This is what a netter has to say in response to Jamus Lim’s proposal of making public transport free for senior citizens and the disabled.
Member of Parliament from Workers’ Party, Jamus Lim, has put forward a proposal of making public transport a free service for senior citizens and the disabled. In response, Transport Minister S. Iswaran told him that making public transport affordable for all, having a ‘fair formula’ for those taking public transport on a long-term basis is more important.
If we were to implement Jamus’ idea, commuter adult fares may go up by 30 to 40 cents on average. The increase will be ‘by no means insignificant’. Yes, it is ‘by no means insignificant’ especially as granting free transport will be so conditional, resulting in the expense of other commuters! This is not fair at all!
Transport Minister S Iswaran said that even when prices increase, letting everyone pay a share is a ‘more equitable and sustainable approach’. If we follow that, then Jamus’ idea is not equitable at all! It is an extra long-term burden that binds the other commuters just because they can pay slightly more. Don’t forget, these commuters are taking public transport for a reason, they are not rich. How is it equitable to make them pay more?
By 2030, the number of transport concessions for senior citizens and the disabled is expected to shoot up to millions. It is almost certain that every other commuter will have to pay 30-40 cents more by then. Where is the fairness for these commuters? How is this sustainable for them?
Public transport companies have also been raising their fares almost annually. So, on top of the yearly fare raise from companies, each commuter payer also has to pay the addition amount for filling up the gap of the travel cost for the privileged group of seniors and disabled who do not have to pay.
So, thanks Minister Iswaran, for putting down the proposal!
What do you think? Should the government help our senior citizens and the disabled? Do they really need to penalize the other commuters just to help them? Can’t they find other ways, like impose wealth tax on the rich instead of taking from the middle income?