Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lesson From A Commuter

The press must be so pressurised to sell Transport Minister Raymond Lim's distance-based fare system, their reading comprehension has been clouded over. TODAY titled Mr Tan Hong Boon's letter of August 24 as "Distance-based fare saves time, money".

For the past few years Mr Tan had been travelling from home to church by Service 132. "Under the old fare system, this option was the cheapest," he wrote. In rainy weather, not having to change buses must have been a plus factor too. He did explore Service 25/Service 145 and Service 74/Service 855 routes, both taking less travel time than the direct ride, but costing more in bus fares. Since the new distance-fare system kicked in, he has changed to the Service 74/Service 855 route, now cheaper than Service 132. He explains why:
"Were I to take Service 132 now, it would cost me an extra 17 cents and extra 15 minutes."

Final verdict on the new fangled system: more expensive, slower.

He has learned his lesson, the new distance-fare system has "forced me to think of alternative ways to save time and money." The corollary of this is that the recent spate of bad governance may force Singaporeans to think of alternative political parties to save time and money. Maybe then Singaporeans won't have to work till we keel over. Maybe we'll have time to bounce grandchildren on our laps, and money left over for our kids. Maybe.


  1. You seem to be the one with reading comprehension problems. What Mr Tan is saying is that Service 132 has always been slower, but he took it in the past because it was cheaper than the faster alternatives (which required transfers). However, with the introduction of distance-based fares, it is now cheaper to take the transfer routes (which, as mentioned, are also faster).

  2. New 132 service is now more expensive (17 cents more), takes longer (15 minutes more). Same bus, same route - hmm, wonder why?

  3. Before, I walked to Woodlands MRT station to take the train to Raffles MRT. I never remembered the cost. (hope someone can point to me where i trace old charges of SMRT)

    After the implementation, if i walked and took the train, I have to pay $1.80. To my suprise, if i took the feeder bus, which is 2 bus stops to the station, the entire journey with train ride cost $1.81.

    With such minimal difference, I'm given an incentive to contribute falsely to ridership figures so that people on top can proudly announce that with the implementation, ridership has still increased.

    And it is making me lazy.

  4. I'm happy for the letter writer - he's found the way to pay the least fare for his journey.

    I've actually made use of the transfer window of 45 minutes to run my errands, lol,

  5. "an incentive of 1 cent to take the feeder"

    "I've actually made use of the transfer window of 45 minutes to run my errands"

    I think this just about sums up the ever worsening pathetic quality of life on this island.

  6. Can the bus operators be sure that there will be zero waiting time? That’s a little crazy when time is mention. You may save a little due to shorter distance but to save time, it really depends. Do remember, it is already 2 cent more expensive when you first on board the bus.

    Overall, it seems to me that whole system is definitely more complex then what it is marketed.

    In my opinion, this new fare has given the operator an addition flexibility and power to increase price. If you notice, they can adjust the charges by alter route plan.

    Whenever there is a change in plan, there is definitely not good feeling. I still believe that PTC can never be independent and has been trying hard to display that they are fight for the interest of the ordinary folks.

    Please convince me that a fare hike can actually happen when both transport companies are still making super profit. They still have the cheek to say that cost can increase. So, are they fighting for the company’s survival or are they trying hard to increase or maintaining the profit? If PTC refuse give us this answer, the commuters will have to guess then.

    Till now, I still feel PTC’s support leans more to the two multimillion “public” transport company.