Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Horrific Transport

Where were you all these many years? An MP, from the ruling People's Action Party, Mr Lim Biow Chuan, has finally done the right thing, but after prodding from the just concluded GE 2011. He has actually gone down to the street, literally, to witness for himself residents' complaints about the poor bus service. The new MP for Mountbatten said he was "...'horrified' at the bus service standards in his ward..." (Yahoo News, 21 May) after an on-the-ground check of the bus service level in his ward. I leave you to read what he found out. We must give credit to Mr Lim for walking the talk. Taking that simple but important step to see for yourself your residents' complaints and not assuming that it is a lot of hot air blown by some disgruntled commuters is showing your sincerity in doing your job right. I wonder how often former Transport Minister Raymond Lim bothered to check things out himself, or did he just rely on a team of 'yes' men and women who 'sugar-coat' their assessments for his consumption. Maybe that is why he is the former Transport Minister.

But this problem is not particular to Mountbatten. And it is not new either. In fact, it is endemic to Singapore. I wrote as far back as 2007 my horrendous wait for a bus 27 in Tampines (yeah, that Constituency still helmed by Mr Mah Bow Tan), and pointed out that the problem of poor bus service goes back umpteen years. In all those years, nothing much has changed and with rising transport fares through the years, you get pretty genuinely disgruntled commuters. That is why transport fare increases has never been welcomed, even though it is only a few cents every time. People just cannot associate paying even a cent more for a service which never improves.

Hopefully, Mr Lim's horrific experience will lead to some permanent changes. But you know, I doubt if there will be change. I have become a Singapore public transport cynic after years of bad experience taking public transport. But lets give it a chance. Let's see if any permanent change can come out of this.


Anonymous said...

Petty, but please will you use the phrase correctly: "Walk the walk", not talk the walk or walk the talk. Or is it Singlish"?

Anonymous said...

SBS 27 is nothing; you should try waiting for SBS 100.

We should have an award show for the bus service with the longest waiting time.

Anonymous said...

As long as Gerard approves the annual fare increase, you can continue to wait long long and experience the 'crushed' load.

Epilogos said...

I don't know why some people keep 'correcting' me when they need correcting themselves. Sigh.



Epilogos said...

I agree. I have taken the horrible Service 100 too. Sometimes you wait for 20 - 30 minutes for one to come along. Why do I say it is horrible? Because before the next service 100 shows up, 2 or 3 buses of another service would have come by.

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