Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Bus, train fares to be lowered at end of year

Commuters will see fares cut by up to 1.9%, thanks to sliding fuel costs: Lui Tuck Yew
By Danson Cheong, The Straits Times, 4 Aug 2015

Bus and train fares will be reduced by up to 1.9 per cent in December, as a result of falling fuel costs.

Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew, announcing this yesterday, said the annual fare revision, which is usually carried out in April, will be brought forward to coincide with the opening of the second phase of the Downtown Line.

"I've asked the Public Transport Council (PTC) to initiate the process of kicking off the fare exercise for 2015... I encourage the PTC to pass on the 1.9 per cent reduction fully to commuters so they can enjoy the benefits of it," said Mr Lui at One-North MRT station after taking a ride on one of seven new Circle Line trains deployed since June.

He added that he would leave it to the PTC to work out the specific reductions but expects every commuter group to pay lower fares.

This is the first time fares have been reduced since 2010. Earlier this year, fares went up by 2.8 per cent, with most adult commuters paying four or five cents more per ride, despite the fare formula allowing for a reduction of 0.6 per cent. This was because the fare increase from last year was split over two years to cushion the impact for commuters.

Mr Lui had indicated in January that fares could be reduced "in the region of negative 1 per cent", due to the drop in energy prices last year. In the last year alone, oil prices have plunged about 60 per cent.

The annual fare revision exercise is based on a formula that takes into account changes in inflation rate, wages and an energy index that charts oil and electricity costs. The first two components are given a 40 per cent weighting each, while energy has a 20 per cent weighting.

The reduction in fares comes as public transport operators have been battling a series of breakdowns, with the most severe one happening just last month, when two MRT lines were shut down for more than two hours.

Associate Professor Terence Fan, a transport specialist from the Singapore Management University, said it was "fortunate" that the timing of the fare revision was brought forward.

"I think this is a nice gesture in view of the latest disruptions," said Prof Fan, but he added that commuters faced a "trade-off" if fare adjustments were brought forward or done more regularly.

"If you want the fare adjustment to be reviewed more regularly, then if oil prices go up - the fare prices will go up quickly too," he said.

Commuter Shirley Ng, who takes a bus to work, said that it was about time fares went down.

"This is almost unbelievable, they keep adjusting the fares, but it was always just going up," said the 51-year-old quality management executive.

Did you know that there are 7 NEW Circle Line trains have been put into service, and another 3-5 Circle Line trains will...
Posted by Land Transport Authority – We Keep Your World Moving on Monday, August 3, 2015

Shorter waits on two MRT lines soon
More trains for Circle and North East lines will boost capacity, ease congestion: Minister
By Danson Cheong, The Straits Times, 4 Aug 2015

Commuters travelling on the Circle and North East lines will soon have shorter waiting times.

Seven new trains have been put into service on the Circle Line since June 24, and a further three to five will be deployed by the end of this year, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a media statement yesterday.

It is part of a plan to roll out 24 new trains on the Circle Line by the middle of next year, boosting capacity by 60 per cent, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew told the media yesterday, after taking a ride on one of the new trains.

There are 47 trains on the Circle Line - including the seven new ones. At the moment, commuters wait an average of 3.5 minutes during peak hours for a ride. This will be cut to 2.7 minutes. During off-peak periods, commuters will have to wait only five minutes, down from an average of seven minutes.

The new trains have "commuter-centric" features such as additional straphangers and gap fillers to reduce the gap between the platform and trains, said the LTA.

Mr Lui noted that the seven new trains were tested rigorously before being put into service. They were first introduced during off-peak hours, before being put into service during peak periods.

Meanwhile, starting this month, a new train will be added to the North East Line every month for the next 11/2 years, boosting capacity by 70 per cent.

"Overall, this is part of a plan to introduce 99 trains over the course of the next three or so years, and that will boost the overall fleet by about 50 per cent," said Mr Lui.

"That's how we are adding capacity to ease the level of congestion on the existing lines," he added.

Bank analyst Joyce Lim, 27, who takes the North East Line from Serangoon to Chinatown daily, said that currently "people can be sandwiched to the doors" during the rush-hour crush.

"Commuters like me appreciate that there are more trains, but if trains can run smoothly without disruptions, that's better," she said.

Hey folks, if you’re planning to take a little trip around Singapore town to see the sights and soak in the festivities...
Posted by Land Transport Authority – We Keep Your World Moving on Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Free bus and train rides
By Priscilla Goy, The Straits Times, 4 Aug 2015

Train and bus rides this National Day will be free, and service hours will be extended too.

On Sunday, commuters need not tap their transit cards. Fare gates at all train stations will also be left open to grant free access throughout the day.

Public transport operator SBS Transit also announced yesterday that the operating hours of its train and selected bus services will be extended on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

SMRT made a similar announcement last Friday.

Train services on the North-East and Downtown Lines, as well as on the Sengkang and Punggol LRT systems, will be extended by about half an hour.

Services on the North-South, East-West and Circle Lines, as well as the Bukit Panjang LRT system, will also be extended.

Last trains travelling towards Jurong East, Marina Bay, Pasir Ris and Joo Koon will depart from City Hall MRT station at 12.30am.

No comments:

Post a Comment