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World class public transport
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 13187
Location: singapore

PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:19 am    Post subject: World class public transport Reply with quote

What is world class public transport system?

My immediate response is to look at the best, the most efficient, the most comfortable and the most customer friendly, ignoring the cost for the moment. What comes into my mind is SIA first class or first class in the bullet trains. Plush upholstery, pretty hostesses, service with a smile, tender loving care, and a lot of room to move around, read the paper, a lot of fresh air to breathe, and getting to your destination on time.

What is the Minister's definition of first class? More people using it. A preferred choice of transport. Quite brief but could encompass efficiency, fast, clean, comfortable etc but one thing to exclude, be prepared to be squeezed. The capacity must increase as most of the trains are not travelling in full capacity.

Now what are the views of operators of public transport on being first class? Efficiency, fast and maximum capacity are the key words. Forget about comfort. They have just removed many seats to increase capacity. And they want the train to be 100% full at all time. Now what does this 100% mean? Cheek to cheek? Very likely. The current 80% peak time capacity is seen as under utilised.

What commuters in Singapore can expect if public transport is indeed world class is a sardine packed, cheek to cheek kind of commuting, and not only during peak hours, but at all hours.

What this means is that the commuters must be prepared to smell the unclean, unwashed body odour of the next person. Smell all the month long stale cigarette which a construction worker will not wash off from his uniform. And even the female commuters are not noted for washing their hair and you know what you will get.

And there will be more meat in the train than air. And everyone is expected to share the little air in the packed to capacity cabin, exchanging bad breath. And they will have to stand practically all the way.

And that is world class public transport system if the operators have their say.

If that be so, I would recommend a standard attire for all commuters. Swimming trunks and a gas mask, and a body strap with a hook. And better to make it compulsory. The mask is necessary not only to shield against bad breath and body odour, but as a first line of defence against infection. And commuters better not try white shirt or designer togs.

What is the body strap and hook for? To hang the body for the rest of the journey. Beats standing all the way. Laughing
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wenchu



Joined: 12 Nov 2006
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My views about world class transport:

Bus- Punctuality. After so many years, the bus operators should be able to tell when is the peak period for which bus route. It may not be during the peak hours because we have not included the lunch hours or afternoon shift workers and students. If you need to wait 30 mins for a bus or 3 buses to arrive together, which one you prefer? I do not prefer either. I prefer to see my bus in 5 mins time whenever I reached the bus stop. The bus operators cannot have any excuse about traffic jams, bus breakdowns or whatever. They should have known better how to handle these situations by now. That is when I call it First Class.

Train- Accomodation. The trains have no problems of being late because they operate under fixed timing. It's the people now who should make the trains First Class instead. One should know when is the peak hours where there are many passengers boarding the trains. Should we carry big luggages, baby trams, haversacks when we know we are going to squeeze in the trains with other passengers? They should be taking taxi instead. And lastly, do not open up the newspaper so wide as if you want to share the news with other passesngers.

Taxi- Accessiblity. We can talk about World Class when we can flag a taxi so easily as in those TV dramas. Presently, when you need them, they are not there. But when you do not need them, they are everywhere. Why? Impossible to ask all the taxi drivers to collect same rates regardless of what time right? I myself do not mind paying more if I can get to my destination at the shortest route(without telling the driver he should take), fastest time, and get off the taxi at the same attire when I leave my house. No need those TV stuff, karaoke, leg massage....whatever, as I am not a king.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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Location: singapore

PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi wenchu,

Taxi is a substitute for those who can afford private cars or those who can afford to pay more. So taxi must be a decent alternative to driving your own car, comfort, convenient, clean, no smelly taxi driver or rude drivers etc.

Public transport like buses and MRT should be as convenient as possible, puntual, comfortable, and reasonably priced. How can public transport be comfortable if it is supposed to be a sardine can?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are so many discussions in the papers recently on how to improve the public transport system. There were advocates of more service providers, while some wanted it to be operated by only one organisation.

