Sunday, November 1, 2009

Safe Kids USA - Safety Saves - Bike Safety

Child or adult, as long as you're riding a bicycle, he/she should be wearing a properly fit helmet. Do not take it for granted that just because it isn't the 'law' imposed by our Singapore Traffic Police yet, you may assume it is safe to go without a helmet.
Don't take chances, and please.... spread the word.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Jetsons

Oh for the heck of it.... here's an intro to the Jetsons. Think traffic and you'll observe car-pooling (4 pax in a car! woohoo!), problems and delays caused by pick-up and drop-off lay-bys (yeah, individual capsules to eject each passenger), parking issues (how about a briefcase SUV?)
Don't we all want to solve our traffic problems with solutions like these?
Are we far from it?

SkyCab Project green transportation system.

This is a good idea; almost utopian and perhaps very futuristic and something that you'd see from a Jetsons cartoon show. Environmentally-friendly: yes, but is it viable, economical, and feasible?
Many cities are already facing problems with operating and maintaining public transport systems. Some cities can't even get their price mechanisms right. The commuter suffers.
To install and implement a system like the Skycab, a huge investment needs to be made for infrastructure, then another huge cost component must be factored for operations and maintenance.
Unless a big investor comes into the scene, it is very difficult to maintain this system with only a ridership of 9000 per hour.
What are your thoughts?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

NHTSA Bicycle Safety Tips For Adults

This is a very useful and educational video. Some may say that it seems to be commonsense, but trust me - accidents DO happen. It never hurts to be refreshed.... and practice definitely makes perfect! Happy Safe Cycling!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

In The News: ERP Charges To Be Increased At 3 Gantries

Well what do you know? So swiftly after the report that fewer Singaporeans take public transport, comes the announcement from the Land Transport Authority (LTA) that Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) charges are going up at selected gantries!
"ERP rates at 3 gantries to be raised from Nov 2

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said Tuesday ERP rates at three gantries
will go up from November 2.

It will cost a dollar to pass through the gantry along Ayer Rajah
Expressway between 8am and 8.30am, an increment of 50 cents.

ERP rate for the Eastbound ECP gantry at Marina South and the one on the
slip road from Ophir Road will go up by a dollar to S$3.00 between 6.30pm and

The rates for the other gantries will remain unchanged.

LTA said the next ERP review will take place in November for the December
school holidays."

-ChannelNewsAsia, 27 October 2009

So are you still going to travel by car? What is it with Singaporeans and car ownership anyway?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

In The News: Fewer Take Public Transport

The 2nd World Roads Conference was inaugurated yesterday, with an address given by the Minister of Transport, Mr Raymond Lim. In his speech, he revealed that according to a travel survey conducted by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in 2008, fewer people in Singapore are taking public transport.

Less People Taking Public Transport

Less people are taking public transport and more switching to private cars, if the latest numbers are anything to go by.

A 2008 travel survey conducted by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) showed that the proportion of people taking car journeys have increased to 31 per cent, as opposed to 27 per cent share in 2004.

Two strategies have been identified to increase the number of people taking public transportation: 1) investing in rail network and; 2) reducing vehicle growth rate, Singapore's Transport Minister Raymond Lim said in his opening speech for the second World Roads conference.

Mr Lim said ideally there would be a doubling of the existing rail network by 2020, as well as significant capacity enhancement in existing lines with higher train frequencies.

By 2020, Singapore's rail density will be "comparable" to New York and London today. The MRT will be more accessible to more people. Mr Lim also added that there will be an MRT station within five minutes' walk.

The vehicle population growth rate has also been reduced from 3 per cent to 1.5 per cent a year, and this will be reassessed again in 2012.

Several improvements have been made to increase the attractiveness of taking public transport, said the Transport Minister.

Expansion of normal bus lanes and full day bus lanes have improved bus speeds. Bus services are now more frequent as well.

Public commuters are already feeling the improvements. In a customer satisfaction survey conducted in 2008, 89,5 per cent said they were satisfied with public transport services, an increase of 3 per cent from 2007.

He also added: "As we expanded Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) to more roads last year, the traffic conditions of these roads have improved correspondingly."

