Public transport in Singapore to get more expensive

Public transport in Singapore to get more expensive

If Singapore transport operators SBS Transit and SMRT get their way, commuters will be paying more for their day-to-day travel

Up, up and away ... public transport is getting more expensive in Singapore.The days of cheap public transport in Singapore are speeding to an end.

In a report by Today, public transport operators SBS Transit and SMRT have applied for a 2.8 percent hike for rail and bus fares, the maximum percentage increase allowed.

Citing "uncontrollable" and "significant" cost pressures as reasons for future fare increases, the hikes could take place as early as October with the opening of the Circle Line's final two stages.

The last fare rise took place in 2008.

Looking at the Land Transport Authority's (LTA) Masterplan, currently public transport in Singapore is less expensive when compared to cities such as London, Hong Kong and Tokyo. And even with the fare hike, Singapore would still be cheaper.

Here, the average train fare is S$0.91, while the average bus fare is S$0.67. In Hong Kong, the average ride on the MTR is S$1.40 and S$1.11 on the bus.

But with more people utilizing bus and MRT services -- a big issue raised during this year's elections -- what's to stop the operators from raising fares further down the road as demand increases.

According to its Masterplan, the LTA is expecting public travel demand to increase from 8.9 million journeys to 14.3 million journeys a day by 2020.

So it's a good thing that, according to The Economist, the government will pilot an incentive scheme later this year to reward commuters with credits for each journey -- extra credit for off-peak travel -- in exchange for the chance to win some cash.

How do you feel about the possibility of fare hikes? Tell us what you think.