Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Experience of commuter on our train service

Dear Mr Tan,

I totally agree with you that there is a serious need for our "World Class Transport System" to learn from the "Super Class Transport System" like Hong Kong and London. I have visited cities like many others and made fair observation of how user friendly their transport system can be with living population much larger or area much smaller than Singapore.

Making news about how "great" and "someone else in the World learning from our ERP, town planning, etc", in my opinion, LTA is simply making news about how popular they are but I seriously think that our transport system is a failure.

No.1: There is a totally lack of efforts to encourage commuters to take the public transport. Trains are pack everyday with frequency of 3 min - 5 min per train in the NE Line. Even the fines mted to SMRT does not help. What explaination can the commuters who are late for work that day explain to their bosses? Especially if the new graduate who is going to his first day of work?

No.2: My poor pregnant wife takes MRT to work because the high price ERP to Raffles place will make us poorer. But, no education what so ever has been set by the transport company to educate commuters to give up seats to really those who need it? In Taipei, when the designated seats is for those who need it, no one will even sit on it. What else is in the mind of SMRT, SBS, etc other than thinking of ways to increase cost?

Mr Tan, I hope my long email did not bored you, but I hope that this can be posted to your popular website or blogs so that more readers can share their views and to take neccessary actions than sitting back.



  1. Also need to educate commuters to accept the seat graciously when offered. I was told of an incident where a pregnant woman rejected a seat offered, and it angered other commuters, they were heard commenting something like "Don't give up seat, they complaint, give up seat, they reject, if something happens, they blame the driver, transport companies, etc."

  2. I have to say too,

    I take the NEL every day. Very often it's the men in their 20s to 40s who sleep (or pretend to), leaving the pregnant and the old standing. At Sengkang where I stay, I noticed many FTs (the IT talents -type who carry back packs) moved to this area recently. They are so good at rushing in the trains and snatching seats! One day when you are free, take the train down to Punggol and then back to Harbour Front. Try to count whether the people who occupy the seats are disproportionately FTs.

    I'm not saying all of them are rude but...

    Oh, and to all the men like Ong, I hope you will remember to give up yr seat to pregnant women, and not one of those who pretend to sleep while lamenting why people don't give up seat to your wife.

    Courtesy begins with me.

  3. Perhaps we should encourage Singapore women to be more vocal and request for the seats if they want to. I am sure other Singaporeans will come to their "rescue".

    Unlike other societies, Singapore is too multi-culture/racial & etc to adopt one way of behavor for long without constant public education.


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