MAKE OSAN BETTER 15-011: Price PCS Travel to/from Incheon Airport
Published September 14, 2015
ITT bus to Incheon airport costs $15 for leave/personal travel and $35 for TDY/PCS "official" travel. This strikes me as a fairly fraudulent and wasteful difference. 1) The bus runs 3x each direction each day regardless of number of passengers; 2) the local city express bus (Incheon -> Osan city -> Songtan station) costs 11,200Won (~$10); 3) the bus -> driver & ITT argument is that "Yes, it is $20 more for official travel, but the member gets fully reimbursed" which means ITT is exploiting the fact that the government will reimburse the cost; 4) ITT was unable to provide me with any reference or AFI-type justification for the higher cost.
The price for all travel should be the same $15 each way, regardless of reason. This is more in accordance with local transportation options and reasonable for the American government and tax payers to reimburse.
The ITT bus service to Incheon for official travel has been priced at $35 since 2006. This price is based on cost of the service accounting for ridership and the imposed schedule to meet our military need for arriving and departing PCS or TDY personnel. The $35 is a reasonable price for the service after assessing overall costs and we are also mindful of increased use of Patriot Missions further depleting passengers/need for the route. What the FSS has done to help sustain the service is to offer available seats at a discount for personnel on leisure travel. This is similar to the airlines selling off empty seats at lost cost fare versus traveling empty. The $15 price is competitive with the commercial bus after considering the additional cost for a taxi to the bus terminal etc. Overall the business model continues to fulfill a requirement for official travel while offering a benefit to our service members and families on leisure travel. I had to stand down on my IG complaint for this one but am happy that we know the back end of the differing prices.
CMSgt T. Greene
51st Fighter Wing Command Chief Master Sergeant