In its attempt to increase PTOs’ bottom line, the government and the PTC, under an incompetent and biased Gerard Ee, have been trying to hoodwink the public into unfairly accepting hikes.
Some time ago, the justification was an increase in fuel prices. But fuel prices have been stable or had even gone down in 2012. http://therealsingapore.com/content/impending-fare-hike-fuel-prices-went-down-last-year
Our government owned PTOs continue to cook up all sorts of justifications despite the fact that they are profitable companies. Temasek has more than recouped its initial investment in SMRT through regular dividend payouts during the last 13 years. With 824,400,030 SMRT shares link, the current share price of $1.20 translates into a net profit of $989,280,036 for Temasek. Instead of contributing a portion of it for concessions, 80 per cent of commuters are forced to cross subsidise through a fare hike.
What the mainstream media continues to be silent on is how SMRT has continued to increase its revenues. Our PTOs refuse to acknowledge public transportation is not its sole business where rental and advertising revenues more than offset increases in rising costs.
The government wants commuters to imagine these super prime properties (at SMRT stations) handed to SMRT at taxpayers’ expense do not exist. So SMRT’s $85 million rental and advertising profits do not count? SMRT Annual Report
Knowing there would be huge future capital expenditures, the PTOs should not have a high dividend policy payout. They made ‘mistakes’, the government benefitted the most from their mismanagement while public transport commuters are forced to pay and pay for a lousy service. Is this fair?