There is an article by a Gordon Lee on his recommendations to improve the public transport system. His title is ‘Why fares should double and other ideas for a better transport system’. He also made a comment, ‘As many people noted, the main issue that commuters have with public transport is not price, but levels of service. Nevertheless, I will propose ways to keep public transport affordable.’ Okay, I think he thinks differently from many people, and price is important. I just don’t like it when he used the word affordable. Affordable is a four letter word. Affordable to A may not be affordable to B and C.
If he sticks to his title, then fares should be double and many problems will be solved. That I agree. More problems will be solved if fares is tripled or quadruple. Everyone or many people are only interested in the quality of service.
Sinkies are mostly cash rich if one is to read the front page headline of the Today paper yesterday. COEs of big cars hit or nearing the highs of 1994 when the stock market was having the once in 50 years bull run. Actually it was more a once in a life time bull run as the confluence of all the favourable factors is unlikely to be repeated.
COEs of big cars, ie 2000cc and above and the Open category went pass the $80,000 mark. And COE is only a certificate of entitlement to buy a car. This amount is more than enough to buy several cars in other first world countries. Here, you need to cough out another $100k or more before one can buy a 2000cc car. The COE for cars below 1,600cc is $56,000.
Singaporeans are stuffed with cash, cash rich. Big cars are really affordable, more affordable than smaller cars. When the alternative to own and drive around in private cars is so cheap, the price of public transport is definitely a steal and people can afford to pay more. I think many people would not mind paying $6 to $10 daily for public transport when ERP charges could be more than that to drive a car. And taxi fares are now getting nearer to London and New York, but still very cheap. This could be good reason for the cab companies to think of raising fares more often. Just do it every six months or a year and people will get use to it.
They can learn from the pricing of public flats, from $7,000 in the late 60s for a 3 rm flat to $300,000 today. Overtime people will get use to it and would not mind paying more and more.
Everything is still relative cheap to cash rich Singaporeans. And everything is affordable.