15 Jul '11, 8am

(TTR) Competition? SBS and SMRT are operating as ‘cartels’ to fix prices in public transport

In a posting made on his Facebook recently, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew explained why nationalizing public transport will lead to higher fares and reduced productivity: “A nationalised public transport operator (PTO) that depends on government funding and which operates on a cost recovery basis would have little incentive to keep costs down. Cost increases will be passed on to commuters. Over time, this will lead to higher costs for the same level of service, which means commuters pay higher, and not lower fares. Not only would people have to pay more, nationalising the operators could result in a stagnation of service quality or efficiency over time.” It is disingenuous of Mr Lui to even suggest that SBS and SMRT are ‘private’ transport operators in direct competition with each other. On the contrary, both of them are operating effectively as ‘cartels’ to fix prices w...

Full article: http://www.temasekreview.com/2011/07/15/competition-sbs-a...

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