Tan Kin Lian angry with LTA spending $68m on bus management system

I was very angry when I read the news that the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has awarded a tender of $68 million for an intelligent bus management system. Link. The benefit to consumers is described in this sentence, “ With more accurate bus arrival information, commuters can better plan their journeys and travel options.”

Actually I have the same feeling when I read that but did not want to blog about it. Well, since Kin Lian is talking about it, might as well put in my 2c worth. One thing, $68m is just a bigger peanut. In this obscenely rich city, everything is about a few hundred millions or in billions. So what is $68m? Just add a few cents hike to the fare and it would be paid by the commuters. What is so big deal?

Incidentally I checked my MRT fare yesterday and found that it has gone up by 3c for my daily trip. I am going to check on this to confirm that there is an increase and to find out when it happened and why it was not announced. I need to confirm this evening with the machine. Anyone notice the increase as well? Please check and see if it is true.

The bus management system is not going to cost only $68m. You would need people to manage and maintain the system and add to the overheads of running the buses. There will be installation cost as well, or is it already included? Then the promotion and educating the public cost as well. How much more would it cost and how much goodness would it give or benefit the operators and the commuters? Or is it just another thermometer to read the temperature?

What would be the total cost for this great management system and is it really necessary? Many countries could run an efficient bus system without having to pay for such a multi million dollar management system so that the academics and analysts got more data to analyse. I remember about mapping the topo of the island to know where the next flood is going to be. Dunno if they paid for it.

But, what the hell, it is only $68m. All small change lah.


Anonymous said...

Spending $68m just like that!

Anonymous said...

To survive in this city state, one must be very POSITIVE.


It is very very very "REASONABLE" to spend $68,000,000.00 to provide accurate bus arrival information to commuters so that they can better plan their journeys and travel options.


Anonymous said...

Singapore is a big continent and buses can be late by 10 minutes and sometimes even half an hour. This is very serious affair when the commuters must rush back home for their favourite TV programmes. They will be very unhappy if they miss a few minutes of the show.

Spending $68m to let the commuters know when the next bus is coming is the right kind of money to spend.

Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

The bus management system is another project for the well paid LTA bureaucrats to do and KPI to achieve.

Or else, and without it, how to justify their job and pay for being innovative, u tell me lah?

Some more with this spending, it will also stimulate economic growth because a lot of foreign IT talent, and maybe some smart Sinkies too, are involved to do the job.

Don't increase bus fare? U must be joking to expect this as their KPI.

Anonymous said...

The fare increase started on 6 Apr' 2014. Same date the adult monthly fare of $120 and other like poly student card, senior fare card, kid card implemented.
For my case, before increase by fare used to be $0.83 and transfer bus fare $0.10, total $0.93. Now it is $0.87 and transfer bus fare $0.11, total $0.98. An increase of $0.05, ie 5.38% increase.

Anonymous said...

$68 million for their cronies? Is this what is called crony-capitalism?

Anonymous said...

They just cannot seem to get it. The travelling public do not care a damn about knowing if the buses are on time or late. They just want them to be on time. Why should they pay for the system and not the bus operators? And this is on top of the billion dollar subsidy they got recently. Disgusting.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Thanks Anon 1:47. So the fare hike has taken effect.

Anon 2:37. They are happy to tell someone he has VD. Curing is another matter and must pay extra for that when they know how the person got VD.

b said...

Alamak. Why must LTA use taxpayers monies on private companies system? The shareholders must foot the bill not LTA. The service agreement must be such that if the private bus companies cannot fulfil, they will be replaced. Did TH also spend taxpayers monies on private companies system?

Anonymous said...

RB, this is small amount lar. I think tkl has better thing to complain on the larger items and stay focus. As I always told my boss, don't focus on the cat that barged into the room and miss the elephant that is dashing in. U tell me lar Tio Bo?

b said...

If they can replace sinkies with third world aliens, those cronies should also be replaced by third world operators.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Anon 2:50. You are right. Kin Lian should look for bigger peanuts. $68m sup sup suey: )

Hi b, cannot replace them hor. They are the last few talents left of the Sinkies. Replace them means no more Sinkie talents left.

Hands-On Green Matters said...

The foreseeable benefit for an (eventually) unified bus management system comes with MORE (not TWO, likely Incom-ing) bus operators allowed to enter to solve the public transport problems together.

Then the constructive process to our congested traffic on limited road space will be – more public-mindedness, less private-luxury?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Green Matter, Welcome to the blog. One of the main factors to all the problems we are facing is high population density.

The over reliance on computer gadgets is a sign of unthinking or lazy people. It seems that without computers nothing can be done and problems cannot be resolved.

The transport problems are not complex mathematical problems that a good human mind cannot deal with. In the past, a road map is all that is needed to travel from point A to point B. today, going from Queenstown to Toa Payoh or Serangoon you will need the assistance of a GPS installed in the car.

Personally I think it is a big waste of money just like the fake gardens in Marina Bay and all the electronic road signs telling drivers how many minutes to Bukit Timah or Jurong East etc etc.

We are a very small island, not a continent, not even London or New York or Hongkong.

Hands-On Green Matters said...

Agree with stuff on street-smart vs gadget-smart - we have to make good (not excessive) use of both IT and Art though.

Anonymous said...

Hey LTA and PAP:
What part of "NOT ENOUGH BUSES" and
don't you understand?

Demand & Supply.
Do you know how to solve a simple supply problem?

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

Of course they spend lah. Not their hard-earn money wat!

Obviously these spendthrifts never heard of smartphone apps. You want to "plan your journey"? Use your phone/ tablet lah. Spend a few bucks (one time expense) on an app. Wanna make money, write a few fucking apps!

Tip for the day: Your smartphone was specially designed for dumb arses. Unfortunately they're too busy fucking with Angry Birds and Facebook.

$68mill for 5.5. million people in the population = over $12 per person, many of who won't use buses. Then there's maintenance / replacement costs to keep the bucket of shit running. And energy costs to power the system.

Compare that to a choice of smartphone apps for $4-6 (I'm being lavish), and only those who use the buses will buy.

Fuck the bloody government lah. Fuck them with an armful of rusty rebar.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eddie Leong said...

I wrote to the Minister of Transport some months back. His staff channelled it to LTA for the reply.

I told them that in Tokyo most of the buses radiate from the MRT stations. In this way you avoid the big congestions we now see on Orchard Road, Shenton Way etc.

They have very intelligent staff who thinks that running a bus from Clementi all the way to Bedok is still the best way.

Now how many passengers actually need to take the whole route by bus? The trains are faster but they need to run trains at every one minute or two minute intervals even at offpeak.

Our LTA, SMRT, etc. are not that well coordinated. So we buy more of everthing and has to spend more to coordinate them.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...


Singapore's public transport is the domain of the "stench-ridden poor". This has been clearly established by a foreign "ex-spurt", and broadcast to the entire world.

Why then is it, I have to ask, is the government spending good money on attempting to aid these malodorous indigents?

Let the fuckers suffer, I say! :-))

Anonymous said...

They are trying to help the poor