Let Singaporeans own MRT and Public Transport

Time to Nationalise MRT and Public Buses

Thinking the Possible ….

A year of bumper profits for SMRT.  Global oil prices have dropped by more than 50% in the last 6 months and would fall further in 2015 and not expected to recover much over the next few years. Gas prices have begun to follow the decline and the costs of grid electricity generation by our gas-power power stations would reduce even further.  Public transports especially buses and taxis would have their fuel bills greatly reduced. The fuel costs of MRT trains, mostly using grid electricity, should also fall according.

In the light of mostly good news for MRT and public transport operators, 2015 should also have been a great year for MRT and public bus commuters.  But, HOLD Your BRAKES, People … !

Remember January 2014 last year? That’s when SMRT announced that its profit had fallen by more than 40% and therefore it had to raise its fare, which it did by 3.2% last year in 2014.

Then suddenly in January 2015, SBS and SMRT both apply for fare hikes citing rising costs and lower profits. And without showing any statistics for its pleading of rising costs, public transport fares will increase 2.8% by April 2015.  This is truly unbelievable!

Just three months ago in October 2014, SMRT actually reported that its PATMI (profit after tax and minority interests) for the 2nd quarter (July-Sep 2014) of the current financial year rose sharply by 75.5% year-on-year to S$25.3 million!  Its operating profit for the same quarter also increased 66.5% compared to a year ago to S$33.3 million!

With fuel costs sharply down and huge bumper profits, whither rising costs, SMRT?  And SBS, have you not heard that oil prices has dropped by more than 50% in the last 6 months?

Of course from a strictly business profit-making perspective without any social consideration, the commuter “cows” can still be squeezed and milked for more revenue, when one can usually get away without any consequences.  This is especially so when bus and MRT commuters are captive customers and have any viable alternatives other than bicycling or expensive motoring.

This is perhaps the BEST time to consider again The Big Question: Should the MRT and public buses be Nationalised for the Greater Social Good?  The answer is a resounding “Yes”!

The Case for Nationalisation has never been stronger and is overwhelmingly compelling now given the profiteering tendency of the MRT and public bus companies.

The usual counter-argument that private companies are more efficient is no longer tenable in the light of the latest arbitrary, non-transparent and unreasonable public transport fare hike. 

Using S$7.5million of public funds to subsidise already highly profitable private companies is NOT efficient, and a really BAD idea.

In the Nationalised MRT and public bus companies, the use of public social assets does not have to be charged at all.  This boosts profits immediately as the accounting system is re-calibrated to reflect the social investments, and thereby lowers overall costs to boost profits even at lower fare levels.  Social equity and justice is restored and preserved. Profit-sharing with commuters can reduce their transport cost (MRT and public bus) which is currently about $250-$450 per month per person. This constitutes about 15%-35% of the individual monthly salary of most commuters and increases their income by the same quantum.  

Returning Profits to Singaporean Commuters  

Under a Commuters Profit-Sharing (CPS) Scheme, Singaporean commuters (including fare-paying children) can register up to two MRT Transit Farecards or Cashcards in their name.  Such commuter information is used to add back profit-sharing amounts, via the Fare Machine, into their respect Farecards or Cashcards at the end of each financial year.  The profits of nationalised  MRT and public bus companies at the end of the financial year can be proportionally shared in the 30:30:40 ratios.

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Anonymous said...

"Then suddenly in January 2015, SBS and SMRT both apply for fare hikes citing rising costs and lower profits. And without showing any statistics for its pleading of rising costs, public transport fares will increase 2.8% by April 2015. This is truly unbelievable! "

Unbelievable as it truly is, but majority (aka 60%) Sinkies are also very scared to even accidentally vote PAP out in a GE because WP is not ready to be govt.

And knowing this, if I were PM Lee, even I will also allow the transport operators to increase fares lah, despite global oil prices have dropped by more than 50% in the last 6 months and would fall further in 2015.

Anonymous said...

As PM Lee already said, Sinkies want PAP to govern Singapore.

Although he did not said so, but it is understood that this is despite the increase in public transport fares when oil prices have already dropped by more than 50%.

In fact, if I may add, despite anything that make daft and money no enough Sinkies angry and frustrated lah, Sinkies (or rather the 60%) still want PAP to govern Singapore. And don't forget, Sinkies include new Sinkies.

Anonymous said...

Let Singaporeans own MRT and Public Transport??

Unless the dream of the Sinkie opposition become ready to be govt also become reality lah.

If not, MIKOspace and RB can kpkb for all they want but 93% probability nothing of what they want will happen.

Anonymous said...

why kpkb about fare increases...

we democratically voted the govt,
the govt privatised the essential
services like buses and mrt.....

this is what we get, this is what
we deserve.......

so what to kpkb about....


Anonymous said...

Still taking the people for granted.

Anonymous said...

If Singaporeans want to own SMRT and public transport again.
Then maybe we will have to vote Opposition to make this happen.
Because PAP government seems to have a habit of selling Singapore's assets to Temasek who subsequently re-sell again by way of an IPO.
Can someone please check our history to see if the above is true?

I seem to recall, SingTel and SMRT as being the case in the past.
POSB ... I dunno what to say lah

Matilah_Singapura said...

They're already nationalised lah. The disguise is very clever, however PRIVATIZATION by govt---i.e. govt owning govt assets thru share issue is the same as nationalisation, in a sense that public transport is a govt created cartel/ monopoly.

Any which way, they still get your money. Anyway, oil prices won't stay low forever.

Anonymous said...

Let Singaporeans own MRT and Public Transport ??

Isn't it exactly what is happening ?? You want to own MRT and Public Transport, you can call up your broker and buy their shares ? MRT make money, shareholders make money, MRT lose, shareholders lose too.

If Govt nationalise MRT as what the author propose, then how can Singaporeans own MRT and Public Transport ???

Tio bo ?

Correct me if I m wrong.

b said...

Whether privatization or nationalization are all just for one purpose - making the elite class richer and continue to exploit the exploited class. Until the entire exploited class in this world can unite together, putting away rubbish stuff like race and religion discrimination, nothing can stop this conspiracy.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you just go buy MRT and public transport shares and stop COMPLAINING that they are exploiting the poor ? If they are so profitable, why don't go buy it, and profit from it ?

Anonymous said...

Let's vote in a new government that will nationalize MRT and public transport.
Singaporeans first.
Not PAPig first.

b said...

"Along with the apartment building, WinSun also printed a villa for an estimated cost of US$161,000 (NZ$214,366) undecorated. Both are located at the Suzhou Industrial Park and were built using a 32-metre-long, 10-metre-wide, and 6.4- metre-tall printer.

In March 2014, WinSun built 10 homes in less than 24 hours using the same printing technology for US$5,000 each. It was initially believed to be a hoax."

- lets vote for a gov that will build cheaper housing for us.