At a transport symposium last Wednesday (18 Nov), Professor Kishore Mahbubani, dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, called for public transport to be nationalised.
His statements resonated with many people on the ground as nearly 50% of people polled by The Straits Times agreed that the public transport system should be nationalised.
However some experts appeared to favour a hybrid model, where the Government could own the assets but leave the daily operations to private operators.
Dr Park Byung Joon, adjunct associate professor at the SIM University noted that a transport model where the Government takes full management and ownership of the operating assets such as railway tracks and trains, but engages operators to run the services may be ideal. In this way assets maintenance would be done based on public utilisation rather than on Return of Investments.
The Government is already taking greater action in the transport system, through a bus contracting model where routes are put up for competitive tender and revenue risk is state-borne, as well as a new rail financing framework.
What are your views?
Source: “Poll: Many prefer government-owned transport system in Singapore” (The Straits Times, 23 Nov 2015)