Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew: “The purpose of fare increases is not to boost the short term profits of PTOs. It is also not just to improve salaries of bus drivers but to improve service to commuters while keeping public transport operations commercially viable. This is why we must work with the PTOs to ensure that when granted any fare increase, they would re-invest part of this revenue to improve the PT system to benefit commuters.” [Source]
In his defense against his highly unpopular comment correlating the impending fare increase and the drivers’ salaries, PAP Minister Lui Tuck Yew revealed that the sole purpose is to keep SMRT and SBS “commercially viable” so that the 2 only government-approved transport operator will “re-invest” their revenue to improve the public transport system.
Unfortunately, in an article by the Singapore Business Review, an analyst representing DBS bank revealed that the public transport system pays out 60% of its net profit in dividends instead of “re-investing” as Minister Lui has suggested.
DBS:”60% dividend policy. SMRT has a dividend payout policy of at least 60% of net profit. In fact, in the past few years, it has paid over 70%, hence providing a reasonable yield.”[Source]