Mr Lui continues not to get it!!

Ages ago — oh all right, I exaggerate, it’s only a couple of years ago — I wrote that Mr Lui Tuck Yew, our august transport minister didn’t get it. You can read about it here.

Judging by the derision that’s greeted his recent pronouncements on bus fares and higher pay for bus drivers (service leaders, for heavens sake!), he still doesn’t get it.

Never mind.

Since he doesn’t feel the pain of sky-rocketting COEs and doesn’t as a rule have to take bus, taxi, MRT or walk to get from point A to point XYZ, why should he get it.

But since I do feel the extruciating hurt of COE prices — as a consequence of which I will have to have more than nodding acquaintance with BTMW sooner than later, let me add my one-cent worth to what can be done to help make it unnecessary to raise bus fares –yet.

Last week, I found myself at Newton MRT station, having taken the train first from Bishan and then Toa Payoh, the result of my deciding to get down midway be4 Newton to take a look at the heartlands, not because of a train breakdown 😆

I had sent my car for servicing at one of the Sin Min workshops and the workshop boss had as usual dropped me off at Bishan station in his land rover, not jeep, he insisted. One is American; the other British.

Frankly I don’t know the difference and don’t care, so long as I’m saved the hassle of finding my way back to civilisation.

After an hour or so at Junction 8 and then another hour so at Toa Payoh, I suddenly realised that i was going to hit the after work crush on the public transport system — if I didn’t hurry up.

I needn’t have worried.

The 4.30pm-ish train from Toa Payoh to Newton was pretty empty. I had my choice of seats and a few minutes later I was leaving the station.

My next worry was how to bridge the 3 bus stops to my home, since the after work hordes would surely weigh on the buses like an albatross!

I could of course cover the 3 bus stops by walking but it’s slightly more than 1km leh and there was a drizzle.

I could take a taxi but the Auntie Scrooge within me took over. I would probably have to pay $4 to cover the short distance. In any case, anyone trying to catch a taxi on this side of Scotts Road at close to 5pm won’t have much success!

I decided to take a bus, as I discovered from the time-tables displayed that I had a choice of 171 in 11 minutes and 900 and 900A in 9 minutes — not exactly a short wait but as my shopping comprised only 10 oranges and 5 persimmons, it’s not too heavy and certainly won’t perish in minutes.

However what truly irked me during the wait was the arrival in quick succession of Bus 124, all 3 of them, the 3rd one just be4 Bus 900 arrived for me.

Worse, each Bus 124 was virtually empty.

I don’t know which transport company — SBS or SMRT — Bus 124 belongs to but to schedule 3 buses within 10 minutes or so is surely a gross waste of $$$ and manpower and taking up unnecessary road space to boot. Worse, none of the buses could have made any money for their owners during that particular run.

Mayb be4 Mr Lui talks again about raising bus fares, he should think of telling the operators to first cut waste by refining their scheduling? 🙄


5 thoughts on “Mr Lui continues not to get it!!

  1. Pingback: Daily SG: 20 Dec 2012 | The Singapore Daily

  2. Actually if you go the Iris website or any bus interchange, you can see that buses are scheduled to leave at regular intervals. The effect of “3 buses at once” is due to 2 reasons.

    Firstly ,traffic lights can cause some buses to become faster or slower than others. You may recall that as a driver, there will be days when every traffic junction is a red light, and there are days when every junction is a nice smooth green. The latter is a much faster journey. Buses face this too, thus causing some buses to clump together despite leaving at equal intervals.

    The 2nd and more interesting reason is passenger traffic. If there are more people getting oh a bus, more people must eventually get off the same bus. The process of getting on and off a bus takes time, So busy buses are naturally slower. That bus’ next stop will have more time to accumulate passengers waiting to get on the bus, which slows that bus even more at the next stop. Consequently the second bus behind a busy bus is faster since there are less customers. Since many ppl leave their homes to go to work within the same morning window, this makes the bus clumping effect even more likely.

  3. Hello Uncle/Auntie SG Thinker: it’s not in the morning. The 3 124-buses clumped together were around 5pm. Given your explanation, it seems it wld be a lot more efficient to have a segment of mini buses like they do in Hongkong which don’t travel from one end of the island to the other but loop within shorter distances. Also, I’ve seen other buses clustered together too.. I buy yr explanation BUT knowing the reason isn’t good enough if no one does anything to try and overcome such wastage. 🙄

  4. Merry Christmas beautiful. Still remember me? 😉 Can’t do makan this year as planned, still stuck in the field. Next year I promise.

    Darkness 2013

  5. Uncle Dotty! How nice to hear from u! Were we supposed to eat? Thought that was in KL — thot I also said I usually go to Rokaro when there? Bests of 2013 to you and yours! 😆

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s