If we compare Singapore public transport with another country, say, Malaysia, ours is much more efficient and reliable. However, Singapore is a city-state—in other words, it is only fair that we compare a city with a city, not a city with a country. And that is when Singapore’s rank will drop drastically—and that actually, it’s not that good, after all.
I’m a driver for a few years now so my views might not be completely accurate; but somehow, I’m sure that it hasn’t changed much. In addition, because I drive, I do know some things that public transport users might not know. Here are the six things we hate most about Singapore public transport!
Overcrowded bus / train during peak hours
You know that’s going to be the first. If not, try taking a bus or train at 7:45 a.m. during a weekday. Since you’ve not experienced it before, you’ll not know how to squeeze, so you’ll most likely board the twentieth train that comes. By then, it’s no longer peak hours, and you may no longer have a job.
Long waiting time for bus during off-peak hours
So peak hours are bad. Off-peak should be better, eh? Apparently, it’s worse. A five-minute waiting time during peak hours will balloon to a twenty-minute waiting time during off-peak hours. In other words, if you are reading this on your smartphone and miss your bus, you’ll have waited a total of forty minutes for a bus ride that is only five minutes.
Excuses by bus companies
The first template-like excuse by bus operators: traffic conditions. Now, as a driver, let me tell you something: traffic jams usually occur on expressways, and there are not many buses that ply expressways. Secondly, on a major road (not expressway), there is a special lane known as a “bus lane”: cars can be caught in a massive jam in a major road due to an accident ahead, but the bus lane is always clear for them during peak hours. Thirdly, drivers are supposed to give way to buses exiting from bus bay, if not we will risk being fined. Traffic conditions? It’s always good for buses.
Second excuse: not enough drivers. Have you seen a McDonald’s outlet closing down due to lack of manpower? And do you know how much a McDonald’s employee earns?
Third excuse: you get the idea. A PR team is always cheaper than having more buses out there.
Okay, this is happening everywhere in the world but it seems like our public transport operators can only think of the easy solution when operating costs increase. The last I know, a good business goes for the best solution, not the easiest solution.
Then again, there’s no competition. So why bother finding the best solution? People complain and accept. There’s no other option for them.
Seats too small
Need I explain more? Either I’m too fat or you’re too skinny.
When you need a cab, the entire population needs one, too
I’m certain it’s not Murphy’s law. It’s another law called…common sense. And this common sense thingy; it’s always so freaking accurate.