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8/03/2006

huha over transport fare hike

Fare hikes of public transport The recent announcement of fare hikes is causing a lot of comments and dissentment among the commuters. But if one is to look at the rationale, ie the rise in oil prices, the 2c increase is nothing alarming. All the complaints and arguments against the fare price adjustment model and the way the transport operators are allowed to monopolise the system for profit have been thrown out over and over again. Nothing new and all very simple to understand why the system is not favouring the commuters but the operators. Then today Leong Sze Hian came out with the ridiculous suggestion that fare price should be pegged with quality of service, and fines and punishment to the operators for failing. All these are way off the target. In the first place the operators are expected and must ensure an acceptable standard and quality of service. Otherwise they have no right to exist. It is not just a commercial enterprise but an essential public service. Secondly, making them pay fines and raising their cost will only see these cost be passed to the commuters. That is for sure. This suggestion is a no brainer. The whole fault of the system is privatisation and running it as a profit centre. Its reason to exist and operate becomes one of profit and not a service to the people and nation. And giving them a monopoly status to run for profit is even more ridiculous. It is better that essential services should be returned to the govt and operate as a stats board. The argument that stats boards are inefficient is bull. If the stats board cannot run any organisation or operation efficiently, then the whole bunch should be fired. Hey, we pay them big money, remember? And operating essential services under a stats board does not mean that they cannot make profit. But profit should not be the main reason for its existence. Neither should the silly argument that under stats boards it will be run at a loss. Why are these stupid reasons be shafted to the people to believe in them?