Fares affordability study looks funny?

I refer to the article “Singapore ranks 2nd in transport fare affordability” (Straits Times, Oct 24).

It states that “Singapore has come out second in terms of transport fare affordability in a study of 12 major cities conducted by the Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

Commissioned by the Public Transport Council (PTC), the study also found that Singapore collected the least fare revenue per passenger kilometre travelled among the cities surveyed.

This, the authors warned, was “not necessarily sustainable for public transport operators given the rising operating costs worldwide”.

As to “Fare affordability was measured as the proportion of disposable household income spent on public transport for the second quintile household group – referring to the income group just above the bottom 20 per cent who take public transport – in 2016.

This is in line with the PTC’s monitoring of fare affordability for this category, seen as the group most likely to depend on public transport regularly” – why does the table below show Singapore’s annual disposable income as $57,802, which is 60% higher than London’s $36,114?

How is it possible that the “annual disposable income” of the  “income group just above the bottom 20 per cent” be $57,802, which appears to be extremely high?

The study compared 12 cities – Beijing, Hong Kong, London, New York City, Paris, San Francisco, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei, Tokyo and Toronto.

 

The last study done in 2017 was on 36 cities. So, why is the study now only on 12 cities? How were these 12 cities selected?

As to “Singapore had an index score of 4.8 for affordability – meaning that on average, a typical family using public transport on a daily basis here spends about 4.8 per cent of its disposable income on public transport.

San Francisco scored 4.1, topping the list. While public transport expenditure in the American city is 28 per cent higher than in Singapore, the disposable income is 48 per cent higher” – if the subject study had been done on the same 36 cities – what would be the conclusions on affordability?

“The Straits Times reported last month that transport fares could go up by as much as 4.3 per cent – or 10 cents a journey – next year.”

 

Leong Sze Hian

 

 

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20 Responses to “Fares affordability study looks funny?”

  • SILLY COMPARISON:

    Silly comparison, because Singapore is a *TINY DOT*.

    Want to compare, then compare everything.

    I would expect the university to make the comparison more meaning than a piece of useless shit example $/KM traveled.

    Singapore is a *Tiny Dot* and yet many cannot save up and have no money to spare.

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  • SHAMEFUL COMPARISON:

    The size of such Tiny Dot and Singapore still failed to rank as the Number One, with an index score of less than a fraction is tantamount to how expensive and overpriced the public transport is in Singapore.

    Does the university needs the public to educate them how to make better and useful comparisons?

    Such comparison is easy to fool the lesser inclined, like 70%.? What do you think?

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  • PAPi psychology brainwash:

    One psychology feel good article reasoned enough to next transport fares to increase. This is the way of the PAPi. Nothing but all the bad news!

    Fake half baked news and articles psychology brainwash can control 70%.

    PAPi is all the bad news!

    WTF VTO

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  • LIONS:

    The PAP only wants to PICK N CHOOSE those stats or RANKINGS that FAVOUR themselves n their policie$?

    Take 4 example,Oxfam vs World Bank rankings of INEQUALITY n HUMAN CAPITAL INDEX?

    These are SCHOLARS schooled at IVY LEAGUE n many armed with DOUBLE MASTERS emeeging at top of their class n cannot have open-mindedness to accept constructive criticisms???

    What kind of scholara are they?

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  • HarderTruths:

    I can use statistics and data to show I am the Queen of England.

    So what? The propaganda piece uses large sums of people’s money and does not prove anything – except there is a lot of wasteful work done for nothing.

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  • Samuel S:

    This study is to justify fare hide.

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  • We not suipid:

    It’s simple logic. The conclusion of the study must place Singapore in top 3 positions. That was the specification give for the study. The rest is creativity or lack of it.

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  • Singapore Fooled Again n Again:

    Annual income $57,802 p.a. but in Singapore, if I’m not wrong, the previous GST rebate in 2017 was given out to nearly 1.57 million citizens above 21 years old and their earning must be below $28,000 p.a. and home value below $21,000.

    You add in those below 21 years old, another 800,000 Singaporeans, that’s nearly 2.4 million citizens who are not making money or making below $2.5k a month and are the most likely public transport users.

    The figure of $57,802 p.a. of course it added in the multi millions earners from top bankers, lawyers, businessmen, top civil servants and those from GIC. Yet I’m sure many of these group of million dollar earners have a few cars parked at home and driving their favourite car to work or for play, and not using public transport at all.

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  • opposition dude:

    Alamak, the survey done by NTU means you know what already lah. No need to write articles saying it’s unfair or weird or whatever one lah, when it’s a survey done by some Singaporean company or institute it will always say we are good or best compared to others.

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  • Tak pakeh study:

    I knew it.. there’ll come a day…’ownself rank ownself’.
    The other countries/cities are so much bigger with more complexities..
    Singapore’s pop.is so small too so the comparisons dont seem accurate..or else please state under what criteria all these countries were judged on.
    Then i can believe.

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  • Waste of Time:

    Conversely Speaking;

    Singapore Public transport is even more expensive than Tokyo;

    Tokyo $5913 divide by 2188 KM2 = $2.7 per KM2 or [2.7 index]

    Whereas

    Singapore $2750 divide by 721.5 KM2 = $3.811 per KM2 or [3.8 index]

    And

    The most expensive is San Francisco;

    Only 121.4 KM2 but at $28.90 per KM2. or [28.90 index]

    So what is the use of both comparisons? Nothing!

    Depending on what is your ulterior motive, otherwise both are a waste of time.

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  • Not Trust U?:

    At least if they use real accurate data, there’s not much to say.

    But this study is really questionable.

