Bus and Train Fares Could Increase By 7% Next Year

In the “List of Top 10 Things I Dread The Most”, I would say that “topping up my EZ-Link card” ranks second, just behind “going to school”.

Everyone knows that moment. That moment when you tap your card on the reader and it shows you that you don’t have enough to board the bus/train.

Guess it’s bad news for everyone today. 

Public Transport Fares Set To Increase Up To 7 percent 

The Public Transport Council (PTC) has revealed that bus and train fares could possibly go up by as much as 7 per cent in the 2019 Fare Review Exercise, which began on Sept 2.

Image: Giphy

The PTC regulates public transport fares and ticket payment services.

The main reason for the increment is attributed to the sharp increase in energy prices.

According to the Straits Times, the current fare formula will be capped at 7 per cent. The quantum last year was capped at only 4.3 per cent.

The Annual Care Formula 

Image: Facebook/Public Transport Council

This formula takes into consideration the energy prices, inflation and manpower costs. In addition, it also takes into account the commuter demand and enhancements, and growth in public transport capacity.

Other components making up the formula include the wage and consumer price index.

The current fare formula, which took effect last year, will be in place until 2022.

How much is 7 per cent? 

If the PTC approves the potential fare increase in full, it would roughly increase to about 10 cents for those who pay by card. And that’s 90% of the commuters out there.

10 cents doesn’t sound like a lot right now, but if you think about it…

10 cents a day would mean 70 cents in a week.

In a month, 10 cents would typically add up to $3.

$3 enough to buy Mcflurry from Mcdonalds leh. 

A 7 per cent increase would be the highest in recent years.

Improved Public Transport System 

The MRT network has reached an MBKF (Mean Kilometres Between Failure) of over 1,000,000 train-km.

This is a sevenfold improvement from 2015.

With the overall introduction of 1,000 buses and 200 trains, the PTC has noted that the transport system has improved significantly.

Even though the bus and rail service enhancements came with an increase in the cost of operations for public transport, the council noted that the average fares are four cents to seven cents lower than they were in 2015.

SUSS urban transport expert, Park Byung Joon mentioned that the money for building infrastructure and replacement of assets will have to come from higher fares or higher taxes.

Good things don’t come for free. 


Views of Commuters and Relevant Stakeholders Considered

The fair increment will strike a balance between the affordability and financial sustainability of the public transport system.

Special attention will be paid to concession groups such as the needy and the elderly.

According to SUSS transport economist Terence Fan, the fare should still be affordable even if the maximum increase was to be implemented.

When will the price start to change? 

The final fare adjustment quantum will be announced by PTC in the last quarter of 2019, according to CNA.

How can you reduce the cost of your daily commute?

Image: Facebook/Public Transport Council

For all you thrifty aunties out there, you can start reducing the cost of your commute even before the increment!


With the introduction of the Morning Pre-Peak Fares in 2017, you can enjoy up to 50-cent savings when you tap-in before 7.45am at any rail stations!

You can also save by making use of the monthly passes that allows you to enjoy unlimited travel for a flat price.

For commuters who are still studying, the passes are also priced at a cheaper rate. You can check out the different concession cards and passes here.

Lastly, with the enhanced transfer rules, you now have the flexibility to make multiple rail transfers or rail-bus-rail transfers without incurring an additional boarding charge.

This Singapore love story set in the 90s shows you why you should never wait for tomorrow. Watch it without crying:

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