Public Transit Fare Adjustments: Increment of 10 to 11 Cents Since Dec 23

Public transport fares for buses and MRT have seen an increase of 10 to 11 cents per journey for adult card fares since December 23. Meanwhile, adult cash fares, still accepted for bus rides, have experienced a steeper increase of 20 cents.

Commuters using concession cards, on the other hand, have faced a more modest increase of 4 to 5 cents per journey, while concessionary cash fares for bus rides have gone up by 10 cents.


The Public Transport Council (PTC) announced an overall seven percent increase in public transport fares, emphasizing that this is only a third of the 22.6 percent maximum quantum. The hike is attributed to the persistent rise in energy prices, core inflation, and robust wage growth in 2022.

Despite the economic factors driving the increase, the PTC clarified that it granted only a 7 percent increase “to keep public transport fares affordable in this higher cost environment.” Additionally, 15.6 percent will be rolled over to future fare review exercises.

To mitigate the impact on commuters, the Government has allocated an additional S$300 million in subsidy to defer allowable fare adjustments to future reviews, up from the S$200 million provided the previous year. This subsidy is in addition to the annual S$2 billion in public transport subsidies given by the Government.

The fare adjustment is expected to generate approximately S$137.4 million in additional revenue for public transport operators annually.

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Amidst the fare increases, there are positive developments for certain groups. Heavy users of public transport belonging to concessionary groups, such as students, seniors, and full-time National Servicemen, will benefit from a reduction of up to 10% in the hybrid (bus and train) monthly concession passes.

Furthermore, a new monthly concession pass will be introduced for Workfare Transport Concession Scheme Cardholders, aimed at assisting lower-wage workers.

In an effort to support lower-income households further, the Ministry of Transport has announced the provision of public transport vouchers worth S$50 each. These vouchers will be available to resident households with a monthly income per person not exceeding S$1,600 and can be used to top up fare cards or purchase monthly passes.

Sources: 1 & 2



Why Are Cars So Expensive In Singapore?

A city with growing population and limited space cannot afford a massive traffic jam. This is why the Singapore government invest billions of dollars each year on public transportation. The government aims to make it reliable, inexpensive, efficient, and accessible for all. With this objective comes the restriction of private transportation. Since 1990, the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) complemented with tax and duties have been introduced to regulate car ownership and road usage.

There is no such thing as a cheap car! Even an upper middle class Singaporean will tell you that owning and maintaining a car is no easy feat!

So, why are cars so expensive in Singapore? For starters, it involves several factors.

#1: Open Market Value

You may have noticed that the price-tags of a certain car varies from country to country. These varying degrees of prices start a baseline. In our case, the baseline is the Open Market Value or OMV. The OMV will soon be boosted by the Additional Registration Fee and the Certificate of Entitlement. Imagine if we paid cars in terms of its OMV!

#2: Additional Registration Fee

As I said, your car purchase will be subjected to the ADF. ADF or Additional Registration Fee comes after the Registration Fee and the OMV. You see, it is a form of tax imposed to all cars during registration. The calculation of ARF depends heavily on the OMV of the vehicle.

Currently, the ARF is calculated as follows:

For the first $20,000, 100% of the OMV
For the next $30,000, 140% of (OMV-20000)
Above $50,000, 180% of the (OMV-50000)

Please refer to the full list at

#3: Excise Duty And GST

People pay for additional taxes on specific goods sold within Singapore such as petrol, alcohol, and cigarettes. This tax is called Excise Duty.

The Excise Duty on cars is 20% of the OMV. Once this is calculated, a 7% GST will be added on both the OMV and the Excise Duty. It sounds confusing, right? Let me illustrate it for you!

For instance, a car has an OMV of S$49,113. It will incur and Excise Duty of S$9,822 (20% of S$49,113) and a GST of S$4,125 (7% of S$49,113 + S$9,822).

#4: Certificate Of Entitlement

Certificate of Entitlement or CEO is infamous for bumping one’s car expenses. Even Singaporeans who cannot drive would know what it means. It is a certificate that allows a car to be driven for 10 years. Essentially, COE is driven by the market’s supply and demand. COE prices can elevate during periods of high car demand and vice versa.

In 2013, the COE was a whopping S$97,889 (Category E). In today’s market, COE prices go between S$40,000 to S$50,000.

