600,000 public transport passes to help low-income households cope with rising fares

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SINGAPORE – A total of 600,000 public transport vouchers worth $30 each will be available for lower-middle-income households from December 28.

The vouchers are intended to help such households cope with the 2.9% fare increase which will take effect from December 26, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) said on Wednesday. Adults will pay 4 to 5 cents more per trip.

Vouchers can be used to top up rate cards or purchase monthly passes.

Households whose monthly income per person does not exceed $1,600 will be eligible for the vouchers.

By the end of December, letters will be sent to households that had received similar vouchers in 2021 and continue to be eligible for fiscal 2022.

Those who are eligible but have not received the notification letters can apply for vouchers online or at their local community centers or community clubs from early March.

The number and value of vouchers for 2022 are identical to those for 2021.

Giving an update on the distribution of vouchers for 2021, the MOT said around 370,000 vouchers had been disbursed as of September 30.

About 90% of those were redeemed, which translates to nearly $10 million used to top up fare cards or buy monthly passes.

Rail operators are required to contribute to the Public Transport Fund which is used to finance the vouchers.

The 2.9% fare increase translates to an increase in fare revenue of about $50.3 million per year, the Public Transportation Council (PTC) said. SMRT Trains’ annual revenue will increase by $15.4 million, while SBS Transit’s will increase by $7.4 million.

SMRT Trains will contribute 20% of its incremental fare revenue, or $3.07 million, to the fund in 2022, up from $2 million in 2021.

For SBS Transit, the amount is $370,000 – 5% of the increase in revenue – compared to $230,000 the previous year.

The two operators had requested the maximum tariff adjustment of 13.5%, the highest ever recorded.

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