Sunday, August 30, 2009
Read this report.
An alternative arrangement is to encourage people to work close to their home, to reduce the time taken in commuting. This will require a change in tax and other policies that now tie people down to a fixed home and discourages them from moving their home to be close to the place of work.
Employers should also change the practices and choose workers who live close to the place of work.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Public Transport Guide
Handy and light
Designed like a street directory, with
Click here to see a sample page of the Guide.
A must for regular users of public transport
Friday, August 14, 2009
I believe that the same budget can be better spent in a different technology. Each bus should transmit its number about 300 meters to the next bus stop.
The number of the approaching buses can be shown in a large electronic display. Elderly people with poor eyesight do not need to strain their eyes to see the number of the approaching buses.
There is no need to show the arrival time, because the buses run at schedules of 5 to 15 minutes. Hence, the maximum waiting time is 15 minutes. It is better for the bus to be punctual rather than to state the time of arrival.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Published in St Times Online
SINGAPORE'S transport system is among the best in the world, but its taxi fare structure is bewildering.
Not only is there a multiplicity of surcharges, but there is also no standard flagdown rate. The average passenger is happy to take a standard taxi but often has to pay a higher fare because the first taxi that comes along is a Mercedes or another model that charges a higher flagdown rate.
There should be a standard flagdown rate for all regular-size cabs.
The Singapore Government believes in the free market. They believe that taxi companies should set their own fares and cannot collude to fix a standard fare. (Look at the action taken against the bus companies running services to Malaysia).
The Government's views is misguided. Public services, including taxi fares, must be regulated and standardised. At this least, this should apply to the "standard" taxi service. Taxi companies can operate "premium" services and fix their own fares. Give the choice to commuters to call for a standard taxi service. All taxi stands should operate on the standard fare.
I believe that this is a practical approach.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Several weeks ago, I received a letter enclosing a new ez-Link card and asking me to get the new card validated at a MRT station.
I made several attempts to get the new card validated. Many MRT stations do not have a ticket office that provide this service. The ticket office in the stations with this service are open during certain hours. I finally managed to validate the new card after at least 5 attempts.
I asked the ticket staff on the purpose of the new card. She said that can be used as a cash card. Currently, it is only recognised in NTUC Fairprice!
It seems that we are spending a lot of money and effort for so little benefit. What a waste of public funds.
Motor insurance premiums increased by 27% last year. It is likely to increase by another 15% this year. The hefty increase of 40% over two years far outstripped the inflation rate. This increase in premium is excessive, considering that the economy is now in recession.
The public should think twice before buying a car. You do not enjoy the use of the car, due to congested roads, no parking space, ERP charges, high petrol prices and now, high insurance premiums.
It is better to use public transport, such as the MRT or buses. It is easy to learn how to use public transport. I recommend the Public Transport Guide, available at Popular Book Stores, for a price of about $7 (inclusive of GST).
If you need private transport for the special occasions, take a taxi. What you spend on the occasional taxi rides is much lower than the fixed cost of owning a car.
Monday, August 3, 2009
You get the convenience of private transport, at a much lower price. This may be possible soon, and can make a radical impovement to the transport system.
Yesterday, I was surprised to learn about the European CityMobil project that aim to achieve the same goal, and had been ongoing for some time. I also learned about the CyCab developed by INRIA of France, that is almost ready to introduce a vehicle that works along the line that I envisioned (although they thought about it much earlier).
Read this brochure on the CyCab project and watch this animated video. It is exciting. I hope that the Land Transport Authority of Singapore will use its $20 million fund to try it out here.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
There have been a number of driverless urban vehicle concepts that aspire to make transport in the future easier, but the CyCab is the one nearest to production. Formulated by French company INRIA, the system uses real-time kinematic GPS to determine its exact location and move to the desired destination. The real-time kinematic GPS used by the cab allows for accuracy to within a centimeter and also happens to be used by cruise missiles.
This concept vehicle will be able to keep track of obstacles in its path and road markings, and each vehicle stays plugged to the internet to keep in contact with like vehicles, and use this information to avoid snarl-ups. CyCab is not quite ready for mass production, but it should see some uses in the near future. In November 2009, ULTras, the British version of the CyCab will appear to be used to transport passengers from Heathrow’s Terminal 5.
More information can be found here: