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Removal of Bus Service 167 and Similar Bus Services: Gahmen’s Talk about “Car-Lite” Just Lip Service?

HAROLD CHAI: One could hop on bus service 167 and in about slightly more than half an hour reach Orchard Road.

With the removal of the bus service, commuters will have to seek the nearest train station for a direct route to town.

One fundamental underpinning of a car-lite society means public transport is easily available, and commuters have choices when it comes to modes of public transport.

Not everyone likes to pack in a crowded train carriage and the long walk from one end of the train station to one’s destination point.

There are many who prefer to hop on a bus from a bus stop just outside their home and take the scenic route all the way to the bus stop just in front of their workplace.

Also, when trains break down, commuters must easily be able to switch to an alternative mode of transport to reach their destination.

As we have seen and experienced often enough, the snaking queues for bridging bus services to reach another train station is utterly overwhelming.

Besides, the removal of bus routes leads commuters to hop on buses to reach the nearest train station.

This causes these buses to be even more packed, and commuters may not even be able to board them.

All these inconveniences add up, and making public transport a frustrating experience.

The reason for removing bus service 167 and other similar bus services is a drop in ridership, with the new MRT lines coming up.

But isn’t that the point – a less packed bus or train makes for a more comfortable journey for commuters.

More commuters will be pushed towards owning cars for the comfort and convenience, or taking taxis or PHVs – both options are not car-lite at all.

If the government really does envision a car-lite future, it must put people over profits.

This, starting with giving us the right to choose our preferred journey.

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