7/10/2015

Don’t leave home without it (part 2) – Free Shuttle Service


Tuesday night’s epic train breakdown involving two main lines is something to ponder. 250,000 commuters stranded, frustrated, angry and got their evening messed up, late appointments, late dinner, late for everything, some missing them altogether.

In my first article on the same subject, I recommended that every commuter should lug a folding bike in case of a train breakdown. What about Free Shuttle Service? Isn’t that meant to ease the problem and congestion when a train breakdown occurs? This Free Shuttle Service sounds so pleasing and the cure all for such a situation. I have one experience of it and knew how effective it is on paper, or how ineffective it will be in a real situation. All I can say is that the effectiveness of this service is as good as not having it. Let me explain.

The logistics of this Free Shuttle Service just does not work. The meticulous planning of this service will not improve much as there are so many variables going against it. For a start, a simple play with the numbers will throw this emergency service haywire.  250,000 commuters at one go, how many buses will be needed? Would there be enough roads to allow the buses to pick up the passengers? What if there is an island wide power failure and all the lines went kaput at the same time?

The other problem is the people, the MRT staff, the bus drivers and the commuters caught in a breakdown and wanting to go home. The easy part is the station staff. They can be trained and briefed on exactly what to do, where to direct the commuters to the pick up points. This is as easy as ABC if the staff gets their regular briefings and not once in 6 months or a year.

Next the bus drivers. This is tricky. The standby drivers are not always the same and the stations they will be sent to will not always be the same station. They could be called to Woodlands or Tampines or Redhill. How are they going to familiarize with the routes to take when every incident is unlikely to be the same, and the standby driver will also not to be the same? What will happen is that you will have different driver going to different places to pick commuters using different routes. The only solution is to go robotics where everything can be programmed. Without robotic drivers, no standby drivers would be familiar with the location and the routes.

The commuters will also be a big problem. Everyone is new and would not know where to go to take the correct bus to the next destination. They will be unfamiliar with the pick up points and which bus to take. They would not know which route would the bus take and where to drop. How to brief 250,000 lost and unorganized crowd to direct and control them to the right pick up points and to take the right bus is mission impossible given the limitation of time, space and equipment.  And the space around the pickup point would not only be too small for the crowd but also for the buses to wait for them.

A one station breakdown may still be manageable. But more than that or in a situation like Tuesday or worst scenario, the Free Bus Shuttle Service is completely ineffective.

Don’t leave home without it. Have folding bike will travel. This may be a realistic solution if only the bike can be put in the pocket or backpack. Free Shuttle Service anyone?

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

To take 250,000 people assuming each bus takes 40, we need 6250 buses but they only deploy 100 buses?

Anonymous said...

Wow, even with a 3 Star General in command there was chaos at every train station. What happen if there is a war? You think the army can protect us?

Anonymous said...


Heard that some commuters paid over $200.00 for U cabs to
get home after the breakdown.

That was really very very expensive!

But, what is the most frightening issue is that the root causes
of the massive breakdown have not been identified yet.

Just hope is completely safe to travel on mrt!

It is really sad that after spending so much money for the mrt
system and the very very attractive salary packages for management,
breakdowns and more breakdowns are what we are still getting.

Seriously. What MUST we do to solve breakdowns!

Sad! Very Sad! Very Very Sad!

Anonymous said...

"To take 250,000 people assuming each bus takes 40, we need 6250 buses but they only deploy 100 buses?"
July 10, 2015 8:59 a.m.

It's like our CPF mah.
Singaporeans are living longer.
Our peak earning age has dropped to around 40 years old.
Singaporeans are getting sacked and replaced by Aliens.
And they think a goodie package once very General Elections year is sufficient to feed the whole family.

This type of standard and they expect a multi-million dollar salary?

Anonymous said...

250,000 people affected.
I thought our Generals would already have a plan in place as part of Total Defence.
Are you telling me this is the best our Millionaire Generals and Millionaire Ministers can do?

