Improve service before seeking better pay
THE illegal strike by some of SMRT's Chinese bus drivers seems to be culminating in further bus fare increases, even though bus services have yet to meet the desired service standards ("Bus fares may go up to help improve drivers' pay" and "Avoid a bus fare policy of half-measures" by Mr Tan Si An; both published yesterday).
The current service standards are far from ideal. Commuters still have to endure jam-packed buses during peak hours and drivers who slow down to a leisurely speed when they have plenty of time and few commuters on board.
The other bugbears: Air-conditioning on buses and train carriages that is sometimes faulty, and bus stop information boards that carry inaccurate information.
Unless these inefficiencies are resolved, there is no justification for a fare increase.