Traffic speeds in the CBD area - where targeted road pricing measures were introduced - increased from 18kph to an optimal range of 20-30kph.”

- AsiaOne Motoring News, 26 Oct 2009


Needless to say, many netizens quickly responded to this speech with comments like “Sounds like another excuse to raise ERP charges again...” or “Impossible! Cos the trains are always packed with people!”.

Their rash reactions to this speech are expected, but the matter here really is: why? Why are Singaporeans still not choosing to commute by public transport? Why are we switching to cars?

Plans are in place to improve public transport in Singapore, according to the Land Transport Master Plan. But if Singaporeans continue to shun public transport and if we do not find out the reason behind this trend, it’ll be an awful waste of effort indeed once everything in the plan is achieved.

I hope the Land Transport Authority can reveal more information on the travel survey and hopefully identify the reason behind our poor travel mode choice.

I certainly hope this is not the cause of it!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

One Minute on a Typical Street in Hanoi

Oh the utter chaos! (Or is it quite organized, really?)
Do traffic lights help to organize traffic, or would the lack of it 'force' motorists to practice some sort of 'give way' mentality?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Miracles Do Happen on The Trains

I tend to agree with Green's last post on the need for some sort of public education for graciousness on our public transport. Then again, I don't think it's aimed at Singaporeans alone. There are many non-Singaporeans - migrants or transient workers - who have recently started to call Singapore their home. These belong to the population who have not gone through the rigours of a Singaporean education system, so are perhaps not used to rules and regulations and indirectly, a certain level of gracious norms in our city state.

Let's give them the benefit of doubt. After all, this is not the aim of this post.

The purpose of this post really points towards the daily miracles that happen on our trains. have you seen them?

Have you seen schoolchildren and able-bodied adults occupying seats meant for the elderly and disabled?

Have you seen them miraculously falling into 'deep sleep' the moment they sit down, while everyone else around them are either wide awake or standing with the rest of the crowd?

Have you seen them totally oblivious to pregnant women and elderly persons standing in front of them?

Have you seen them totally engrossed in their world of PSPs and ipods, again totally oblivious to the living world around them?

Have you seen them miraculously waking up and alighting the moment the train stops at their destination? As if an inbuilt GPS system embedded in their heads trigger off some sort of alarm as the train approaches their intended destination.


signing off,

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Happy Journey - Are We On Our Way?

By now, I’m sure train and public bus commuters in Singapore are familiar with this rap:


The rap features Phua Chu Kang – Singapore’s very own darling sitcom character – urging us to be more considerate when onboard public transport. The rap is played at all MRT stations, and together with it are posters and images on buses and trains showing Phua Chu Kang and his wife Rosie spread the message of gracious commuting, reminding us to: give way to alighting passengers, give up your seat to those who are more in need and to move in to the rear of buses or the middle of train cars to increase the passenger capacity.

These are all part of the public education programme launched by the Public Transport Council (PTC) and supported by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) that started in May this year.

Now four months in, I wonder how successful this campaign has been. While I do see people waiting patiently for passengers to alight the train before boarding, most times there are still those who simply shove their way in too. And if one were to visit STomp’s ( “Ugly Commuter” page, it is utterly disappointing to view daily updates of the same rude, inconsiderate behaviour seen onboard public transport.

I understand that to expect every single person to be swayed into consciously changing their attitudes through a campaign is idealistic, but a public education programme like this one is the last stratum of effort that is going to be initiated for us by an authority in providing us a high-quality experience in our local public transport system.

What I mean by experience is the comfortable seats, cool air-conditioned spaces, friendly service staff and adequate passenger information that are provided onboard public transport. With all of these made available for us, the last piece of the puzzle for us to enjoy “A Happy Journey” really is our own attitude towards other passengers.

I applaud the initiative for this public education programme. Sure, the rap video does come across as a little cheesy, but I think that many Singaporeans do need this campaign. We need to assess our own level of social-graciousness when travelling on public transport, and this effort is a great reminder for us to do it. And when we finally come around to improving our behaviour, I look forward to "A Happy Journey" every time!