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Old April 15th, 2005, 10:00 AM   #981
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Armed police patrols at MRT stations
In light of security situation, police will have to do more, says Home Affairs Minister

By K.C. Vijayan
April 15, 2005
The Straits Times


ARMED police troopers will start patrolling MRT stations and trains from August, as part of a new round of anti-terror initiatives announced by Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng yesterday.

Staffed by both regular officers and full-time police national servicemen, the new MRT Policing unit will complement the unarmed security guards and closed-circuit TV cameras that have gone up in all 51 MRT stations here.

Still being worked out are the details about the unit's training and whether its officers will don bullet-proof vests and carry submachine guns, like the now familiar police patrols in the shopping and commercial districts.

Describing the new MRT policing unit as a 'positive and bold' initiative, Mr Wong said that in light of the current security situation, the police would have to do more.

He unveiled two other anti-terror initiatives - a new unit to investigate bomb explosions and a customised vehicle that can deliver breathing gear to civilians in a chemical or gas attack.

The new bomb and explosive investigation division will be part of the Criminal Investigation Department.

Trained by experts from the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, its staff will probe all incidents involving explosive devices. This includes reconstructing the blast scene to help trace what happened, how it happened and who did it, explained assistant director Gerald Lim, who will head the new outfit.

He added that, if a bomb does go off here, bringing the culprits to justice swiftly would be a potent symbol of Singapore's national resilience. It would help restore confidence in the country too.

A swift response in a gas or chemical attack will also keep casualty numbers down. This is where the new Clipper bus acquired by the police comes in.

It can be driven right to the area to distribute 3,000 battery-operated 'escape hoods' which can filter out toxins or poisons for up to four hours.

All police fast response cars have also been equipped with the new breathing gear.

And if they are responding to a bomb threat, officers have another new aid that could help limit injuries before bomb disposal experts get to the scene.

Patrol cars carry a blanket, made from a special heavy-duty fabric, which can be spread over any suspicious package to help contain any blast and shrapnel.

But it's not just about hardware, stressed Mr Wong, who urged his audience of 800 police officers and guests to review their traditional thinking about crimes.

Criminal networks involved in forging illegal passports, human trafficking and money laundering need to be looked at differently, as they may have been exploited by terrorists, said Mr Wong.

Even an illegally parked car which seems strangely overloaded must not be dismissed as just being a minor traffic violation, he added.

Recounting an anecdote told to him while visiting a police force overseas, Mr Wong said an off-duty officer's instincts had been spot on when he decided to stop and check a suspicious-looking man carrying a haversack who looked out of place in the neighbourhood.

A search of the bag revealed explosives.

This is only possible if an officer knows the terrain and the people in his beat, noted the minister.

He also needs to cultivate relationships with people who live and work there so that they can be his eyes and ears on the ground.

To help with this, the police yesterday invited more than 100 grassroots and industry representatives to an annual work plan seminar for the first time.

One was Yew Tee grassroots leader Mr Low Peng Kit, 57, who said: 'We got to know their focus and direction in having good links with the community.'
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Old April 16th, 2005, 04:41 AM   #982
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April 16, 2005
REPLIES TO FEEDBACK SUGGESTIONS
Future MRT link for towns in north
Link planned for north/east corridor but when this will be depends on area's rate of development

By Christopher Tan
SENIOR CORRESPONDENT

A FUTURE MRT line to link northern towns like Woodlands, Punggol, Seletar and Pasir Ris is being considered.

But just when this will be built depends on the rate at which development takes place along this corridor.

The Transport Ministry disclosed this yesterday when it said the Land Transport Authority had long-term plans to link the north, north-east and eastern parts of Singapore with a future rail line.

It was responding to suggestions made at a national conference organised by the Feedback Unit in January.

Various sub-groups of the Feedback Unit had presented views and ideas on issues in areas like transport, physical development, health care, entrepreneurship, politics and education at the conference.

Yesterday, ministries responded to these ideas. In some cases, they disclosed new developments in the pipeline. In others, they noted the suggestions or pointed out that the ideas had already been taken on board.

In the Transport Ministry's case yesterday, it was responding to a suggestion to link the Pasir Ris station and the Punggol station - a distance of about 9km.

'Such a link will save commuters time when travelling between these areas. But when the line can be built will depend on the development pace along this corridor,' the ministry said.

It added that a link could not be built now as large parts of the area remain undeveloped.

It also responded to a suggestion that competition between bus and rail operators along the same route would give commuters more choice.

The ministry said that bus services will be allowed back on MRT routes if trains get overcrowded. Currently, there is little or no duplication of such services.

