it is noted that the rider-ship on public transport have continually declined over the years and more people own their own vehicles. As much as the government tries to implement measures such as the infamous Electronic Road Pricing (ERP), Certificate of Entitlement (COE) etc to discourage people from driving, many are still able to own one and lead a comfortable life. This makes me wonder if all these measures indeed serve its purpose.

In my personal opinion, if the government seriously wants its citizen to switch to public transport, perhaps it should first review its own policies. We cannot compare our fare structure (most affordable) with others parts of the world as cars are so much affordable as compared to ours. This in turn caused their public transport prices to soar as there’s generally lesser rider-ship and this would in turn affect the operator’s turnover. Apart from this, there is a need to improve the services provided or even realign the operator’s mission and values to a less profit orientated organisation. After all, they are providing a service that can be considered essential in one’s daily life.