Everything About the Increase of Bus & MRT Fares from 26 Dec 2022


If there was a playbook on how to make Singaporeans unhappy, it would probably go a little something like “announce a GST hike, increase public transport fares and close down bubble tea shops“.

Unfortunately, the playbook doesn’t seem to exist – the Public Transport Council (PTC) has just announced an increase in bus and train fares.

Here’s everything you need to know about it.

Fares to increase by up to 5 cents

With effect from 26 December, bus and train fares will be increasing by up to 5 cents.

Adult card fares will increase by 4 cents for journeys of up to 8.2km and 5 cents for journeys longer than 8.2km.

For those of us who aren’t as good with numbers, this means that an MRT ride from Boon Lay to Clementi, where the distance is 8.2km, will rise to $1.45 for adult commuters.

If you’re taking the MRT for more than 8.2km, such as from HarbourFront to Paya Lebar where the distance is 11.5km, you can expect the fare to rise to $1.64.

According to travel data however, more than half of adult journeys are less than 8.2km – so most of us will only have to worry about the 4 cent hike.

What about those that aren’t holding adult concession cards?

There’s good news – the increase in concession card fares will be capped at 1 cent per journey for students, senior citizens, lower-wage workers and people with disabilities.

Prices of monthly concession passes and adult monthly travel passes will remain the same. And if you’re paying for your bus rides the traditional way, you’ll be happy to hear that bus cash fares will also remain the same.

Rising energy and labour costs

Wait – before you head onto reddit to rant about the fare hike, here’s why public transport fares are rising.

Energy prices rose by 117 per cent last year. Coupled with higher manpower costs and inflation, it’s inevitable that fares will increase.

According to PTC’s fare adjustment formula, the maximum allowable fare adjustment quantum for the year was calculated to be 13.5 per cent – the highest quantum since the fare formula was implemented in 2005.

However, you’ll be glad to hear that PTC didn’t forget about Singaporeans’ rising cost of living. The fare hike could have been higher.

Concerned about the rising cost of living, PTC decided to grant public transport operators just a fare increase of 2.9 per cent. The remaining 10.6 per cent will be carried over to future fare review exercises.


Taking into account average wage increases and this fare hike, the PTC noted that the monthly public transport expenditure for households are expected to remain at a similar level.

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As of last month, public transport ridership has risen back to about 80 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

Goodbye, WFH arrangements…

Last year, bus and train fares in Singapore increased by up to 4 cents, after the PTC granted the maximum allowable fare adjustment quantum of 2.2 per cent.

Such a move was to help operators mitigate the costs of running public transport services, especially given the rising operation costs and drop in ridership during the pandemic.


The fare hike last year marked the first fare increase since 2019, when fares were increased by 9 cents per journey for adult concession cards.

What about 2020?

During its 2020 fare review exercise, the PTC had decided against a fare hike due to – you guessed it, COVID-19 and its impact on the economy.

600,000 public transport vouchers to be given out

The Government will be giving out 600,000 public transport vouchers worth $30 each, which can be used to top up fare cards or to purchase monthly concession passes.

Before you spread the news to your family group chats, take note that these vouchers are for lower and lower-middle income households.

Not sure if you qualify? Only those with a monthly household income per person of up to $1,600 can receive these vouchers.


The Government will also cushion the impact with concession schemes and subsidies to ensure fares remain affordable, especially for the vulnerable.

Reviews to the calculation of fare adjustments

The PTC had previously announced in August that it was in the midst of reviewing how bus and train fare adjustments are calculated.

The review is typically conducted every five years to evaluate the effectiveness of the current fare adjustment formula and mechanism. This factors in any changes in the public transport industry as well as commuting patterns.

The review is slated to be completed by the first half of next year. Any change will be applied from the 2023 fare review exercise.

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