    For example, after saying that Singapore has senior concession at age 60 and many others do not have until 65 or 70, they go ahead and compare senior fares at age 60. That is comparing concession fare against normal fare. Singapore comes out second best. Really underhanded comparison. Why don’t they compare all concession fare at age 65 or 70? Or is the result too bad to include in the report?

    Another example, when they compare student fare, they don’t acknowledge that other cities give totally free travel to children up to age 12. Singapore charges even for primary school. So they choose to compare only for secondary school students. Perhaps the comparison for primary school students put Singapore as the most expensive?

    If the NTU writers want to defend their report, they should publicise all their data and their sources, for public scrutiny, especially by Uncle Leong!

    opposition dude:
    Alamak, the survey done by NTU means you know what already lah. No need to write articles saying it’s unfair or weird or whatever one lah, when it’s a survey done by some Singaporean company or institute it will always say we are good or best compared to others.

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  • Bapak:

    Now we understand how they have to po to score high mark & branded as scholars.

    SILLY COMPARISON:
    Silly comparison, because Singapore is a *TINY DOT*.

    Want to compare, then compare everything.

    I would expect the university to make the comparison more meaning than a piece of useless shit example $/KM traveled.

    Singapore is a *Tiny Dot* and yet many cannot save up and have no money to spare.

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  • Bapak:

    They should have dropped San Francisco city & declare immediate fare hike. Everything is staged here for a purpose.

    opposition dude:
    Alamak, the survey done by NTU means you know what already lah. No need to write articles saying it’s unfair or weird or whatever one lah, when it’s a survey done by some Singaporean company or institute it will always say we are good or best compared to others.

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  • Answer this first:

    Does these countries ‘transport operators raise their fares each year, but the service gets “worse n worser n worserer?”
    Trains packed like sardines with more n more foreigners fighting for a place in our crowded city?????
    Our citizens getting pushed out from trains, homes n jobs all bcuz of our inept gov allowing it so freely!

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  • Some study:

    How about a matrix juxtaposition comparing transport fares vs median wages vs cost of food vs cost of medical care vs cost of education vs cost of car/bike ownership vs cost of public housing … ?

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Another of S’pore’s silly global ranking exercises or benchmarking measures which defies logical understanding & which is completely stupid.
    S’pore’s Annual Disposable Income (in S$) of SG$57,802 looks incredibly ridiculous against the following:
    * New York – SG$60,865
    * Sydney – SG$56,733
    * Paris – SG$40,085
    * Toronto – SG$40,045
    * Tokyo – SG$36,559
    * London – SG$36,114
    New York & London are Global Financial Centres which generates extremely high disposable income earners for finance professionals & fintech entrepreneurs. The others are commercial capitals of their respective countries generating much more economic growth & higher stockmarket capitalization (than SGX) thus more disposable income, not less than S’pore’s.
    For comparative Asian capital cities, Taipei looks exceptionally high @ SG$72,219; HK near par @ SG$53,546 (yet HK properties went up 3.5x vs S’pore’s 1.5x since 2003); Seoul very low @ SG$29,272 (HQ for global MNCs like Samsung & Hyundai Motors – ???) & using Beijing @ SG$34,790 instead of using Shanghai, Guangzhou or Shenzhen?
    Tokyo (spending @ SG$5,913), Taipei (spending SG$4,246) & HK (spending @ SG$3,277) vs. S’pore’s low (spending @ SG$2,750) was reflected by S’pore’s relatively weak performance (ie. breakdowns, *tardy* timeliness, etc). Tokyo & HK public transportation are among the finest public transportation service in Asia while Taipei’s fare is very cheap yet reasonably efficient compared to S’pore’s.
    New York & London public transportation (rail system) were very old, much older than S’pore. Yet they spend much more (NYC @ SG$4,959 & London @ SG$5,270) – nearly 2x of S’pore’s spend yet they perform just as efficient, if not better than S’pore despite considerably their older Infrastructural.
    Use of San Francisco, Sydney & Toronto as examples were not “Apples-to-Apples” comparison – these capital cities have relatively large urban sprawls with high car-centric dependencies. Very misleading!
    Very suspicious global ranking exercise & extremely wonky data being used! NO MEANING!

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  • opposition dude:

    Not Trust U?:
    At least if they use real accurate data, there’s not much to say.

    But this study is really questionable.

    For example, after saying that Singapore has senior concession at age 60 and many others do not have until 65 or 70, they go ahead and compare senior fares at age 60. That is comparing concession fare against normal fare. Singapore comes out second best. Really underhanded comparison. Why don’t they compare all concession fare at age 65 or 70? Or is the result too bad to include in the report?

    Another example, when they compare student fare, they don’t acknowledge that other cities give totally free travel to children up to age 12. Singapore charges even for primary school. So they choose to compare only for secondary school students. Perhaps the comparison for primary school students put Singapore as the most expensive?

    If the NTU writers want to defend their report, they should publicise all their data and their sources, for public scrutiny, especially by Uncle Leong!

    You know the pattern one lah bro, it’s always a general statement in the report which ends with we pay one of the lowest fares in the world or we are close to the top in tackling equality.

    Just like “affordable” HDB which you know who still maintains. A 25 year home loan is waiting for you if you buy a too expensive “affordable” home though. So the monkeys always claim that their public housing is affordable but have never dared to reveal the costs of building their BTOs. And they can come out with some wayang survey which says we have one of the best housing schemes in the world.

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  • Self praise:

    Eversince the OXFAM report..nearly ev day we read about ‘how great our services are’ compared to other countries.
    Ownself rank Ownself bullshit!

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  • True facts:

    All they bullshit if not how they get million dollars salaries.

    While locals jobs all taken by fts.

    Many locals now jobless.

    They benefits themselves while locals suffer.

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