Sent to Today Paper on 2 January 2013
I took a bus SBS 163 from my home in Yio Chu Kang Road to
my office in Upper Thomson Road a few times during the past two weeks.
I had to wait more than 15 minutes for the bus to arrive. During this time, I saw
an average of 5 buses under SMRT 857 and SMRT 854 pass
by and they were virtually empty. When SBS 163 arrive, it was packed.
It appeared to me that SBS is trying to maximize its profits while SMRT is
rather lax in managing its operating costs.
As the Government is now shouldering a large part of the cost of operating
the bus services, through the budget of $1.1 billion to purchase new buses,
it should be their duty to ensure that the resources are well used.
The Land Transport Authority has data on the number of passengers that
go up each bus. Surely, they should be able to tell, by looking at the data, if
the buses are optimally utilized across the various bus services?
I like to ask the Authority to comment on whether they do look at the data of
the bus usage regularly and work with the bus operators to ensure that
the resources are used optimally. Commuters should not have to wait
too long for a bus to arrive or to enter into a packed bus, when other buses
go by almost empty.
Tan Kin Lian