15th March 2005, 12:39 PM
This issue has been raised time and again and the SMRT has maintained its stand. As mentioned, this petition is unlikely to go anywhere unless with some heavyweight support eg an MP or Minister
SMRT's reply has been consistent - that although the poly students are of the same age as the JC students, they are in a different category - they are now tertiary students in a tertiary institution - and a line has to be drawn somewhere.
It's the same principle with the ruling where any child 0.9m or above will be charged child fare. You may argue that this is unfair to some children who grow quickly.
Any policy will always affect some people - and if they do not maintain their stand, it will always be open to arguments and debates. There'll be no end to people clamouring for a "fairer" system.
Supposing this petition was successful, and now poly students enjoy similar concessions to JC students and a flat rate of 45 cents for Poly students who are 16-20 years of age (as suggested by the petition).
You will probably now get some university students arguing that this is unfair to them since they are also in tertiary institution and most of them would be in the age group of 16-20. For the girls, most of them would be 18+, and the guys would say it is unfair to them since they are required to serve NS. And so on .. and on
Moreover, I noted that the petition started off by saying "It is obviously unfair that SMRT and SBS charge polytechnic students adult fares while JC students only pay 45cents per trip". This isn't a good way to start off. Why is it OBVIOUSLY unfair since they are after all tertiary students? It would not go down well with SMRT with such an opening line. In fact I find the whole article needs to be re-written - with more compelling arguments - but even then, I doubt SMRT would budge an inch