The quality of public transport system, especially in our context, is not dependent on the number of operators, monopoly or oligopoly, or in whatever combinations. All these are hogwash. Discussions in futility, or discussions for the sake of discussion.

What is needed is the political will to set the goals on what we want. If the political objective is to have a reasonably priced world class transport system we will have it. If the objective is to squeeze as much money from the commuters, then it will be that way.

The public should not waste too much time talking about what is best. There are many super talents who have already thought of them and knew what can be done and should be done. It is audacious for the layman public to think that they know better.

Just let the super talents know what are the real objectives of a world class transport system and they will deliver. Tell them you want to milk as much money from the commuters, they will deliver too. What is so difficult about delivering a world class transport system when we have the money to buy the best in the world? It is all in the mind.
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wenchu



Joined: 12 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

redbean wrote:
There are so many discussions in the papers recently on how to improve the public transport system. There were advocates of more service providers, while some wanted it to be operated by only one organisation.

The quality of public transport system, especially in our context, is not dependent on the number of operators, monopoly or oligopoly, or in whatever combinations. All these are hogwash. Discussions in futility, or discussions for the sake of discussion.

What is needed is the political will to set the goals on what we want. If the political objective is to have a reasonably priced world class transport system we will have it. If the objective is to squeeze as much money from the commuters, then it will be that way.

The public should not waste too much time talking about what is best. There are many super talents who have already thought of them and knew what can be done and should be done. It is audacious for the layman public to think that they know better.

Just let the super talents know what are the real objectives of a world class transport system and they will deliver. Tell them you want to milk as much money from the commuters, they will deliver too. What is so difficult about delivering a world class transport system when we have the money to buy the best in the world? It is all in the mind.

Hi redbean,

I do agree with you. Those transport operators made the own decision all the time, do they really need our feedback then?

We have made numerous complaints about the ez-link system, they would still carry on with their lawyer firms kind of reply and explanation. Haven't they have known enough about the flaws already? Still want to proceed with satellite?

Sometimes I do wonder what is no good about the bus conductor systems.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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Location: singapore

PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only thing good is to make the bus conductor redundant. In singapore we expect everyone to be trainable to become doctors and scientists. No need for bus conductors, train drivers, no need for cleaners soon.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good news for transport fares.

London just up its fare and becomes the most expensive in the world. Will this give us a boost? If so quickly buy MRT and SBS stocks. Laughing
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wenchu



Joined: 12 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

redbean wrote:
Good news for transport fares.

London just up its fare and becomes the most expensive in the world. Will this give us a boost? If so quickly buy MRT and SBS stocks. Laughing

Good News? When London increases the fares, does it means Singapore has more reasons to say we are the lowest? Then, Singapore will have more reasons to raise the fares again.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi wenchu,

We need to catch up with London. Laughing
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hongkong MTR efficiency and cheap

Liew Kai Khiun praised the efficiency and cheaper fare of the HK MTR compares to our MRT. Its frequency is 1-2 min against our 5-8 min, its clean and working airconditioning and other facilities. And best, when they merged the Kowloon Canton Railway Corporation with the MTR Corporation, they immediately passed the savings to the commuters by shaving off the fare from 5-10 per cent.

Reducing of fares is something unbelieveable in this island. It cannot be done and sinful not to continue to reap the windfall from the commuters.

And the saying goes. If you want good service, prepare to pay more. And the commuters are paying more every year while the service standard is still at a standstill. Diminishing returns or it has reached a point where nothing can be improved?

Or it is just like the congestion in the express ways. Keep paying and paying and the traffic jams will not go away.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ERP coming to your HDB carparks.

Well, ERP gantry is now at Lor 6 Toa Payoh. So if you think of escaping the Expressways, fat hope. Wherever you try to sneak away from paying, the ERP will come to you.

