The Straits Times
Published on Feb 06, 2013

Have convenient train services at all times


WHEN taking the train, I hear announcements urging commuters to take the next train if the current one is too crowded, or that trains will ply only part of the line during off-peak hours on weekends. Commuters are also encouraged to travel to work earlier or later to beat the crowd.

I thought public transport is about providing convenient and accessible service to commuters. When did the onus shift onto commuters to change their behaviour in order to enjoy better public transport services?

If the train is too crowded, it should be the responsibility of the service provider and relevant authorities to increase the frequency. Instead, the service providers hire people to tell commuters to wait for the next train.

Similarly, the commuter should not be inconvenienced with a more limited service just because he travels at an off-peak time.

In a 1996 White Paper, the Land Transport Authority stated that "a world-class transport system must provide commuters with highly efficient, comfortable and convenient rides".

To me, a convenient ride is one whereby I can get on the first train that arrives, at all times of the day.

I hope the LTA shares my view.

Gerard Lim Huat Chye