Last week, SMRT and the Land Transport Authority announced that from Dec 8 to 31, 17 stations along the East-West Line, from Tiong Bahru to Tuas Link, as well as the Bukit Batok and Bukit Gombak stations on the North-South Line, will close earlier on Fridays and Saturdays at 11pm and open later on Saturdays and Sundays at 8am. To allow for extended engineering work, these stations will be fully closed on two Sundays, Dec 10 and 17. This will help speed up the process to put in place the new signalling system on the line.”
As to “Under distance-based fares which were introduced in 2010, commuters are charged based on the total distance travelled between their origin and destination, regardless of the number of transfers made between buses or buses and trains … it was a “non-issue” for the shuttle bus services to follow the trains’ fare structure” – we should not forget that the harmonisation of the bus and train fares may arguably, have literally “forced” lower-income commuters who used to choose to take buses to save on the lower fares – to pay higher fares.
With regard to “Nevertheless, National University of Singapore transport researcher Lee Der-Horng said the authorities should consider offering a discount to commuters. But any discount could be ultimately borne by taxpayers, SUSS urban transport expert Park Byung Joon pointed out. “Somebody has to pay. If commuters do not pick up the bill, then the taxpayers pick up the bill,” he said” – I find this line of reasoning to be somewhat not very logical, as surely the party who caused this inconvenience should pay for it.
Otherwise, where is the deterrent to not have even more closures and delays?
The people who make decisions on our public transport should not take commuters for granted – time and again – as one of my friends aptly said – “you think Singaporeans are stupid or what?”
Leong Sze Hian