Posted: 27/11/2006 9:43 pm Post subject: Critics of Singapore MRT
Even though Singapore MRT is at excellent level of service, the following article has shown the SHORTCOMINGS of Singapore MRT whcih we SHOULD take a serious look as a lesson before expanding our BTS, MRTA, and Airport Link services in BKK and vincinities.
Subject: [Sg_Review] Why HK public transport system is tonnes superior to PAP's because no govt control
Nov 27, 2006
Much to learn from HK public transport system
by Jason Chiam Chiah Sern
I WOULD like to offer my views on the public transport system in Singapore.
I have lived in Hong Kong for about half a year and I still visit the place frequently for work and pleasure. Every time I am there, I use its public transport system to move around.
Singapore's public transport system pales in comparison with Hong Kong. The MTR trains there are faster, arrive on time and are cleaner. Instructions are laid out clearly on overhead panels, right down to on which side the train door will open. Station signs are given clearly.
In terms of overcrowding, Singaporeans have it easy. If you have experienced the peak-hour rush in Hong Kong or Tokyo (where I have also visited), the situation in Singapore is nothing compared to that. The problem here is that people refuse to move inside and everyone crowds around the entrance.
In terms of public buses, Hong Kong has a super-efficient system which is entirely market-driven. It operates round the clock and literally takes you from door to door. You can ask the driver to stop almost anywhere along his route (it can be right in front of your apartment block). And there is no fuss about payment as it is a flat fare.
People queue for buses and there is never a mad rush. I understand public buses can take you to almost any part of Hong Kong, including Shatin and the Peak.
I have never had a problem getting a cab except during peak hours. Even then, I never have to call for a cab as the waiting time is never more than 25 minutes. Most taxi drivers in Hong Kong are not choosy about their fare because every additional passenger means extra income. They also work longer hours in general.
The Octopus card is used widely, from vending machines to supermarkets to Chinese fast-food outlets. Compare this with the situation in Singapore where vendors and service providers cannot agree on a common platform, making the payment system inefficient.
Singapore has a fairly efficient public transport system, but I urge the Ministry of Transport, the Land Transport Authority and the Public Transport Council to spend some time in Hong Kong to understand and learn from its wonderful public transport system.
To: REACH (Feedback Unit, Singapore Government)
cc: Opposition MPs/NCMP
cc: Feedback Unit -Attn: Chairman - Amy Khor
cc: Straits Times - Attn: Editor - Han Fook Kwang
cc: SCMP - Letters
cc: Singapore Media Watch
Subject: [Sg_Review] Why are billions of vehicle taxes collected not used to improve S'pore's public transport system? - Straits Times (27 Nov 2006) - Ltr: Much to learn from HK public transport system
27 Nov 2006
I fully agree with the letter writer (ST 27 Nov, "Much to learn from HK public transport system" - see attached) as I have been to Hong Kong myself, so I am in a position to compare the public transport systems of both countries. I am particularly impressed by the frequency of the trains there (very short waiting time when compared to our MRT/NEL trains) and the useful computerised information on destinations/next stops etc as highlighted in the letter.
Singapore's system is capable of matching HK's efficient system but my conclusion is that the government is not willing or prepared to spend the millions to upgrade them.
As a motorist, we pay the highest taxes (PARF, COE, road tax, ERP, etc.) in the world, enabling the government to generate billions of taxes every year.
Where are these taxes and how are they used to improve the public transport systems, including the buses and MRT system, not just the roads?
If the public transport is not up to scratch, why should motorists be made to pay such high taxes?
Yet another death has occurred from someone being hit by a MRT train at Yishun. I was on my way to work when the MRT train started this announcement that "an incident" has occurred and some delay is expected. While the situation was not yet clear, I made the snap judgement to alight and head for the taxi stands... A wise decision it was, as soon after, the queues starting forming and many who were further back in the queue started making phone bookings for taxis in order to get to their destinations on time.
Leaving early for work has its privileges. I was in no rush for a taxi and could leisurely read my newspapers while waiting. The inconvenience was compensated when I got a Mercedes luxury taxi picking me, without any booking! Arrive at work in style and comfort
Why are there so many cases of MRT deaths recently? Choosing to suicide by this manner is highly inconsiderate, posing much inconveniences for other people who are making use of the public transport system. Could it be that the previous case of suicide at Chinese Garden MRT which drew $500k in donations is now spewing a slew of copycat deaths in the hope of similar amounts of donations? Singaporeans! Please wake up and donate appropriately. There is no need to flood those who get media coverage with donations when there are so many unknown poors out there whom we can help better making regular donations through charities.
Or could it be that our MRT system is so overcrowded these days that someone was accidentally pushed onto the tracks during the mad morning hour rush?
SMRT HAS to seriously consider implementing barriers on the open platforms if more deaths are to be avoided. The cost may be high but what is this cost to a profit making company and compared to human life?
posted by Ice at 9:01 AM
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