public transport - maximise profit or maximise use
The article by T Rajan in the Straits Times on public transport provides a lot of fruits for thoughts. First point is that public transport operators are not happy that at peak period the trains and buses are only 80% full. Imagine if they are 100% full. What a joke! Would those who expect a 100% full trains and buses be willing to ride on them as their preferred mode of transport? Is a world class transport meant to be that way? And hey, even with the under utilisation the profits are quite handsome and they shouldn't be complaining, should they? Another point is this obsession to push for a 70% usage of public transport. Why shouldn't the current 50% be a good way of life? If our road system is able to cope, isn't it desirable for a better quality of life for more people to be able to drive their own cars? In the future it can be a different issue when the roads are so congested because of our 8 million population dream. Then there is this issue of season passes. It was quoted that the common practice for season passes is to price it with a 50% discount. And for a yearly pass, the discount is even more. Now, how much discount is our $98 season pass? We need to develop a world class public transport with the objective of serving the commuters at the cheapest cost possible and not to maximise profits for the operators and at the discomfort of commuters. There was a comment in the article that people choose to take public transport because it is fast and efficient, and comfortable? I did not read this last word. But travelling in a world class public transport cannot be uncomfortable or be squeesed like packed sardines, that's for sure.