FARE INCREASE CAN DO IMMEDIATELY, FARE REDUCTION MUST “DEFER” TO NEXT YEAR

Is this arguably – really what MRT’s “deep-seated cultural issues” means?

I refer to the editorial “Track weakest link in rail operations“, the articles “SMRT gives staff a chance to admit lapses“, “WhyItMatters: Fare move to ease congestion” and the five letters (5 out of the 7 letters in the Forum Page were on the MRT) in the Forum Page of the Straits Times, (Nov 3).

After reading the all of the above – the thought came to my mind that perhaps the root cause of our problems is what my friends call “you don’t care – why should I?”.

Allow me to explain.

You see – when we finally get what I believe to be the largest reduction in public transport fares from the fare review formula (most of the time in the past it was “fare increases”, not “fare decrease”) – what do we do?

We roll-over (which I believe means defer lah) -3.2 of the -5.4 fare reduction to next year’s fare review exercise.

“As to “The discounted fares before the morning peak period will amount to a fare adjustment quantum of -2.2 per cent. The balance -3.2 per cent quantum, which was allowable under this year’s fare formula, will be rolled over to the 2018 Fare Review Exercise” – does it mean that the -3.2 reduction would have resulted in a reduction in fares for practically everybody?

If this is the case – why are we deferring it to next year’s fare review exercise?

Is it fair to do this to commuters?

With regard to “The lower pre-peak fares will translate to a combined reduction of about $40.1 million a year in fare revenue for public transport operators” – will the net effect of the deferral of the “-3.2 per cent” mean that the transport operators may actually be making more or less money – relative to the commuters in totality?

So, if we arguably, seemingly, appear to “not care” for the people – what do you expect the people who work with our MRT to do?

Maybe – since “you don’t care – I also don’t care lah”!

Perhaps also kind of “akin to” – what my friends say “monkey see, monkey do lah”.

Uniquely Singapore!

 

Leong Sze Hian

A.S.S. Contributor

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