When public transport gets too expensive for the poor. (Govt must step in)

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The reason why I love the announcements of MY100 and MY50 (click to read) was because it will ensure everyone needing public transport on a daily basis gets to take the public transport at a manageable cost on a monthly basis. We may not realise this but if the cost is just RM5 per direction, it will be RM10 on a daily basis and this is just to and fro working place and home. RM10 x 26 working days will be RM260 per month and for someone earning RM1,500 for example, that’s already 17% of his monthly salary. Many times, that extra RM100 savings per month could be invested in unit trust for the typical above inflation returns too. Over a 10 year period for example, that’s probably a down payment for an affordable home of RM200,000… What’s up with our neighbour Thailand?

Article in thestar.com.my Sumet Ongkittikul, research director for Transportation and Logistics Policy at the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) said, “Citizens living far from the city centre might shun the BTS (Bangkok Mass Transit System) even when it’s expanded to the suburbs because the fares could be too high.” The Bangkok Metropolitan Admi­ni­s­tration (BMA) recently said it aims to ensure a mass-transit ride costs no more than 65 baht (RM8.50) until at least 2029. The reason for the pledge was because there were speculation that it could cost as high as 158 baht (RM20.65) per ride if the longer routes open without a defined price ceiling. With regards to the ceiling fare of 65 baht, Sumet said, “Even if the price is capped at 65 baht per ride, it could still be too expensive for low-income earners, especially those who earn the minimum wage.” He explained that at 65 baht per ride, it’s 130 baht (RM17) for a return trip and this is already half of the minimum wage in Bangkok which currently stands at 325 baht (RM42.50) per day. Article in thestar.com.my

We should feel lucky because someone in Thailand earning the same RM1,500 (Baht 11,422) may be forking out RM17 per round trip per day. Actually, the median annual household income per capita in Thailand is US$3,300 (RM13,800) This is around RM1,150 per month. If we use the same calculation of RM17 x 26 days, it will be RM442 (THB3,364) which will already be 38% of the person’s monthly salary. Perhaps their Transport Minister will also be announcing something similar like ours. Perhaps THB1,000 per month for unlimited travel on their BTS will be a great news to have. Perhaps ASEAN Transport Ministers could support one another with good measures to boost public transport. Happy following.

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Article written and edited by Charles. News article summarised by Dina Batrisyia.

<Featured Image is courtesy of Stock Photos from 1000 Words >

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