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New Year Resolution for 2008: Swim faster, Run longer, maybe return to cycling.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

daily digest - 01 aug 2006

think i'll start a new series to document my thoughts on the daily news feeds i gather from agencies such as channelnewsasia and slate.

1. the public transport council has recently made some guidelines to the public transport operators to basically buck up on their service standards. i'm personally sick of SMRT's tardy frequency of especially the 980 service. i used to think i could pinpoint (alright give and take 5 minutes) the time my bus would arrive every morning. but that's not the case for service 980. i could wait for half an hour before a sardine-packed bus arrives. sometimes there's even an emptier 980 that follows closely behind the front human-canning machine. i believe that the upstream traffic condition does not warrant such phenomenon to occur on an almost daily routine - the only 'consistent' gripe being the fact that the buses do not arrive on time. now, commuters must brace themselves for a farehike. do we, commuters, have a choice if SMRT decides on a farehike while ignoring micro service levels such as the 980 case? i say we don't really have much of a choice for several reasons.
- there are only 2 operators - SBSTRANSIT and SMRT. but seriously, so what if there's an increase in fares? we still have to take our buses to our destinations. what's worse, these two buggers run the rail lines as well. bummer.
- we have EZlink cards which automatically deduct the 'correct' fare. i'm not encouraging fare cheats, but we cannot really 'control' how much we pay for our trips, right? all the more it's 'convenient' for both commuter and public transport operator to use the automated EZlink system. so how would a fare hike affect the commuters? minimal. we pumped in our monthly $50 credit into our EZlink cards and hope to stretch the travel dollar. with the increase in fares, the stretch is thinner, that's all. the initial monthly $50-sized hole in the pocket is already burned.

2. there's gonna be another big adventure race by action asia after a one-year hiatus. i read the article with abit of salt and scorn, because i can relate to the organisor's woes and tons of vomit from 'working' with the local authorities. i'd say that 'mr. madness' put it very diplomatically that the government departments are showing positive support. erm... 'showing positive support' is very different from 'acting upon it'. RED TAPE, RED TAPE, RED TAPE! the red tapes are all caused by the uniquely singaporean trait of kiasuism and the fact that the public officers handling the case are not empowered to make clever decisions. what happens? they bring the case up to their immediate supervisors (as rannk and file reporting must be strictly adhered to). sometimes the case gets heard but most of the time the 'creative streak' stops right there. dead. i wish action asia the best of luck, not so much on the event, but in tackling some incompetent deadweight in the service.

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