Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Distance-based fares

The Land Transport Authority has just rolled out a new mechanism for the charging of bus and rail fares. Dubbed the ‘distance-based fares’, commuters will be charged in direct proportion to the total
distance they travel. The ‘transfer penalty’ will also be removed for commuters switching from one public transport mode to the other.

While the new framework is
more equitable, in my opinion, it will not make much of a difference to the travelling habits of commuters. Being a public transport user myself, I believe time is a more important factor shaping travel decisions of commuters. As such, current travel patterns of commuters, governed mainly by commuting time considerations would not be easily changed by the
new framework, which may not be useful to commuters spending more time waiting for transfers in choosing a shorter route with just a few cents of savings for the shorter trip.

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