Friday, January 14, 2005

The elderly and perceptions of discrimination 

Financial planner Leong Sze Hian wrote in to The Straits Times to suggest that concessionary rates for travel on public transport and cinema admission for the elderly be extended to peak hours. Excerpt:

I am reminded of a conversation I overhead between two elderly Singaporeans which went something like this: “Why are we being discriminated against in Singapore? To get bus or MRT travel concession, we have to wait for off-peak periods. And it is the same when it comes to cinemas.”
One obvious way to eliminate discrimination is to get rid of the concessionary rates. But I doubt that’s what Leong had in mind.

Personally, I think it makes more sense for the public transport companies and cinemas to reduce the off-peak rates further rather than to extend the concessions to peak periods. Public transport in particular is already jam-packed during peak hours as it is. I’m not sure why we should encourage the elderly to join in the crush.


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