Friday, January 17, 2014

Fare Hikes: what we asked for

Fares are going up again.

The furore is inevitable, since nobody likes to have to cough up more for something we pay every day. However, at the risk of being abused, I have to conclude that this is what we, as a socially-aware public, have asked for. Isn't this the logical outcome of the feedback the government has been receiving?

In this latest round of fee revision, concessions are being given to more vulnerable groups in our country, such as students from polytechnics and the disabled. This is indeed what has been repeatedly requested in the official press, online media and other occasions for social dialogue. Being neither young nor old nor poor, I fall precisely into the category of middle class working adults whose full fares would indirectly subsidize these concessions. Somebody has to pay to keep the vehicles moving, and if there isn't a fare hike, how would these concessions be funded?

In popular Yahoo parlance, "the gahman should pay". But if the "gahman" pays, it simply means that you, and I, and every taxpayer pays! Since economic resources are limited, it eventually works out to higher taxes in our country. Is this a preferable distribution of the cost of transport?

To be honest, I scrutinized all the categories of concessions, wondering if somehow I qualify for something. I don't. I suppose, not being in need of help is something to be grateful for too.

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