Rejoice, celebrate, the unhappiness of the people has been heard. The PTC must have taken heed of the general unhappiness of the people over the rising cost of living and came out with a smaller increase for public transport fare. A 2c increase per trip is negligible and well absorbed, may even be unnoticeable. There are still complaints. People are still unhappy.
The PTC quoted the profits of other private companies including non transport operators, to justify the increase. Other organisation’s profits ranged from 3 to 14.9%. These include companies like Hongkong’s Transport International and MTR, London’s Stagecoach Group. SembCorp Industries and Singpost. And the profits of SBS and SMRT were 7.8 to 11.2%, very reasonable and within the spread of the companies quoted.
There is no point trying to go into the details of the little data provided. For those who are sceptical, doubts on the credibility and relevance of the data are glaring. I could quote more transport companies and non transport companies running at a loss to justify that it is ok to run public transport companies at a loss or with little profit.
What is still seen as wrong or unacceptable with the minimal increase? What is 2c when people are earning millions? The issue here is the principle of public transport and how this is treated as any other organisation whose interest is profit. And the operators deserved to be making profits like any other organisation.
Is public transportation with the privileges of a monopoly attached, to operate without competition, any other organisation? A govt run public transport monopoly is a govt monopoly under any colour or stripe. And a public transport system is an essential service and should not quickly be swept away as any other business for profit.
Why is the govt so obsessed with the public transport companies making profit as its major concern to shareholders, and coming out to defend its right to such profits? Why is the govt so persistent in proclaiming that the govt officers are daft and unable to run a public transport system if it is returned as a stats board? It is unbelieveable that any govt would say such a darn thing, that they could not run a transport service unless it is run privately. What a profound statement to acknowledge an inadequacy in a govt filled with top talents. I just dunno what to say.