#5: Car Dealers’ Margin

It comes as no surprise that the car dealers have a portion for their own overheads. The profit they own for selling cars is called the dealers’ margin.

It could range from as little as 15% for affordable brands to as high as 50% for luxury brands.

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Your job is to calculate all these factors together. Then, ask yourself whether owning a car in Singapore is worth it or not!

Sources: 1 &2


Dramatic Increase In Transport Fares Welcome 2019

Capping off the year was the application of the price hike as suggested by the Public Transport Council (PTC). This is a part of the Fare Review Exercise, which affects the train and bus services (i.e., including Go Ahead Singapore, SBS, SMRT, and Tower Transit).

Notice your remaining balance for the past few days. You may tap out of a station and feel that you have been charged more than the usual rate. The same thing happened when you took the bus. It just does not add up, right? Well, you are not alone. The increase in transport fares began in December 29, 2018.

Adults who take the trains and buses will have to pay 6 cents more for the card fares. While, an adult cash bus fare and a single-trip train fare bumps up by 10 cents. Lastly, students and senior citizens are experiencing a cent increase in card fares.

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Many factors contributed to increase in fares. Firstly, the fare review came after the three consecutive years of fare reductions. In its press release last October, the PTC highlighted that the fare reductions totaled to 8.3%.

Secondly, the biggest contributing factor to the hike was the surge in energy prices. As the authorities track how much a bus or rail capacity has in relation to the ridership, they found that the real usage has not kept up with the capacity growth. Following this observation, the Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan agrees that raising fares are unavoidable due to the operating costs.

” PTC’s decision on fares seldom pleases all. Commuters do not welcome fare increases; operators need fare adjustments to keep pace with their operating costs. Against such challenges, PTC has chosen the right strategy to be open, transparent and fair. ” – Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan on a Facebook post

Lastly, the funds collected from the hike will benefit the SMRT Rail and the SBS Transit. The former will get about S$24.1 million more for its repair and maintenance costs. Furthermore, the funds will be used to increase the manpower for improved rail network performance. The latter will take about S$10.9 million more, which can be used to cover the operations and to adjust the salaries for the workers.

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Equipped with these information, may you always keep your EZ-Link cards topped up!

Sources: 1 & 2


3 Car Accessories Worth Spending On


UNIQUE SELLING POINT: A dashboard camera has the ability to record any unforeseen events.

PRODUCT PRICE RANGE: Quality dashboard cameras can cost you hundreds of dollars. However, the cheapest one I saw was S$10 in Lazada.

The dashboard camera, better known as dash cam, is an on-board camera that continuously records the view of the vehicle’s exterior or interior. It can be attached in many spots including on the dashboard or on the windshield. Due to its suction cup or adhesive mount, dash cams are movable. Find a spot that will not obstruct your view while you drive.

Image Credits: Paul Townsend via

Dash cams are useful for a variety of reasons. Firstly, it allows you to keep track of the exact location of your vehicle and the route it has taken. Secondly, it is your first line of defense when claiming insurance. It can record suspicious activities while you are parking or driving. Imagine capturing a video of a perpetrator vandalizing your car in the mall’s parking lot! A newbie driver will surely benefit from this feature.


UNIQUE SELLING POINT: Parking sensors covers your blind spots by detecting the obstacles while you park.

PRODUCT PRICE RANGE: The company Singtech produces parking sensors that go for as low as S$15 and as high as S$90. Each product has its own special features.

I have to admit! As a novice driver, parking is the area that I lack strength on. It is challenging for me to measure the approximate distances of each stationary car without having the help of a guide or a sensor. I am referring to the trusty parking sensors. These are proximity sensors for road vehicles, which are designed to alert its drivers of the obstacles ahead.

Whether you are choosing an electromagnetic or an ultrasonic device, a parking sensor is one of the optional car accessories that you must consider. You see, even veteran drivers have a lapse in judgement in difficult parking spaces. Having an SUV fit through a narrow space through parallel parking is another challenge! I cannot stress how large cars can benefit from installing said sensors. Preventing an accident or two can make your life easier.


UNIQUE SELLING POINT: Bluetooth car kits provide a wireless mode of communication and entertainment throughout your journey.

PRODUCT PRICE RANGE: Bluetooth car kits are sold as low as S$8 at Lazada. While, premium quality devices are sold for S$80 and above.