Eventually the gantries will be erected in front of HDB car parks. And that will be the day when all the car parks will be turned into warehouses for brand new and expensive cars. Move out of the carpark you pay.

Car ownership will still be a privileged. And driving around will be a bigger privilege.

Paradise is looking beautiful where people will spend their time strolling along free walkways and enjoying the beautiful landscapings around their estates.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Overhaul of bus system - back to basics

Raymond Lim is another hard working minister working very hard to overhaul our efficient transport system that has been made more efficient by privatisation and the merging of several providers to gain from the economy of scales. Why is it still inefficient really bugs me?

The key changes to Raymond's reform of the system are: 1. transport system to serve commuters' interest and not to make more money. This is the most radical change I think. 2. Central control and planning by the govt and not by the providers. Ooh, are the privatised management more capable, efficient and commercially wise? 3. More providers to generate competition for better service? What, what's that? 4. This may not be a major issue, but hey, finally season pass is coming.

What the above changes boil down to is that the transport system should be taken back by the govt and be made a public service to serve the commuters. The concept that these privatised transport providers would want to be efficient and provide the best service without making profit is a big flaw in the assumption. And don't ever forget the argument, the famed argument, that they have to answer to their shareholders. Then how?

This contradition cannot be resolved without making transport providers as an essential govt service. I will strongly recommend that the bus and MRT systems be returned to the govt as a stats board. Then we can talk about providing a service for the people without making profit as a key objective. And if this 'stats board' is still inefficient in spite of the super talents with super pay managing them, fire the whole bunch and get a new team.

Privatisation is not a cure all for inefficiency and incompetence. The concept is as tooth as the tooth. I have personally seen many private organisations managed by clowns just to protect their own jobs and pay without any concern of where the organisation is heading. I will write about this tomorrow.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perfect solutions to our transport problem

1. Too many cars, increase taxes, ARF, PARF, Road Tax, Petrol Tax etc etc.

2. Too many cars on expressways, increase fees of expressways.

3. Too many cars in other roads, erect more ERPs.

4. If all these ended with too many cars in car parks, increase parking fees.

5. Too many people using bus and MRTs, increase fares.

It only took me 1 minute for these remedies. Brilliant!
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redbean



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can we afford 6.5m?

In many respects we can. But in the area of transportation, I doubt we can keep pushing further. Under the present 4.5m, we are greatly stressed. We are at the verge of erecting ERPs at every junction.

What if we have 6.5m? Cannot imagine the congestion. Now our car population is about 500,000. Add another 2m people, we can expect another 200,000 cars on the road. Then what?

Build another network of roads? The expressways, if we double it, may still look ok. It is the smaller roads that will choke up and get blocked out. There is no way one can drive out of the car park with 700,000 cars unless we are going to pay through our nose to get the car moving.

We have MRT! Even now, if we add another 10% to the commuters, the MRT will be struggling. Forget about buses on the roads.

6.5m! Still pushing it?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why so many complaints about MRT?

It is unbelieveable that there are so many complaints in the msm today on the MRT. Too crowded, overcrowding, smelling people's body odour, people breathing down your neck, etc etc. How can there be so many complaints about our world class transport system? And they had just collected several years of fare hikes to improve the system.

I think all these complaints are unjustified. Our trains, compare to some other countries, are so comfortable. At least not as crowded as in Tokyo or having to hang outside the train or sit on the roof. And we have been told that the trains are only 80% capacity. We can squeeze in 20% more people.

Singaporean commuters are too much. Can't they appreciate that standing close to each other will be a great opportunity to strike up a conversation and get to know the other person. Perhaps they can make more friends as well. It is great for socialising. For the ingenius salespeople, it will be a good occasion to sell more deodorant.

And the services must have improved tremendously after all the fare hikes. Imagine if not of the fare hikes what will be the condition of travelling in the train. Singaporeans just do not know how good this paradise is.
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