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Oral Reply by Senior Parliamentary Secretary Baey Yam Keng to Parliamentary Question on Public Transport Vouchers (PTVs)

05 Nov 2019 In Parliament

Assoc Prof Walter Theseira asked the Minister for Transport

a.     what are the reasons leading to only 192,000 out of the projected 300,000 Public Transport Vouchers (PTV) being redeemed in the 2018 exercise;

b.     what are the administrative costs and challenges faced by the People's Association and grassroots organisations in their PTV outreach programmes; and

c.     whether the Ministry will explore the possibility of automatic distribution for PTV 2019 for individuals who fulfil certain criteria, such as those under ComCare, Silver Support Scheme, or HDB Public Rental Scheme.

Reply by Senior Parliamentary Secretary Baey Yam Keng:

1.     The Government is committed to helping needy commuters cope with public transport fare increases through providing them with Public Transport Vouchers (PTVs). We regularly review the PTV process to set appropriate eligibility criteria and the quantum for each exercise. This year, we have expanded the criteria so that 1 in 5 resident households are eligible, double the proportion for the 2018 PTV exercise.

2.     In addition, we will continue to make available more PTVs, over and above the number of eligible households. This is so that local Citizens’ Consultative Committees (CCCs) can have the flexibility to provide additional assistance to needy households with special circumstances or those that marginally miss the eligibility criteria.

3.     We actively reach out to eligible households to encourage them to apply for the vouchers. In addition to media announcements, we work with the People’s Association to raise awareness, including distributing publicity collaterals in four languages to all Community Clubs, as well as through house visits and events.

4.     The PTV application process allows us to directly engage and better understand each household’s needs, which may go beyond transport costs. Through this process, the CCCs have been able to provide tailored support through other government assistance schemes. We will continue to explore ways to streamline the process for future exercises.