MRT/Bus: 50% increase in profits?


Is our public transport the most profitable in the world?

I refer to the article “SBS Transit profit grows 50% to $47m” (Straits Times, Feb 12).

It states that “Bus and train operator SBS Transit posted a 50.3 per cent rise in net earnings to $47.1 million for the year ended Dec 31, 2017.”

SMRT‘s “operating profit increased 14.6% to $138.5 million” in FY2016.

In this connection, “The discounted fares before the morning peak period will amount to a fare adjustment quantum of -2.2 per cent. The balance -3.2 per cent quantum, which was allowable under this year’s fare formula, will be rolled over to the 2018 Fare Review Exercise” – does it mean that the -3.2 reduction would have resulted in a reduction in fares for practically everybody?

If this is the case – why are we deferring it to next year’s fare review exercise?

Is it fair to do this to commuters?

Is this not akin to changing the formula when it results in a fare decrease, and sticking to the formula when it resulted in fare increases in the past?

Do the above not make you wonder as to whether our public transport authorities are more focused on protecting the consumer or the operators?

By the way, has anyone raised this in Parliament or in the media?

Leong Sze Hian


About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), invited to speak more than 200 times in over 30 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of Indonesia and Brunei. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.