The ministry was also noncommittal on ongoing requests that public buses be made wheelchair-accessible.

It said there are dedicated transport services available for individuals who are wheelchair-bound.

Advocates who have been calling for changes have argued, however, that such services can be costly and are not readily available.

While most of the ideas put forward were practical, there was one exception.

This was for the Bukit Timah Expressway to be encased in 'a concrete tunnel box' so that the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Central Catchment Nature Reserve can be joined as one.

The ministry's response: Such a move would not be cost-effective.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old April 16th, 2005, 02:40 PM   #983
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Aiyah that isnt "new news" loh. Still the same "wait and see" response from the govt...
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Old April 29th, 2005, 03:26 PM   #984
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29 April 2005

SMRT reports 42 percent jump in full-year profit


SINGAPORE : SMRT has reported stronger-than-expected full-year results, thanks to higher tax writebacks.

Net profit jumped 42 percent to almost S$127 million, while revenue rose 0.9 percent to S$673 million.

Going forward, the rail operator said it would intensify its efforts to grow its ridership, and expand its taxi fleet and retail space.

SMRT has so far renovated and upgraded retail space in five MRT stations.

The company said it would turn its eye to investment opportunities abroad to raise the profit contribution from non-fare sectors.

SMRT is viewed as a company with a stable dividend payout due to the inherent consistency of its core operations. - CNA /ct

Copyright © 2005 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old April 29th, 2005, 07:25 PM   #985
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Hua! Money suckers!!!
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"My Settlement of Singapore continues to thrive most wonderfully - it is all and everything I could wish and, if no untimely fate awaits it, promises to become the Emporium and the pride of the East" - Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, 10th September 1820
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Old April 30th, 2005, 06:38 AM   #986
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huaiwei
Hua! Money suckers!!!
Yah loh......now still thnking about raising the fares.......
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Old April 30th, 2005, 06:50 AM   #987
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April 30, 2005
Fare rises likely on buses and trains

By Christopher Tan
SENIOR CORRESPONDENT

OPERATORS of public buses and trains are likely to apply for fare rises. Although they declined to say so when contacted, a hint of it was suggested by main train operator SMRT Corp.

Its chief executive Saw Phaik Hwa said yesterday, when asked: 'It's certainly worth considering. It is probably a good idea to do so.'

ComfortDelGro Corp, the leading bus operator here, said in a statement last night: 'We have not submitted an application for a fare revision... we will make an announcement if we do so.'

The deadline for the application is tomorrow. And, as of yesterday, the Public Transport Council had yet to receive any application, it said. Both operators made record earnings last year.

But a fare increase would offset only part of SMRT's costs, said Ms Saw, as she dwelt on what could be a likely fare hike.

She said a 2.4 per cent increase was possible with the new fare revision formula. If applied to its average fare of 90.8 cents, MRT fares will rise by 2.2 cents to 93 cents.

But costs at SMRT are higher, she said at a media briefing on the company's annual financial results.

'Our costs last year went up by much more than 2.4 per cent. Diesel alone has gone up by 40 per cent,' she added.

For buses, a 2.4 per cent increase will drive average fares up by 1.5 cents to 65.5 cents, based on ComfortDelGro's declared average bus fare of 64 cents.

The last time public transport fares were raised, by between three and 10 cents, was in July 2002. That hike was hotly debated in Parliament, as Singapore was still in a deep downturn.

Fare revisions from this year will use a new formula. It puts a cap on fare changes, but the mathematical calculation can result in lower fares during an economic slowdown, as well as provide for bigger increases in boom years.

ComfortDelGro chairman Lim Jit Poh told shareholders at its annual general meeting yesterday that the new method would not affect the company's profitability. Even with the former regime, fare rises were lower than those allowed in the formula, he noted.

He said ComfortDelgro supported the new formula, which could check if operators were making 'reasonable' profits, as well as if fares were affordable to commuters.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 11:29 AM   #988
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heirloom
didnt look very pretty though. quality over quantity please.
HDB flats...wat more can you ask for?
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Old May 1st, 2005, 12:18 PM   #989
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a lot.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 01:41 PM   #990
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Breaking News

Public transport operator SMRT has applied to the Public Transport Council (PTC) for a revision of train and bus fares.

The last time fares were revised was in 2001 when train and bus fares went up by between 3 to 10 Singapore Cents.

The only other public transport operator SBS Transit has not applied to the PTC for a revision of train and bus fares as of the deadline for submission of the applications for fare revisions.