I'm boycotting PAP 50 celebrations.
Nothing proud to celebrate if you are a patriot.

Anonymous said...

Every MRT station should keep at least 1,000 courtesy bicylces.
These bicycles can be deployed when the train breaks down.
Courtesy Hara-kiri knives (personally signed by Khaw) should be distributed to all senior managers and board members.
Just in case any one of them gets the urge to do the honourable thing and take up Khaw's suggestion.

ℳatilah_$ingapura said...

>> 250,000 commuters at one go, how many buses will be needed? <<

My point exactly. Must block off entire roads to all other vehicles.

Say a full bus takes 70 passengers. 250,000 ÷ 70 = 35,714 buses will be needed to ferry passengers.

WOW! Free shuttle service, brilliant lah. Who is the cheebye who failed his primary 5 maths, and still has a job in the govt?

Sack the motherfucker lah!

Hey, assholes: STOP MAKING EXCUSES, FIX THE FUCKING TRAINS!!

Virgo 49 said...

Some more, the bus drivers kept mum whether must tick tick your EZ link cards.

Free or must pay???

The CEO stills wants to collect his 2.5million renumeration.

Also, they still cut your fares when you tick tick out gate

ℳatilah_$ingapura said...

I'm curious, is it possible to launch a class-action lawsuit against SMRT?

Virgo 49 said...

Wah, first time Matilah scolded the MIWs.

Some more bad words.

Wait they put you in Blk 7 IMH shackled and chain then you know.

Also pass water and poo into bottles.

Anonymous said...

Thanks gods, all ended up well.

No riot, no sacking and most importantly, no blood flow.

Now time to increase the remunerations of the state and ministry managers for their excellent performances.

ℳatilah_$ingapura said...

From Amos Yee's Facebook:

Amos Yee
Yesterday at 4:24am · Edited ·


Yes, yes… I fully admit. I am solely responsible for the breakdown of the MRT tracks.

An act of blasphemy, whereupon the eternal, unforgivable sin of insulting the sacred, inviolable name of the great lord, Jesus Christ.

However, instead of initiating the prescribed penalties of stoning or eternal damnation as underlined in scripture, the magistrate disobeyed the lord’s command, and chose to let the heretic free, thus committing an act of treason and heresy.

So God said unto man, ‘Let there be an SMRT breakdown’

And there was an SMRT breakdown.

ℳatilah_$ingapura said...

@ goyang gonchang uncle, virgo49:

>> Wah, first time Matilah scolded the MIWs. <<

Nonsense. I tekan them when necessary. I pay ALOT OF MONEY to be comfortable in this Hotel. These motherfuckers WORK FOR MY PLEASURE.

I am Their Boss. If they are not doing their job properly, I will royally fuck them until their assholes bleed with shit and blood.

I am Singaporean. I pay. So if you tke my money, fuck you, you better DELIVER!

agongkia said...

Please la.Its 249,999.
Such breakdown is good to enable Sinkies to learn how to react during unexpect emergency like fire or terrorism besides opportunity to interact with my You Know Who.It a reminder to me that not everyday is a Sunday.
Free shuttle services is a waste of tax payer money to appease dafts n we should instead, learn how to cope n manage ourselves during emergency.
Nah.I teach you how to make money la.
Instead if bicycle or whatever, go set up one INSURANCE company to sell insurance on train or bus delay like those flight delay type.
Delay 30 minute can claim 30 dollar ...
Insurance company.What u waiting for.Sure make money.

Anonymous said...

Uber taxi customers complained, but NTUC and the other taxis are having roaring business and providing good services mah.
NTUC Income shud consider Agongkia's brilliant idea to set up an insurance scheme for public transport faults.

Anonymous said...

Machine breakdown only leh.
Nobody's fault.
Blame the machine.

Anonymous said...

Another thing not to leave home without for NSmen. Carry your combat kit on your back. When train breakdown, change to combat kit and do a long march home.

Anonymous said...

