National Day Awards 2019

Building a world-class public transport system: Abdullah Shafiie Mohamed Sidik

Mr Abdullah Shafiie Mohamed Sidik says the Public Transport Council consulted various segments of Singapore's population for input on bus and train fares.
Mr Abdullah Shafiie Mohamed Sidik says the Public Transport Council consulted various segments of Singapore's population for input on bus and train fares.PHOTO: COURTESY OF ABDULLAH SHAFIIE MOHAMED SIDIK

Mr Abdullah Shafiie Mohamed Sidik
Member, Public Transport Council
Public Service Star (Bar)

Since becoming a member of the Public Transport Council in 2012, Mr Abdullah Shafiie Mohamed Sidik has been kept awake by transport fares.

The reviews of train and bus fares are the most challenging, says the veteran grassroots and union leader.

"The formula we used showed that bus fares had to increase," says the 60-year-old.

"We had to work out a mechanism for this increase. Those were tough times and there was a public outcry."

But the decision was never taken lightly and involved extensive consultations with different segments of Singapore's population.

"We met various clusters of people, from students to civil servants and organisation leaders. I also represented the Malay community's feedback and suggestions."

Ultimately, he says, the efforts paid off in concrete changes to the public transport infrastructure.

 

"The most important task is to ensure the public enjoys safe, clean and timely transport. Also, it is now easier for the wheelchair-bound and parents with young children to board buses."

He is now optimistic that Singapore will attain a world-class transport system with excellent train and bus infrastructure and easier fare payments.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 09, 2019, with the headline 'Building a world-class public transport system'. Print Edition | Subscribe