Last edited by ignoramus; May 1st, 2005 at 01:55 PM.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 01:44 PM   #991
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ignoramus
Breaking News

Public transport operator SMRT has applied to the Public Transport Council (PTC) for a revision of train and bus fares.

The last time fares were revised was in 2001 when train and bus fares went up by between 3 to 5 Singapore Cents.

The only other public transport operator SBS Transit has not applied to the PTC for a revision of train and bus fares.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 06:25 PM   #992
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01 May 2005

SMRT submits application to raise bus, MRT and LRT fares

By Yvonne Cheong, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE: Transport Minister Yeo Cheow Tong has said that any increase in public transport fares would work out to be about 2 cents more per ride.

He was speaking to reporters at a grassroots event on the possibility of an upward fare adjustment by the Public Transport Council (PTC).

Mr Yeo said any increase would be a small one, and would make fares still one of the lowest in the world, given the quality of public transport in Singapore.

Meanwhile, SMRT confirmed it has submitted its application to increase fares to the PTC.

The other transport operator - SBS Transit - has up to midnight on May 1 to do the same if it decides to raise fares.

Observers have said fare increases are likely since oil prices have remained quite high in recent weeks.

But it was not until hours before the end of the closing date on May 1 that SMRT submitted its application for a fare hike.

However it would not give details.

In a statement to Channel NewsAsia, SMRT's Vice President Goh Chee Kong noted that fares had not increased since 2002.

It added that SMRT had been absorbing the GST increases during this period, and average fares collected had declined due to the GST absorption as well as expenditure on an expanding rail network.

It also cited higher operating costs, rising oil prices and the $280m it spent on improving ageing systems as reasons.

Its proposal will be reviewed by the PTC and this will take 4 to 5 weeks.

Earlier this year, a new formula for fare revision was put in place to take into account not just the Consumer Price Index but also the change in workers' salaries.

A spokesperson from the PTC told Channel NewsAsia that it would also look at the viability of the company and the unemployment rate.

SMRT runs the North-South and East-West MRT lines, the Bukit Panjang LRT system and has 800 buses on 65 routes.

Competing transport operator SBS Transit, which runs the North East MRT line, says it will be making an announcement on Tuesday. - CNA/ir

Copyright © 2005 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 03:25 PM   #993
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02 May 2005

Public transport fare hike not justified as SMRT still profitable: CASE
By Yvonne Cheong, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : The Consumers Association of Singapore has said this is not the right time to increase public transport fares, as salaries of the lower income have not gone up.

CASE was responding to SMRT's application to the Public Transport Council to increase its fares.

SMRT has applied to increase fares on its bus, MRT and LRT services this year.

But CASE says the fare hikes are not justified, as the listed transport operator made a record net profit of S$126.9 million in the financial year which ended on March 31.

That is 42 percent higher than its profits the previous year.

Said Yeo Guat Kwang, president of CASE, "There are signs of recovery -- I think we had quite good growth last year -- but based on my understanding as a union leader, the bottom 20 percent of income earners are still having a hard time and their salaries have not been increasing. In most cases, they still suffer from pay cuts."

Most commuters were understandably resistant to paying more.

"They should not increase the fares at the moment, reason being the economy has not fully recovered," one commuter said.

"How can they increase fares when our salaries are down? It may not affect high earners but it's a burden to low income earners like us," another said.

Based on a new fare revision formula, which takes into account the Consumer Price Index and workers salaries, SMRT has said a 2.4 percent increase is possible.

This means a commuter will have to pay about two cents more for an average fare of 80 cents.

And there are some who think a slight increase is acceptable.

"No more than five cents. I think that's acceptable," said one commuter.

The decision now lies with the Public Transport Council, which will take about four weeks to review the proposal. - CNA /ct

Copyright © 2005 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 03:42 PM   #994
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03 May 2005

SBS Transit applies for fare increase
By Asha Popatlal, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : It's official. SBS Transit has applied to increase public transport fares.

The announcement comes in the wake of SMRT's similar statement over the weekend that it is seeking a fare hike.

It cited rising fuel costs and salaries, and its continued absorption of the two-percentage point GST increase.

SBS Transit, which runs the bulk of the bus services and the North East Line, said it was asking for a small fare adjustment.

The new formula allows for an increase of up to 2.4 percent this year, based on changes in the Consumer Price and Wage Indexes, or about an average of 3 cents.

The last fare increases were in 2002. - CNA/de

Copyright © 2005 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old May 4th, 2005, 04:30 AM   #995
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May 4, 2005
SBS Transit confirms proposal for fare hike
It joins SMRT Corp in applying to raise bus, train fares; cab fares may be next

By Christopher Tan
SENIOR CORRESPONDENT

TRANSPORT operator SBS Transit has formally applied for an increase in bus and train fares, and now industry sources say that cab fares may be next to go up too.

