The government has created an inflation spiral to boost GDP figures. After the water price increase, public transport fare increase akan datang. (CNA article, “Need to strike balance in transport cost burden: Khaw Boon Wan”. link)
Khaw: ”Over the years, taxpayers have had to subsidise more of the rising operation costs as public transport fares have not kept up … strike a fair balance in the proportion of transport costs that will be borne by commuters, taxpayers and operators”.
Is Khaw unaware that commuters are also taxpayers? And isn’t it strange that there are no statistics to support such a ludicrous claim?
Khaw also ignores the fact that both PTOs are very profitable – earning tens of millions in guaranteed profits from non-fare revenue such as advertising, rental, etc.
Just last month, SBS Transit reported its profit had increased by a whopping 87.6% in FY 2016.
And SMRT will soon be reporting a similar sterling set of results but unfortunately, the company has been taken private by …. Temasek. How much will go into the pockets of leeches at SMRT and Temasek?
By arbitrarily increasing fares, commuters are being ripped off because PAP has privatised profits and socialised costs. CEOs and top management of Temasek, SMRT and SBS will get to reap huge ‘performance-related’ bonuses, courtesy of commuters.
Khaw: “..significant improvements to the country’s public transport network require high capital investments and will incur higher operating costs.”
Whether capital investment costs are high is relative to GDP growth. If spending $20 billion in capital investments increases our GDP by $300 billion, the costs will be eventually recouped from higher taxes. There is no need to increase public transport fares.
Commuters should not be kept in the dark on PAP’s planning – PAP is spending billions on capital investments in anticipation of a 10-million population.
One of the reasons for MOT’s high expenditure – poor/zero planning. This can be easily observed from the sudden widening of almost every road which can be widened only after – not before – an exponential increase in the population.
The Bukit Panjang LRT is a classic example of PAP’s shortsightedness. This $285 million 2- instead of 4-car system did not take into account population increase and has to be replaced after only 18 years. Which government in the universe has replaced an entire LRT system in less than 19 years?
Khaw has asked the PTC to review the fare formula but has cautioned commuters on the “possibility for an upward fare adjustment”. Khaw also hopes that “commuters will be understanding”. But will Khaw be understanding if his pay is reduced as many times as our costs have been increased?
Since the PTC is not an independent body, Khaw is actually hinting that a decision has already been made by PAP. Never mind what commuters think?
Are these PAP-appointed jokers who don’t rely on public transport independent?
Like MEWR Minister Masagos, it appears Hara Kiri Khaw also wants commuters to feel the full price of public transport.
* The author blogs at LikeTatOsoCanMeh.