Transport Pain in Singapore

















Comfort, are you sure you want to define 6am as the new normal, the new peak hour? Do you know what that means? Simply put, you are putting together 15 hours out of 24 hours as peak hour. That’s 62.5% of the time in the day! This also means that you will be paying peak prices from 6pm to 9am and before that, from midnight to 5:59am, you have to pay midnight surcharge of 50%. Its non-stop extra charges! Not to mention that city area surcharge will be extended to Sundays and public holidays

What does this imply?

1)    LTA has no solution to the rising demand for public transport. It has been a simplistic solution steering towards higher cost. The equation just does not balance. How can we expect raising cost to be the core solution to redirect traffic the right way? Why are we expecting passengers to bear the brunt of the cost of planning failure?

2)    Introducing complex surcharges are just encouraging drivers to game the system to overcome their high taxi rentals. This is why many taxis queue up at the two casinos and the airport! City surcharges and ERP also keeps the taxis waiting in the city for profitable taxi businesses. Many drivers are now selecting passengers based on where their travel destinations are. Surcharges do not direct supply to where actual demand is, they only introduce gaming into the system.

3)    Overall increase in cost of living will be experienced in Singapore. We only have 3 major modes of transport. We already know that buses and MRTs are packed. We also understand that sustainability in the urban environment means a reduction in number of cars in Singapore. If so, why are we still working to increase the cost of taxis?

Our suggestion

Short Term
  •  Remove all surcharges. Increase the flag down charge for taxis across the board to adjust for inflation for taxi drivers. Allow market demand and supply to direct traffic
  • Remove special destination surcharges. Let drivers balance between waiting for the passenger at tourist attractions versus other destinations.
  • Drastically improve public transport infrastructure. Increase frequency of buses and MRTs

Long Term
  •  Rethink public transport policy, can we reverse the privatization of public transport?
  •  Can we create a shadow Transport Minister to check on the deeds of Transport Minister?
  •  Can we re-look at population growth rate? Can Singapore really handle 6 million people?
The key question is why do they keep going at it? Answer is simple. Singaporeans do not unite and show them that we mean business through the vote.