Public Transport Council
|Public Transport Council|
|Jurisdiction||Government of Singapore|
|Headquarters||10 Eunos Road 8 #09-01, Singapore Post Centre, Singapore 408600|
|Agency executive||Gerard Ee Hock Kim, Chairman|
|Parent agency||Ministry of Transport (Singapore)|
The Public Transport Council (Abbreviation: PTC; Chinese: 公共交通理事会, Pinyin: Gōnggòng Jiāotōng Lǐshìhuì; Malay: Majlis Pengangkutan Awam) is an independent regulatory statutory board under the Ministry of Transport of Singapore, established on 14 August 1987 by the Public Transport Council Act of 1987. PTC regulates the public bus and rapid transit network in areas such as fares and service standards.
PTC is also authorised to issue and do amendments to bus service licences, and advises the Ministry of Transport on areas such as conditions on licensees and imposing of penalties on non-complying licensees. It regulates public land transport, differing in terms of roles from the statutory boards under MOT, which represent the mode of transport. PTC was established to develop an integrated public transport network, by assuring quality services and by surveying the fares suitable for the public.
As the public transport fare regulator, the Council came under public scrutiny on various occasions when it approved fare hike proposals from public transport operators . It has also come under fire through some policies deemed as pro-operator rather than pro-consumer, such as its actions against fare cheats in 2005 . With public transport a key election topic, the Workers' Party called for the dissolution of the Council in its 2006 Manifesto  in favour of a not-for-profit corporation in the leadup to the 2006 general elections.
Fare hike of 2006
In 2006, the PTC approved applications from local transport operators SBS Transit and SMRT for an overall increase in bus and train fares of 1.7%. The fare adjustment took effect on 1 October 2006. The PTC justified the increase in fares based on the positive economic outlook in 2006 and a comparison of average public transport fares with the cities of Hong Kong, London and New York.
PTC justified the fare hike by comparing the fare of Hong Kong, London, and New York as these cities have higher fare compared to Singapore, but conveniently ignore other cities like KL, Jakarta, Manila and others.
Readers of The Straits Time also question PTC's survey accuracy. The letter is posted in "Is the PTC's survey representative enough?". The PTC than rebutted the reader, saying that the survey is representative as it was carried out by the Singapore Management University using proper methodology . The PTC claimed in the survey  that "almost three quarters of them (passengers) said their daily expenditure were affordable", and the "interviews were conducted upon immediate completion of their bus trips...", this effectively exclude people that cannot afford to take the bus, and thereby contribute to the bias of the sample.
Fare reductions in 2009 and 2010
In early 2009, SBS Transit and SMRT announced that they would not apply for fare adjustments but would work with the PTC to pass the savings that they received from the 2009 Singapore Budget  to commuters.
The fare adjustment exercise for 2009 was also brought forward to April instead of October so that commuters could benefit earlier from the reduction in fares. From April 2009, commuters saw an overall 4.6% reduction in bus and train fares. The 4.6% fare reduction package comprises both a fare rebate (over a 15-month period from 1 April 2009 to 30 June 2010) and an increase in transfer rebate.
In 2010, the PTC granted an overall 2.5% reduction in bus and train fares. The reduction took effect on 3 July 2010 together with the introduction of distance fares.
- Transport in Singapore
- Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore
- Land Transport Authority
- Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
- "1 to 3 Cents Increase in Bus and Train Fares from October". Public Transport Council. 12 September 2006.
- "Budget 2009, Keeping Jobs, Building for the Future". Ministry of Finance. 30 April 2009.
- "4.6% Reduction In Bus & Train Fares From 1 APRIL 2009". SBS Transit. 21 Feb 2009.
- "2.5% FARE REDUCTION IN BUS & TRAIN FARES AND INTRODUCTION OF DISTANCE FARES ON 3 JULY 2010". Public Transport Council, Ministry of Transport. 20 APRIL 201.