Much has been debated over the role of the Land Transport Authority and bus operators in ensuring punctuality of services ("SBS Transit, SMRT rewarded with $1.34m and $504k respectively for improving bus waiting times: LTA"; ST Online, May 9, "Bus service reliability shouldn't come from rewards" by Mr Paul Chan Poh Hoi; Tuesday, and "Do more to ensure bus punctuality" by Mr Gan Kok Tiong; Forum Online, Thursday).
While there are improvements that can be made on the part of operators, there is also improvement to be made on the part of commuters.
As a commuter who takes up to four buses a day, I have seen examples of commuter behaviour that adds to bus travelling time.
This includes commuters not immediately moving to the rear of the bus to allow others to board, leading to those waiting having to squeeze into the front of the bus one by one.
There are also instances of able-bodied commuters refusing to walk from the head of the first bus bay to board a bus that has stopped in the second or third bay, instead hailing the bus again and forcing the bus to make a second stop at the same location.
These are just a few examples of small delays that can add up across a route.
It does not take a lot of effort to overcome this behaviour. We may need better bus management, but we also need more considerate commuters.
Andrew Long Deng Sun