Singapore has a vast network of buses and trains. You can get to most places in this island city by public transport. However, getting there is not quite so an enjoyable experience.
Recounting the many months of commuting to and from work I have come to realize that although it is considerably more convenient to get to most places in this city I am a fireball of anger.
There are many reason to my unhappiness with the transportation system and those who uses it.
One of the problems are the overcrowding especially during the morning periods and after working hours. In the morning around 7am the wait time for the trains span from 1 minute to as long as 7 minutes. Not only is it infrequent it also causes crowding. The long wait time means the build up of commuters. The same overcrowding problem also arises after work. Although the trains may be more frequent the fact of the matter was there are too much people using the same line.
Overcrowding is a problem. One of those problem is no seats. That is not too bad. The bigger problem is no space to move. This causes pushing and shoving; one would be unable to reach the exit door for their stop without getting frustrated. Another problem with crowding is people start budging in order to get on the train. Then there is the problem of people not giving way for those alighting feeling that they would be giving away their spots. Overcrowding causes adrenaline to rise, because taking a train ride comes competitive. When people become competitive they become more aggressive unwilling to compromise these emotion are contagious. There is also the problem with etiquette during a packed train/bus. People do not remove their backpacks. This becomes hazardous as it can whack someone in the face. Others stand too close for comfort not able respect a personal bubble. There are some that keep on pushing people in the back with their pouches.
This one incident happened to me recently, I was on the bus standing by the door because my stop is only two stops. The old man behind me kept his side pouch to his front. He stood less than 20cm from me. Talk about gross? And guess what it kept hitting me in the back nearly driving me off the steps. In fact he was standing so close that I had to move close to the steps. He just stepped closer. Now half of my feet were hanging in midair. Its not safe nor was it comfortable. I gave him the cold stare. However, I doubt this Singaporean man knows how to take a hint.
The Next problem I want to address was bad driving. In fact it is so bad that people have gotten into serious accidents. Bus drivers in Singapore do not know what subtle breaking is; Nor do they know what pacing is. They just race to and from each stop. They do not know how to ease to a stop. They will at any given moment punch the breaks causing the whole bus to lurch forward flinging everyone with it.
This one incident also happened to me and another lady who made it to headlines. One of those many lurches has caused me to bang into other people, people bumping into me or me propelled against the bus. I was consider fortunate. One lady who made it to the head line was comatose for nearly a month.
So how should the government or public transport company address this problems? I have a few suggestion:
1. Make bus floors lower, giving the bus and passengers better centre of gravity.
2. Give bus drivers proper training/techniques for a more safer journey.
3. Increase frequency of trains as to alleviate overcrowding and thus minimize disgruntle, frustrated passengers.
These all contribute to a happier commuter. A happy commuter are more willing to help, share and even volunteer their time.