Monday, March 29, 2010

Ending Long Service Bus Routes Spells More Misery

Second Transport Minister Lim Hwee Hua claims that "The longer the (bus) service, the more there will be uncertainty because of traffic conditions along the way that will be accumulated as you get towards the end of the service." She presupposes that shorter services and transfers will get commuters to their commuters faster.

What Lim does not comprehend is that the shorter bus services will still have to navigate the bottlenecks of narrow and heavily congested routes. Add to this the time and inconvenience of getting off and waiting for another bus to come along. The rainy weather during the monsoon seasons can only exacerbate an already torturous bus journey. Why does she think airline and train routes are always planned for minimum of stopovers? The other significant change would be the commuters having to pay more to get to their destination because of the transfer costs involved. Contrary to what she told the public, that transfers will save time and cost, the converse is the truth. Even she contradicts herself when she said, "The consideration for you would not be 'If I do two transfers, I have to pay more'. It would be 'Which is the fastest way to get me from Point A to point B?' " At least that is consistent with the PAP line: you want better service, you have to pay more.

Lim justifies the LTA logic with the building of more rail lines - like the Circle Lines - the hub-and-spoke model could be a more viable solution. Unfortunately, unlike Japan, the Singapore MRT does not serve most of the residential areas or places of work. That last stretch between train station and home or office still has to be covered by bus, taxi or private transport. It looks that this Lim is no better than Transport Minister Raymond Lim in solving the public transportation woes.

1 comment:

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