Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Urban and intercity public transport

I read an article by Jeffrey Sachs. He talked about the opportunity to rebuild the global economic system to be sustainable. This is to protect the environment and avoid wastage in the use of resources.

A key recommendation is to develop urban and intercity public transport to reduce the reliance on private cars for travel. Many cities are over-congested with private cars.

I like this idea. Cities should be efficient public transport. Make it easy for the people to move around in safe, clean and comfortable public transport. People will prefer this mode of travel, rather than private cars.

Many people buy private cars and bear with the high cost, due to lack of convenient public transport. I hope that the Government will recognise this deficiency, and give top priority to develop public transport.

Public transport can be charged on a marginal cost. They should not have to pay road, ERP and other taxes.  With this special advantage, many people will find it more economical to use public transport. 

It will be win-win for the people and environment, greater efficiency and protection of the environment.

Tan Kin Lian


  1. This problem is not so simple as to describe in such a short article. People place more value on their mode of transport than just monetary value. ("car, cash, condo" comes to mind).

    I still believe the transport of the future still has to be "private". It's similar to the concept of having your own handphone. You DON'T share it.

    Improvements to the traffic system, the control and routing from source to destination is the thing that has to be improved upon.

    I believe the way to the future is a fully automated system. (e.g. just enter the postal code and the vehicle will take you to the destination) However, such a system is not easily made compatible with vehicles driven in the conventional manner.

    One way forward is to build special underground pathways under normal roads where only automated vehicles can travel.

    I know all these require alot of research and stepping into unknown territory. But the alternative is constructing ERP gantries wherever a traffic jam develops. It just makes it more expensive for everyone without actually solving the problem.

  2. Sometimes, I wonder how many people in PTC owns a car and how many buses they take in a month.

    I have seen the waiting time for buses go into 20 mins and even 30 mins on the LTA display boards.

    As for express bus, if you took a ride on them even for 1 bus-stop, you get burnt with a huge hole in the pocket.

    I don't stay near any MRT stations. Sometimes I need to check my ezlink transactions and I need to make a special detour to check them.

    It is no wonder private transport is quite heavily used here.


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