Worrying trend of problems with buses, trains

The frequent breakdowns and delays of MRT trains as well as the potentially unsafe behaviour of bus drivers leave commuters frustrated.
The frequent breakdowns and delays of MRT trains as well as the potentially unsafe behaviour of bus drivers leave commuters frustrated.ST FILE PHOTO

Train breakdowns and delays have been happening so regularly that commuters no longer know for sure if they will get to work or other appointments on time.

While we can accept that the authorities are working hard behind the scenes to solve the train problems, it is the frequency of these problems that leaves commuters frustrated.

The situation is not much better for buses.

Just last week, an SBS Transit driver was jailed for drinking alcohol while driving (SBS bus driver jailed for drinking on the job; July 21).

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I have experienced occasions when drivers slowed the bus down or sped up when approaching bus stops.

These drivers explained that they would be punished for being ahead of their schedule or behind it, and had to vary their speed accordingly.

I understand that buses are connected with the control station, which radios the drivers to either slow down or speed up. Is commuter safety being compromised?

Are bus drivers assessed on their safe driving records?

These transport trends are worrying to commuters.

I hope the authorities take heed of the frustrations of commuters before the situation boils over.

David Tan Kok Kheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2017, with the headline 'Worrying trend of problems with buses, trains'. Print Edition | Subscribe