The recent amendments in the Road Traffic Act entail a wider scope of restrictions on the usage of mobile devices while driving. Any driver caught holding hand-held equipment can be found guilty of committing an offense. The market has thought of a solution to combat this. Said solution is by using a hands-free connection such as Bluetooth.

With modern technology, Bluetooth provides a standard for wireless communication. It allows its users to talk while on the move without having to hold a physical equipment. This feature is worth investing on especially if you are fond of navigating through the city while listening to music or while answering important phone calls.

As I search the web for credible and affordable Bluetooth car kits, I found the brands Kinivo and Jabra. Kinivo (available in Amazon for US$35.99 or about S$50) gets power from the car’s cigarette lighter and connects to your radio through an auxiliary jack. It allows you to manage your playlist and acts as a speakerphone during calls. Thanks to its built-in microphone!

Let us move on to the user-friendly Jabra Drive. Jabra Drive’s voice-guided instructions tell you how to connect to your mobile phone. This Bluetooth car kit allows you to use the dedicated control buttons to answer calls. Furthermore, it lets you play your tunes too. It retails for a whopping S$98!

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Sometimes, a car’s extra features depend on the individual’s preferences. Are there any car accessory that we missed? Let us know in the comment section below.


Avoid Making These Costly Mistakes As A Parent Of A Teen Driver

Having a teenage driver is a breathtaking experience that can keep Singaporean parents awake at night. It is normal to worry about the safety of your child on the open road where anything can happen.  Who am I kidding? Even my parents are terrified that I am driving as a young adult.

If you do not want to pay for increased insurance premiums or medical fees, here are three mistakes that you need to avoid…


Ah, the teenage brain! How does one begin to describe the wiring of the “teenage brain”? For starters, it is marked by the significant to the rewards prompted by taking risks. Researchers from the University of Texas found that teenage brains were craving for adrenaline-fueled rewards. This explains why they lean toward extreme activities. The teenage brain may be harmful when mixed with the ability to drive a vehicle.

The minimum age to acquire a Qualified Driving Licence in Singapore is 18 years old. Just because your beloved can start driving at 18, does not mean that he or she needs to be behind the wheels at a young age! Having your teenager wait makes a financial sense. Time may not only give your child maturity, but it may also reduce your car insurance premium.


Most Singaporean parents want to give the best for their children. The idea of buying a shiny ride for your newly licensed driver may have crossed your mind as a devoted parent. You might rationalize your purchase by thinking that a brand new car is safer and more advanced. However, an expensive car costs more to insure. Not to mention, you are handing the responsibility to a fairly experienced driver. Are you brave enough to tackle these risks?

Let me highlight the total cost of owning a car (i.e., excluding miscellaneous, maintenance, parking, and petroleum fees). 10 years of owning a car may cost you about S$138,723. This whopping amount includes the Certificate of Entitlement, Total Car Loan Value, Road Tax, COE and PARF Rebate, and Car Insurance.

Consider purchasing a used car as a training ground for your teen. This will teach him or her the value of saving up. Isn’t it more thrilling to drive an impressive car with the money that you worked hard for?


As I said a while ago, the teenage brain is wired to embrace adrenaline-fueled situations and rewards. This factor may increase the risk of breaking the traffic laws and getting into vehicular accidents. Teenage drivers generally face greater restrictions than other drivers. The main restriction is the age limit.

Last year, a horrific accident involved an under-aged driver (i.e., aged 17) and a motorist at the junction of Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5 and Ang Mo Kio Industrial Park 2. The motorist was badly injured and his passenger died instantly. The teen driver suffered from emotional distress after realizing the gravity of his actions. He was even bullied online. Under the law, the penalty for hit-and-run accidents is a fine of up to S$3,000 or imprisonment of up to 12 months.

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Similar scenarios may be prevented with careful guidance from the parents. I am not saying that you are solely responsible for your young driver’s every move. But, you have a heavy influence on it. Start by educating your child about the traffic laws and by serving as a good role model of a responsible driver. Use foresight by enrolling your teen in a local driving school such as the Singapore Safety Driving Centre (SSDCL) or the Bukit Batok Driving Centre (BBDC). These institutions were registered for Basic Theory Test, Final Theory Test, and Practical Driving Test.

Sources: 1 & 2