PTC may raise fares up to 2.8 per cent

Public transport fares will not be increased by more than 2.8 per cent next year, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said in an interview with Channel NewsAsia (CNA) yesterday.

This is lower than the original roll-over figure of 3.4 per cent from the last fare review, largely because of a drop in energy costs.

The Public Transport Council (PTC) began its annual fare review exercise last month, and the results are expected to be announced by the first quarter of next year.

The last review in January this year announced a fare increase of 6.6 per cent, to be adjusted in two steps. A 3.2 per cent hike was implemented in April, and the remaining 3.4 per cent was carried forward to the current review. This roll-over system was a recommendation made by the Fare Review Mechanism Committee in November last year.

CNA quoted the minister as saying: "We know that energy costs have come down, as compared to 2012, which is why for the most recent year, the index was actually minus 0.6. You may recall that it was 6.6 per cent, of which the most recent fare increase gave an upward revision of 3.2 per cent.

"So there was a 3.4 per cent that was carried over, and now taken together with the minus 0.6 per cent, which was derived using all the numbers in 2013, the maximum that is allowed for this particular fare increase will be 2.8 per cent."

Public transport operators SBS Transit and SMRT have until Friday to submit their applications to the PTC for a fare increase.