Saturday, December 22, 2007

Transport Woes

I find it increasingly difficult to take the MRT these days as the train is always packed to the periphery, to the extent that sometimes, one’s body can be pasted like a sucker-fish to the door of the train (no kidding!)

The overcrowding of the MRT at most times of the day may be attributed to the population increase, the simply reluctance of the passengers to move into the interior of the train and the recent price hikes of petrol which may encourage more use of public transport among the population.

With Singapore gearing to an ever-increasing population, it is a real challenge to accommodate transportation needs of the people in this land-scare island. Though MRTs are efficient modes of public transport, to curb overcrowding of the train, more services at higher frequencies may be necessary but this would inevitably lead to higher fares.

Mannerism and basic courtesy of Singaporeans are embedded attributes, which are unfortunately hard to change over these years despites numerous campaigns targeted to address the courtesy issue.

The higher price of petrol may aid in energy conversation as more people may switch to public transport, thus bringing down the level of vehicle emission in Singapore. However Singapore is a small player and the small improvement made to the emission level is negligible compared to larger countries.

With COEs, parking fees, ERPs and the higher price of petrol, I find public transport more attractive than car ownership. Owing a car and commuting by car is a real monetary commitment at the expense of convenience.

Pros asides, public transport has its cons. The long waiting time for buses, the inconveniences of crowding with people…. it is all a matter of compromises.

Of late, I find that buses are certainly excessive electrical consumers. These buses are freezingly cold in the mornings that I take them that many passengers resort to the wearing of sweaters. Seen in this perspective, buses are not so eco-friendly. And why should buses have TVmobile? Do passengers really need them? These mobile TVs installed in buses, only create more noise, disturbing passengers sleeping and use up more electricity, in my personal opinion.

In contrast, MRTs are getting warmer and warmer, most probably due to more and more passengers taking the trains.

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