- one to two cents for bus fares with EZ-Link card
- one to three cents for train fares with EZ-Link card
- ten cents for cash-paying commuters on buses and trains
According to published reports, fares would be allowed to go up only by 2.4%. So let's do some math.
Firstly, some stats from today's Today article:
- There is an average of 3.4 million commuter trips daily.
- 200,000 trips (5.89%) are cash-paying --> 3.2 million trips (94.1%) are EZ-Link card-based.
- The average fare is 80 cents (from the older Today article).
Supposing the average increase for EZ-Link cardholders is two cents (based on the increases stated above), then their average increase is 2 / 80 * 100% = 2.5%. For cash-paying commuters, their increase is 10 / 80 * 100% = 12.5%.
Therefore, the average fare increase across the board is 0.0589 * 12.5% + 0.941 * 2.5% = 3.09%, or 0.69% more than the allowed increase of 2.4%.
In other words, commuters are screwed.
But children and NS men don't pay the increase. So let's suppose that there are 500,000 of them, or 14.7% of all commuters, and all of them use EZ-Link cards. Correspondingly, the number of EZ-Link cardholders who will have to bear the increase is 2.9 million, or 85.3% of all commuters. The average fare increase then is 0.0589 * 12.5% + 0.853 * 2.5% = 2.87%, or 0.47% above the 2.4% limit.
The only way that the average increase can fall to 2.4% is if the number of EZ-Link cardholders who pay the increase is about (2.4% - 0.0589 * 12.5%)/2.5% = 0.6655 (66.55%) of all commuters, or about 2.26 million, which means there would be 937,300 children and national servicemen. Is this reasonable?
(Someone please correct me if my maths is wrong. If proven so, I'll pull this portion of my entry.)
So that's the financial side of the fare increase. To quote Jedi Master Yoda, more to say I have. But I'm going to hold my tongue because I don't want to live in fear of being sued. I'll just leave the above facts and figures for you to contemplate.
To round up, here are two classic quotes from today's Today article:
- Nameless SMRT spokesman: "These (10-cent) increases will cushion the impact on Singaporeans who are frequent users and EZ-Link cardholders."
- As written by Tor Ching Li: "While the public has expressed its disapproval at the fare hike application this year despite both public transport operators posting healthy profits this year,..."
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