Did anybody go around to smell whether got alcohol or not?

agongkia said...

Anon 10.22
Another way.Transport company can make more money oso.
That day just pay 20 dollar to buy a ezlink card at MRT station and was told the value is much lesser than 20 dollar becos they are charging me few dollars for the card.
Cannot remember whether it was 5 or 7 just for the card but any way they say how much mean how much.No bargain.
As such they can add another few dollar for the card as insurance premium and make it 12 or 15 .
Any breakdown can claim insurance payable through topping up the card .Like that coming year may have lesser breakdown n can make millions of dollars through such premium.
Transport company will have more profit.Huat Ah.
Ah Lui n Desmond can oon oon chia bee hoon.

Anonymous said...


I like the heading of an article.........

"PAID to FAIL"

Yes! "PAID to FAIL"!!!

Hahaha...........

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

They make the cards with an expiry date and charged you $5 or more per card. This is easy money and when the card expires, you will need to get a new card at a higher price.

Why can't commuters keep using the card if it is working? Shouldn't they be issuing cards for free as commuters are paying them money upfront, no bad debt and many did not use the money in the card for a long time. They made extra interest with the money.

b said...

they should mobilise all the private cars on the road to take at least 3 commuters before they can drive off. should not have spend so much money to build and maintain the train system when all is needed is a bike lane and cars carrying not one but many passengers at one time just like the old days.

b said...

but all gov in this world formulate their policies based on "profit over the people- Noam Chowsky".

Anonymous said...

Matilar, u know fucking how to calculate or not. Knn 250,000 divided by 70 is not 35,714 it's 3571 lar! U fucking moron, too much incest is it as it starts to fuck your brain.

Anonymous said...

Hi RB, speed. Breakdown of your MRT is not so bad. Only 2 lines affected and only for a few hours. I think is is still oK, when you compared with our one day strike of the London Underground and some overground trains yesterday. Singaporeans are blessed with the very efficient transport system. The number of vehicles on the Singapore roads are tightly controlled. Your roads are controlled by your ERP, parking is so expensive and fuel prices compared to earnings are relatively high. I am not even going to mention the COE. Buses are good, plentiful and very punctual. So, just a small incident like 2 breakdowns happening at once should not be too painful. Just be thankful for an efficient government to manage the happiness of the Singaporeans.

Anonymous said...

Please lah ....... somebody said he only graduated from xyz kindergarten certificate and a self-confessed beach bum. ..... Dun set too high expectation. ........ give him the slack ..... oso dun make him lose face lah ..... very Malulah in Sinkipura lah .....

Anonymous said...

Speed khong tiok lah.

London train worker ba kang not happy working, thats human fault. Xinkapor hueyjia pai, em si lang pai.

Hueyjia a salah.
Mai quai lang.

Anonymous said...

"They make the cards with an expiry date and charged you $5 or more per card. This is easy money and when the card expires, you will need to get a new card at a higher price."
redbean

I was saying the same thing to my family members.
The card for seniors can be extended. My mum's ez-link card many years old already.
The point being that there is nothing technically wrong with an old card ez-link card.
They just want to make money because they have a monopoly position on the ez-link card.

"What's wrong with collecting more money?"
Lee Kuan Yew

https://www.facebook.com/TheNewEraSingapore/posts/611369322249177

Anonymous said...

@ slow motion shit @ July 10, 2015 4:03 p.m.

Singapore mrt cannot work because the train is broken down.
Different from London.
London trains (which are very much older) is not broken.
It's just that the London train people don't want to work.

In London, you pay the workers and CEO more money, the train will run again.
In Singapore, you can pay millions to the workers and ceo and the PAP government ... but the Singapore train still cannot work.

London's problem is simple ... "money not enough"
Singapore's problem is serious.
Singaporeans pay and pay plenty of money but still the trains cannot work properly.

Problems that cannot be solved by giving away money is a very big problem.
And this happen so soon after Lee Kuan Yew die-ded.
Very shameful way to celebrate PAP50 day.