World-Class Public Transport System? RUBBISH!

By David See Leong Kit
09 April 2010

Note for Readers:

  • My letter below was rejected for publication by TODAY. Why the censorship? For speaking the truth and exposing the incompetence of the Million-Dollar PAP Govt, ahead of the General Elections.
  • “RUBBISH” is MM Lee Kuan Yew’s favourite one-word retort for anything and everything he does not like to hear!

I refer to your report “Only one case of non-compliance” (TODAY April 6) on the Public Transport Council’s review of bus service standards.

Every day, many students and adults rely on both bus and rail transport to go to school and to work.

As fare-paying customers, they have every right to expect the following service standards: Not just affordable fares and timely arrivals, but also a pleasant ride, which means air-conditioned comfort with proper circulation of cool clean air in the cabins.

Why the concern? Because this is also a public health issue. Our jam-packed public transportation system is a possible mode for the transmission of various air-borne infectious diseases, such as Common Cold, Influenza, Tuberculosis, SARS, H1N1 and Bird Flu.

For years, many long-suffering commuters have provided feedback about the stuffy and dusty interiors of our crowded buses and trains. Many buses have a lingering smell of stale air, and their aircon vents are often encrusted with black dust which could harbour mould. When breathed in, mould can cause respiratory or asthma problems especially for young students and elderly commuters.

Alas, such customer feedback has fallen on deaf ears. Despite being a public transport regulator, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) had conveniently passed the buck to the respective bus or rail operator to cook up defensive “non-answer” replies.

To protect both the health and travel comfort of public transport commuters, why is it so difficult for the LTA to lay down and enforce these service standards on our bus and train operators:

  • After bus and train services end at midnight, cleaning crew to move in with heavy-duty vacuum cleaners to suck dust from aircon vents and floors. The interiors must be cleaned on a daily basis because of the heavy usage of public transport.
  • “High-touch” surfaces, such as grab handles and poles should be wiped clean with an appropriate disinfectant.
  • Set stringent intervals for aircon maintenance and changing of dirty aircon filters.

If the LTA cannot enforce such a simple service standard that will definitely encourage more Singaporeans to switch to public transport, its claim of a “World-Class Public Transport System” will just be an empty boast. It now remains for Transport Minister Raymond Lim and his well-paid LTA bureaucrats to “walk the talk”.

6 comments on World-Class Public Transport System? RUBBISH!

  1. i don’t see why Today will reject this letter,they could edit those name-calling and still print it. Next time,you want to write in to MSM, just cut out the name-calling and your letter will be accepted

  2. The taxis here are same too. The aircon filter is changed twice every two years for only inspection by Vicom. This is to save costs by taxi companies. In the meantime the a/c vent and coils, pipes are clogged with dirt, dust and slime. One should take a look at the coil after one month, which is covered with green sticky slime. Considering the taxi hours spent on the road. In the meantime the poor taxi driver and passengers keep on coughing during the drive. Very unhealthy.

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