Seriously, I am probably not the first, nor the last to complain about public transport and how it falls below expectations. Really, if public transport is that good, people may seriously consider public transport as one of their traveling options. Naturally, I have some peeves about the public transport service and let me know if you agree with me:

  1. Frequency of buses. Seriously, I have never seen anything as erratic as bus timings. How can a bus be consistently arriving at 45 minutes interval during peak hours when the chart says 12-15 minutes? Even at off-peak hours, it’s supposed to be 15-18 minutes only!
  2. Overcrowded buses. It never fails to baffle me how bus transport companies, knowing peak hours, do not schedule for more buses. I end up having to miss 3 to 4 buses before I can squeeze onto one. Considering #1, this usually means 1 hour or more of waiting.
  3. Last bus not matching arrival of last train. Catching the last train home does not necessarily mean that I can get home on time. Mainly because the last train arrives much later than the last bus. Given the doubt that it’s a catch-22 situation, the last train reaches my place at 12:20am while the last bus is at 11:59pm. There is no catch-22. It’s called badly uncoordinated services.
  4. Cleanliness of buses. This never fails to eek me. There are small cockroaches, some silver fishes, bugs, and other creepy crawlies. However, I do see bus captains cleaning their buses after the bus arrive at the terminal. What I suspect is a major smoke-out of the buses every fortnight or month. I hope this does not translate to fare hikes though.
  5. Racing F1 buses. Come to think of it, I kinda enjoy buses that speed… to a certain extend. However, some drivers do take it over the limit and it felt like I was on the F1 track for a moment. I know that F1 is coming to town… still…

And here are some things that I hope to see included in the overhaul:

  1. Bus stamps for everyone. I foresee that it’d be something that I might need in the future, so it’d be good for them to start implementing it – and no, the SBS transit Season Pass doesn’t quite count. We are looking at cross-service concession passes.
  2. Ask who? Ask Iris doesn’t seem to work as well as it was meant to. Buses that were meant to arrive 5 minutes later were at the bus stop while "ghost" buses that were meant to be there… weren’t there.
  3. Better connectivity. For me to get to get from Adam road to Orchard, I can either take any bus to Bukit Timah Road, cross the overhead bridge and take 171/174 or… walk to Dunearn Road. Hmm… both involve walks of 200m or more. Not a good choice if you are carrying heavy stuffs. No cabs too. Remember the fare hike?
  4. More timely buses. This is a little hard especially when there may be road congestions. I’m not sure how this can be solved, but how about some form of alternative routes so that people can connect to other buses that goes to their destination?
  5. Coordinated timings. One of the biggest peeves. Please time the bus and trains. It’s no point catching the last train back if I have to walk 3 km home from the station. Yes, some people are telling me that it’s better than walking 20 km. Then again, isn’t this supposed to be public transport? Serving the public? Do it well!

I’m sure there are many others, and it’d be nice to hear them too. I hope someone’s reading this blog… and oh, feel free to add on. =)

Reader's Comments

  1. alen | January 18th, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    I think there are many aspects to improve on. To anyone, the most important would be can I get to my destination in the fastest time?

    Beside this, having two bus companies sometime doesn’t help. Let’s say I want to get from A to B. I went to sbs journey planner, it could only propose bus service which they offer, even though SMRT might have a connecting bus that could get me there.

  2. Robert HO | January 19th, 2008 at 10:39 am

    RH: Solutions in :

  3. tc | January 19th, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    It is a good start for the minister to talk about this. But it will fizzle out in no time at all cos $$ talks and for all the talks about taxi fare, the govt has stayed clear out of the way, while the taxi operators continue to generate millions of profits. For a start, we already see how the SIA landing at Terminal 2 or Terminal 3 is very much profit centric, and not customer centric at all. If we were customer centric, we would allow this landing ie announcement only 2 hour before happen!! What a joke. Govt should nationalise Delgro and SMRT again. Then I will believe that things will change for the better.

  4. _sahirs | January 19th, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    Singaporeans, stop complaining. You don’t know a good thing when you see it.

  5. Hoping | January 19th, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    What I hope to see:
    – public bus drivers being booked for overcrowding and speeding
    – Traffic Police merging with LTA
    – bigger LTA and Traffic Police presence on the road
    – laws being enforced (overloaded trucks, speeding trucks, trucks in right lanes, bicycles on pavements, illegal parking, trucks driven by foreign workers, etc)
    – better designed roads and expressways

  6. Daily SG: 21 Jan 08 « The Singapore Daily | January 21st, 2008 at 11:36 am

    […] ERPains, Trains & Automobiles – The Lush Garden Within: Land transport reforms in Singapore – at last – Hear ye! Hear ye!: The wildcard in public bus reforms – Simply Jean: What I want to see in the transport overhaul […]

  7. SGDaily Roundup: Week 4 « The Singapore Daily | January 25th, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    […] in Singapore – at last – Hear ye! Hear ye!: The wildcard in public bus reforms – Simply Jean: What I want to see in the transport overhaul – My Singapore News: Time to return to sanity – Singapore Life and Times: The right step – Decay On […]

  8. Simply Jean | January 28th, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    @alen: i think there’s a much more complicated process. 1 problem that arises is that they do not run the same service line because it would be redundant. that’s what happened when SBS took on the NE line – all the buses disappeared and there was no alternative means when the train service broke down. i’m not sure if SMRT had any bus services running along side similar services that SBS is already providing. So, we’d still be stuck with 1 route unless they innovate.

    @_sahirs: yes… the last time we complained, the taxi fares rose…

    @Hoping: heh.. I hope for it too… but it’s still a hope

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