The Public Transport Fare Review 2020 sees no fare adjustment granted by the Public Transport Council (PTC), to help public transport commuters mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and the economic downturn.
As announced by the PTC in September 2020, a maximum allowable fare adjustment quantum of +4.4% was computed, using the existing Public Transport Fare Adjustment Formula applicable from 2018 to 2022 (explained below). This meant that public transport fares would have increased by 4.4%.
However, in view of the impact of COVID-19, the PTC decided not to grant the fare formula adjustment quantum of 4.4% in the 2020 Fare Review Exercise. Instead, the full fare adjustment quantum will be rolled over to the next Fare Review Exercise in 2021.
Fare Adjustment Formula
The Public Transport Council (PTC) is a statutory board under the Ministry of Transport that regulates public transport fares. The board conducts annual Fare Review Exercises to adjust public transport fares, and new fares usually take effect in end-December.
The current Fare Adjustment Formula is as follows, and is applicable from 2018 to 2022:
Year 2020 Fare Adjustment Quantum = 0.5cCPI + 0.4WI + 0.1EI – 0.1% + NCF = 4.4%
The Fare Adjustment Formula is based on five components:
- Core Consumer Price Index (cCPI): the change in core Consumer Price Index over preceding year; 1.0% in 2019.
- Wage Index (WI): the change in Average Monthly Earnings (Annual National Average) over the preceding year, adjusted to account for any change in the employer’s CPF contribution rate; 2.6% in 2019.
- Energy Index (EI): the change in Energy Index which is a composite of cost changes in electricity and diesel; -9.4% in 2019.
- 0.1% – Productivity Extraction factor set for 2018 to 2022.
- Network Capacity Factor (NCF): the change in NCF over preceding year, which means capacity provision relative to passenger demand for the entire public transport system; 3.9% in 2019.
PTC has decided to roll over the fare formula output of 4.4% in full to the next Fare Review Exercise in 2021.
Highlights of Public Transport Operators’ Applications
SBS Transit applied for a fare adjustment of 4.4%, citing losses in its rail operations and significant cost pressures in areas such as manpower and repairs and maintenance. Operating cost has further increased due to safety measures to deal with the COVID-19 situation. In its latest financial year, SBS Transit’s train segment reported a loss in tens of millions of dollars.
Similarly, SMRT Trains applied for a fare adjustment of 4.4%. The operator cited escalating costs to operate an expanding train network with increasing operations and maintenance demands. With the ongoing pandemic, SMRT Trains incurred additional costs to ensure a safe transit environment for commuters. For its latest financial year ended March 2020, SMRT Trains recorded an after-tax net loss of around $20 million.
External Links & References:
Past Fare Review Exercises:
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