Friday, August 13, 2010

It's Not Me, It's You.

Let me make something clear.

This is not a rant about the state of the public transport system in Singapore. In fact, over Tao Huay with my buddy Ridz I actually defended the quality of the Singapore public transport.

For the record, I think the bus and MRT network in Singapore is pretty good. Not great. Not flawless, but pretty good all in all.No. This is a rant about the arrogance of the powers that be, and the way they talk down to the rest of us like we're either stupid, blind, ignorant, resigned or all of the above.

On a separate note, let me again state for the record, that I understand the necessity of privatization and a good working relationship between government watchdog bodies and privatized monopolies in Singapore. I do not condone the cronyism but that's another story for another time.Now why do I think the powers that be are arrogant bastards who, after lifetime of sitting on the laurels of that our forefathers have worked their asses off to put our country on the map, have become complacent, snobby and pretty much treat the rest of us as lambs for the fleecing? Let's review.

1. Over the last few months, we have been loaded with just how wonderful the new distance-based fare system is.

Suddenly, inconsistencies start surfacing. Expected really. Nobody implements a nation-wide public transport plan without glitches. In fact, the fact, that they can roll it out with so FEW is a feather they can put on their hats.

But COME ON GUYS, SMRT boasts that it moves 2 million people a day. You'd think someone would notice by now after about 80 million commuter trips that there's SOME discrepancy between actual price paid, and the ads that inundate us at every turn yes?

So when problems with pricing are brought up, ADDRESS IT. Don't shoot yourself in the foot and give bullshit reasons.

2. Just to add onto the questions abt public transport, why is it that if you get onto the same numbered bus right after getting off, it's immediately considered a new trip?

3. An informal poll among friends tell me that the 30 odd percent of people who pay more have their fares increased by at least ten cents. The maximum trip on buses have been raised from $1.30 to $1.90.

The ones whose fares are reduced dropped by five cents or under.

No change in cost. Simple math shows, (Ms Loi would be proud of me) Profit maintained or increased. The implications? Go figure.

But then again SBS, SMRT and TIBS are privatised organizations whose bottom line needs to be maintained.

4. In July, SMRT mentions that trains are already pushing optimal limits when the trains are running between 2 to 3 minutes.

Suddenly, during YOG, the optimal limits get revised, and we have 300 extra trips a day.

Makes one wonder just how much extra capacity SMRT actually has.
5. Weren't our bus and MRT fares revised upwards last year or the year before because oil prices rose? Somebody help me with this. Now that it's down by half, any difference in the fare price?

6. Originally, the intention of EZ link cards when it was first launched in 2002 WAS distance based fares. or rather that was what I remembered. The distance based fares took 8 years to implement. Well done.
Eventually, when it comes down to the crunch, Singaporeans will have to suck it up won't we? And the cost of every other option is way more expensive. So what can we do? Walk?

Still, all in all. There is a cost for living in Singapore, and this is it. As is always been my policy when it comes to all the BS that comes out of government or government related organizations. Live and let live.

If I want to stay here, there's nothing I can do, nor am I willing to go the distance to attempt to change the SYSTEM in Singapore. I don't expect the powers that be to do me any favours, neither am I gonna do them any. But seriously, you think it's possible for SMRT to at least consider using a tad of that $306 million profit to hire a new PR agency?


airworm said...

finally a good write up abt real social issues pertaining to the people...and there i was thinking you are one with the apathetic crowd.

JayWalk said...

I want to click the "Like" button but can't find it anywhere on your blog.

Where is it ah?

Vandalin said...

airworm > thanks mate.

jaywalk > i'll get around to putting it on the blog as soon as i figure out how plurk does it.

Anonymous said...

hi someone posted your link on facebook...

to implement like, you need to do this:

<iframe src=""
scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="border:none; width:450px; height:80px"></iframe>

Change the to your blog posts url (this would mean u need a custom one every post, i think)...

If you have the "Developer" app added on fb, you can see the docu here:

hope this helps :) sorry for the formatting..

Vandalin said...

thanks mate. sounds like too much trouble for just liking. if you like, just leave a comment and i'll know it. heh.