Posts about publictransport

Juanita Melson is the familiar voice behind the announcements being broadcasted in the MRT.

Juanita Melson is the familiar voice behind the announcements being broadcasted in the MRT.

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Mom, there's a new bus service

Recently, the service operator that provides bus service in my neighborhood launched a new service. I came to know about it when I saw a poster being advertised at the bus stop promoting the new service. As it provided little details on the actual route it would serve, I decided to check out details of the bus service using the bus service guide to help determine if it’ll be convenient for me to travel home from my workplace.

On the day the service launched, I boarded the bus from my usual bus stop. To my surprise, it seemed that many others were “trying out” the route as the bus was relatively packed. Less than 5 minutes into the journey, I began cursing under my breath for being too smart on deciding to try out the new bus service. Throughout the journey, I managed to observe a few interesting but annoying scene though.

First, the new bus service came with a newly qualified bus driver. How am I able to come to this conclusion? It’s simple — because he was driving at a speed of between 30 to 40 km/h and he never fails to stop at every bus stop, regardless if anyone is boarding or alighting. Then, he had to refer to his notes when passengers asked about the bus fares. To make things worst, the driving skills is simply bad because he has bad judgement and decides to filter into the appropriate lane too early, thus further delaying travelling time. I’m not trying to insult or look down on new bus drivers but I think its unacceptable service.

At one point, I even heard a young girl yelling to her mum about the new bus service at one of the bus stops. It was then that I noticed most people did not even know or bother to read the poster promoting the new bus service. Whenever the bus pulls into a bus stop, most would glance at it curiously before rushing to read the poster. What’s worst is that the bus is bound to stop at stops for a long time as the driver tries his best to entertain those who ask for route directions. All of these add up precious time and cause great frustration!

From this incident, I can conclude that it is not wise to try out a new bus service for at least a few weeks after it has launched. Although it will help to save cost and cut down travelling time, it may seem otherwise initially. This incident has also made me wondered why many simply can’t be bothered to find out more about the service if they intent to board in the first place. Would this be the kind of attitude and mentality our society will adopt? I’ll leave it for you to think about.

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Public transport service

Recently, I came across this discussion about our Singapore public transport service both on television and from reading the papers. Apparently, the government has came up with a 10 year outlook for our public transport service and this includes various means of upgrading that includes adding more railway lines, providing better service — all comes with a possibility of increased fares.

If you were to observe closely, one would realise that our public transport fares are affordable and convenient to a certain extend but the rates are climbing slowly by a few cents during each increment. Many would agree that due to many factors such as upgrading of buses, higher oil prices etc warrants the increase of fares in order to stay profitable. However, we all know for the fact that the annual turnover for these operators turns out to be millions of dollars. This makes me and many others wonder if the fare increase is justified.

Next, it is noted that the rider-ship on public transport have continually declined over the years and more people own their own vehicles. As much as the government tries to implement measures such as the infamous Electronic Road Pricing (ERP), Certificate of Entitlement (COE) etc to discourage people from driving, many are still able to own one and lead a comfortable life. This makes me wonder if all these measures indeed serve its purpose.

In my personal opinion, if the government seriously wants its citizen to switch to public transport, perhaps it should first review its own policies. We cannot compare our fare structure (most affordable) with others parts of the world as cars are so much affordable as compared to ours. This in turn caused their public transport prices to soar as there’s generally lesser rider-ship and this would in turn affect the operator’s turnover. Apart from this, there is a need to improve the services provided or even realign the operator’s mission and values to a less profit orientated organisation. After all, they are providing a service that can be considered essential in one’s daily life.

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Future MRT map

Future MRT Map

Stumbled upon this possible future MRT (Mass Rapid Transit)* map of Singapore while clearing my inbox. From the map, we can see that apart from the circle line, which is currently undergoing heavy construction, there are plans to add an addition of 4 other lines which includes the Bukit Timah, Downtown extension, Eastern region and North coast line. Even the operators for each line have been listed way before bidding starts — or it could be that talks are on the table.

Looks like there’s going to be more inconvenience and digging lining up if this source is accurate. However, we can look forward to a more convenient and efficient transport system. Perhaps, in the near future, you could be hearing the following announcement instead:

“Next stop, Marina View (instead of Marina Bay). This train terminates at Marina View. All passengers please alight. Thank you for traveling with SMRT.”

* For the non-Singaporean readers, MRT is equivalent to The Tube in London and Subway in the US.

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Irritants

I’m not those who usually get irritated easily but recently, this is getting on my nerves. Now that I’ve been posted to Air Force School, I get to travel daily from home to the school and vice-versa. It’s great to have this kind of feeling of getting to travel around in public buses but it can be real annoying now that technology have advanced.

Years ago, it was the TV mobile squeaking sound that irritates everyone on the bus. Now that the issue has been resolved, I still find that the volume can get a little loud at times, especially when the bus is empty. Next, here comes the issue of personal digital device such as MP3 players, cell phone. There is bound to be some inconsiderate who would blast music from their digital device and broadcast to everyone on the bus. I’m sure many other passengers sitting around are irritated as well but no one dares to approach the culprit.

Perhaps one day, someone can come up with an intelligent device where we can jam or filter out these irritants so that we can embark on a peaceful journey.

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