Thursday, November 19, 2009

Train service in Paris

I took the train from Gare du Nord station in Paris to Versailles Rive Driote. I had to take the RER Line and change to the SNCF train. The fare was only Euro 1.60. This was surprising low.

I asked my French host why the fare was low. He said that the fare only meet one third of the cost and that two-third was subsidised by the government. He explained that the subsidy was intended to encourage more people to take public transport, instead of using their private cars.

This makes sense. We are so used to paying not only the full cost of public transport but also contributing to the big profit of the public transport operators, under our "no subsidy" appraoch. It is time for Singapore to re-think some of our policies.

Tan Kin Lian


  1. Yes, this makes sense.
    Instead of bilding more new road, Singapore should divert their receipt from road tax, ERP, COE, ARF, etc into subsidizing public transport.

  2. instead of a subsidy, which must come from the ppl's pocket in the end thro' taxes. why not restrict the return on asset that the PTC makes?

    A public utility should not be expected to earn exceptional returns, only reasonable returns to cover capex,operating expenses plus shareholder's return.


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