ECONOMY, TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Chart of the Day: MRT ridership could grow 89% to 1.3b in 2030

But it doesn't guarantee profit gain for operators.

According to CIMB, public transport will be the de facto mode of transport by 2030. Longer term, the public transport operators can benefit only after the transition to the new rail financing network. 

The government aims to shift demand from private to public transport as land supply constraints limit road capacity.

It aims to raise public transport‟s share from 60% to 70% by 2020 and 75% by 2030. New rail lines will be introduced. The rail network will double in length from 178km
today to 360km by 2030.

Here's more from CIMB:

Rail density will rise from 34km per million people to 54km per million people. In the meantime, the bus fleet will be expanded as a stop-gap measure to satisfy demand before new rail lines are ready.

We estimate that annual MRT ridership could grow from 688m (2012) to 1.3bn (2030) and bus ridership from 941m (2012) to 1.2bn (2030).

Growing ridership does not necessarily mean higher profits though. Fares remain controlled by the Public Transport Council, implying that operators will struggle with a lack of pricing power amid escalating costs from staff and repairs & maintenance.

In the near-term, we expect domestic operations to remain challenging.

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