After being coy with the media for the last few days over whether it would follow the lead of SMRT Corp in asking for a fare hike, SBS Transit yesterday confirmed that it had submitted an application to the Public Transport Council by the May 1 deadline.

It cited the same reasons as SMRT - higher operating costs - but hinted that senior citizens enjoying concession rates may not be affected.

The possibility of concessions for low-income groups, something which has not been tried here, was also suggested. But chief operating officer Ong Boon Leong was prepared to say only that SBS Transit has 'taken into consideration the poor and needy, families with school-going children and senior citizens'.

The last time bus and train fares rose was in 2002, when the country was still in a recession.

Under the formula which comes into effect this year, a 2.4 per cent increase is possible. This would mean a commuter would have to pay about two cents more on an average fare of about 80 cents.

The Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) said any rise will affect the bottom 20 per cent of income earners 'adversely'.

'Many of them are still out of jobs and are still trying to find ways and means to earn a living,' Case executive director Seah Seng Choon said, adding that the economy is just beginning to show signs of recovery.

Describing any fare hike now to be 'untimely', he noted that record profits posted by ComfortDelGro and SMRT 'should enable them to hold back the need for increases for the time being'.

'There is no urgency for the companies to adjust fares at this point in time,' Mr Seah said.

Case may have another fight on its hands, as The Straits Times understands that cab fares also look set to rise. The last time fares were adjusted was in 2000, when the meter turned faster for distance and booking charges for Sunday were introduced. The flag-down rate has been at $2.40 since 1994.

'To be honest, we've been studying ways on how we can raise taxi fares for some time now,' an industry source said. 'Diesel price has gone up by 40 per cent from a year ago. And taxi fares in Singapore are among the lowest in the world.'

Cabbies have also been complaining it is harder to make ends meet now because there are too many taxis on the road. The taxi population has risen by over 2,000 to about 21,500 since the industry was liberalised in 2003. Three new players started plying last year. At the same time, SMRT expanded its fleet by 1,000 to 3,000.

Cabby L.H. Chung, 57, said: 'Before 2004, a driver starting at 5am could cover his daily taxi rental of $90 by 11.30am. Today, he might need to drive till 2.30pm or so.'

Analysts say the taxi industry is waiting for ComfortDelGro to make the first move because it has more than three-quarters of the market. Mr Lim Jit Soon, research head at Citigroup Smith Barney, said: 'Any fare increase will have to be made first by the market leader. Otherwise, commuters can easily boycott taxis from the smaller companies.'

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved
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Old May 4th, 2005, 11:31 AM   #996
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New rendering for the new skytrain....

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Old May 5th, 2005, 11:49 AM   #997
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Both companies are freaking arseholes, to say the least. Maybe I shd start taking taxies everyday in protest (after I get a high paying job that is)!
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Old May 5th, 2005, 12:37 PM   #998
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heirloom
yar... so they use higher capacity monorails with a system where each station serves a far larger area
A "bigger" station is not going to serve a larger area loh...kaoz. Who wants to walk further just because the train and the station is bigger?
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"My Settlement of Singapore continues to thrive most wonderfully - it is all and everything I could wish and, if no untimely fate awaits it, promises to become the Emporium and the pride of the East" - Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, 10th September 1820
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Old May 5th, 2005, 01:20 PM   #999
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05 May 2005

Taxi companies say no fare hike for now
By Asha Popatlal, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE: With bus and MRT fares likely to rise, attention has now shifted to the possibility of a taxi fare hike.

When asked about this possibility, a Comfort DelGro spokesperson said it was all speculation at this point in time.

Comfort DelGro has the giant's share of the taxi market - about 80% - as blue Comfort cabs, Yellow Top cabs and City Cabs come under its umbrella.

The spokesperson added she had no announcement to make at this point in time.

SMRT Taxis says taxi fares remain one of the lowest and most affordable in the world.

But tough working conditions and rising diesel prices will lessen the burden on taxi drivers if fares are made more competitive, it adds.

However, it's understood smaller cab companies will probably take the lead for any increase from the market leader so that they do not lose out on market share. - CNA/ir

Copyright © 2005 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old May 5th, 2005, 06:16 PM   #1000
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sentosa planners want/expect it to serve a larger area (and since its probably the only mode of transport other than buses people are forced to use it?) so they use higher capacity monorails. this is just what i'm guessing. like the mrt - have buses feed passengers to the stations.
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