Monday, March 29, 2010

Hub and spoke

Well, finally somebody is talking sense and thinking out of the box. The Transport supremos in the government are now suggesting a 'hub-and-spoke' model for public bus services, in place of the 'cross-country' type of bus services which has been in place for all these many years. The hub is the MRT stations, the spokes are all the feeder services from the 2 bus companies. Bus services will travel shorter distances, which will minimise delays caused by unexpected road congestions, resulting in more timely and regular bus services. Generally, MRT train services run like clockwork, so this new model of public transport appears logical and may even work. I suppose the viability of this is new service model was just waiting for the rail network to become more comprehensive. But it could have been tried out earlier. Come April 2010, more stations on the Circle line will be opened.

But of course, there are people who are not certain that this will improve things. People fret about having to change multiple transport services getting to their destinations. This is a valid concern, given that people have suffered all these many years from irregular services from the bus companies. Hopefully, with shorter end-to-end trips, service will improve significantly and dispel the bad experience. We should try this out and tweak the system so that it becomes better over time. But of course, by going hub-and-spoke, the transport people should remember that there are exceptions, particularly for places that are not served adequately by the rail network. There are some places which will be served well by one model, but other places where a cross-country model could still be better. The frequency can be less for these cross-country routes, which will help to raise, if not improve the scheduled arrival times for these bus services. The other concern is that the train companies should ensure that their services are not so overcrowded that people need to wait for the next train service because the first one is too full. Then we'll all be back to square one.

9 Comments:

Anonymous said...

I am very concerned that they just follow the "hub and spoke" principle without thinking and we end up with something that cost more yet deliver less. It would not be the first time...

Amused said...

Err, the current train system is already bulging at its seams.

And you are think that making it necessary for more people to use the train as a good thing?

One transfer I can take. More than one is just a hassle. Time is still needed to wait for the train/bus to come and to walk from/to the different alighting locations.

Epilogos said...

You are right. The current train traffic at the current frequency is close to squeezing body to body, though to be frank, it isn't as bad as that in Hong Kong and Shanghai. I have been to both cities and taken their subway trains. Nevertheless, you point is a valid one and when and if the government wants to implement this hub/spoke thing, they need to look into all the existing constraints.

And if they don't and the whole idea makes things worst, well, you know, Mr Raymond Lim will be in just as hot a soup as Mr Mah Bow Tan is with housing. Well, they just have to earn their keep.

Anonymous said...

Ever since the Circle line started operating, its has opened an alternative route home from work for me. And its has cut traveling time from 1 hour previously to as low as 45 minutes - if there is no wait time in between changing buses and trains. Yes, I still have to take a bus, and then the circle line and then transfer to the Northeast line. But its been faster. So I think the hub/spoke thing just might work.

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Anonymous said...

Any transport company should not own more than 1 type of transport mode to allow a fair transport system.

Also, the recent poll on the transport system showing that more than 80% of the people are satisfy with the transport system is totally wrong. I suspect that they have play with the figures by selecting the best feedback group out of many feedback group that they collect. I can't imagine how Singapore 1st class transport have resort to such in-ethical method to lie to Singaporeans and the whole world. I think Singapore will be doomed by such irresponsible news created by such morons.

Anonymous said...

According to the recent news on Public Transport fares to go down by 2.5% (http://www.todayonline.com/Singapore/EDC100421-0000055/Public-transport-fares-to-go-down-by-2,5) is totally wrong. The header of the news article does not reflect that actually there is a increase of 2 cents for bus and 3 cents for MRT and LRT per trip.

I can't imagine that nowadays news reporter do not know how to behave themselves and keep using irresponsible header to blur reader.

I think Singapore should have more international news reporter that can report true facts instead of cheating and lying to the reader.

Anonymous said...

The current bus fare is calculated based on stages while the new bus fare is calculated based on distance (km).

I was wondering if the bus company will provided a table showing each individual bus fare stages to distance (km) tables. For example, a bus of stage 1 to 4, the bus company will shows the distance (km) cover for stage 1 to 4.

Some more, the distance (km) is based on the road. If the road is very curve, then it will be longer distance for the customer.

Basically, I think there such be more transport company just like those in Hong Kong. Otherwise, I would rather migrate to Hong Kong as it is better than here!

wenlin said...

interesting post. i guess this hub-and-spoke system just might tie in nicely with the charge-by-distance new system to be implemented from July onwards. but i figure there will still be a core group of people who think that having to save e.g. 30 cents by changing 2 buses instead of taking the long point-to-point/end-to-end service route is a pain.

sometimes people just want a seat after a long day at work on the bus ride home, cause the train or a hub-and-spoke kind of service during the rush hour doesn't provide it...