Tuesday, November 11, 2008

public transport in SG.. sighz, what can i say??

earlier when i moved from geylang back to marine parade, i was kinda relieved that i didnt have to take the overly crowded MRT and having to face the MRT door bitches or bastards who liked hogging the doors and never move.

i guess my joy was pretty short lived.

over the past three months, the buses i take to work seemed to be getting more and more crowded. even when 196 reaches my place, there are already no seats!! i have trialed and errorred many timings and i realised lately that there's only 1 seat left for the first person who boards the bus at my place. erm actually, i am referring to the lower deck, i seldom go up coz i'm usually in heels. very troublesome and i cannot imagine falling down.

if i choose to board a bus with seats which i can choose freely, i will have to take 16. the down side of taking this bus, it goes into many loops before i reach my destination.

the first loop is when the bus turns in to gullimard road and it has to squeeze through a tiny, winding two-way traffic lane with a traffic light ahead before it goes to a slightly bigger main road. at times, the road can be jammed, coz it's just such a short road.

the next loop comes when the bus turns back to mountbatten road where it starts picking up loads of people. the bus then goes straight into the indoor stadium area where the next bulk of passengers will be picked up. by then, the bus is packed. people seldom like to move to the back and most of the passengers will be stuck at the front door area. sometimes, the bus drivers will shout for everyone to move, most of the time, they don't.

life as a public transport commuter ain't easy at all. which then makes me wonder why the prices continue to increase when the following gets more and more sucky!

1) the interior

buses arent able to accomodate as many people as before. i realised that the seats are lesser because bus interior designers decided parallel seats are able to accomodate more people than two seater seats arranged one behind another.

the area for the passengers to stand has lesser space too! it's either singaporeans are getting fatter or the space is getting smaller. somehow the former isn't what i witness most of the time.

there was once during the F1 season, i saw a bus 16 with two rows of parallel seats!! there was a lcd tv opposite the exit door and the area where the lcd tv was fixed has a sign saying 'standing not allowed in this area'! and guess what, standing space isn't aplenty. i wondered then why such a design was allowed to 'roam' the streets in the first place and not forgetting, this bus was sent to pick passengers during the peak hours!!?? and i even experienced once where a particular driver who droved this bus, thinks that he is a F1 driver. He drove recklessly, no slowing down of speed when turning corners and brakes suddenly.

i was not impressed which brings me to the next point.

2) bus drivers

ok, i agree bus drivers are human beings too and sometimes moods may affect driving to a certain extend. sure, understandable. we are but humans where emotions drives us to execute different actions.

BUT, i don't understand why bus drivers have to jerk the bus when they want to slow down? it's as if they cannot decide if the vehicle in front of the bus is going to stop or not going to stop. or that they have bad judgement of where they should stop the bus when it's reaching the bus stop and thus have to jerk it? perhaps it could also be due to them speeding only to realise that they cannot make it before the traffic light turns red?

i still don't understand why sudden brakes, constant jerking and speeding has become part of a bus commuter experience.

3) logistics

apparently, the bus company which dorminates the market, has a tendency to send single deck buses during peak hours. at the same time, commuters have to wait at least 10 to 15 mins awaiting the arrival of the next bus because they cannot board the crowded one which arrived earlier. this then results in the next bus to be equally crowded until the company sends two same number buses to clear the crowd.

i wonder if the bus company do crowd/peak hour surveys. peak hours just aint worth going back these days. even express buses (eg 196e) which only stop at certain bus stops are not worth boarding because for an extra price, you may not get a seat until probably parkway parade where most people alight. imagine paying extra, no seats and subjected to lousy points (1) and (2), all these results in a horrendous bus commuting experience.

the bus company should really wake up and do something about it. or else it's no wonder why they need to put up this poster in the bus to say that bus drivers deserve to be safe. sometimes, some passengers may not be as patient and tolerant towards an irresponsible driver combined with a lousy travelling experience.

wakey wakey!

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