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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dialogue with MP Lim Biow Chuan on Transport Issues

On this humid Sunday afternoon, I attended a dialogue session on transport issues chaired by my Member of Parliament (MP) for Mountbatten Lim Biow Chuan.

One grateful resident Mdm Ling came personally to thank MP Lim for acting on the complaints and concerns raised by residents during the General Election about irregular bus frequencies.  

Mdm Ling who is a resident of Tanjong Rhu, has only bus number 158 serving her estate. She takes it to the main road to transfer to bus service 30 to go to her office. The irregular bus frequencies often caused her to be late for work as she could reach her office one and a half hours later when the journey usually takes 45 minutes. She spends the last 5 years monitoring the bus services and regularly feedback to LTA and the bus company but to no avail.

8 months ago, a frustrated Mdm Ling went to see MP Lim at his Meet-the-People session when the irregular bus frequencies didn't improve at all.  

In May this year, accompanied by an officer from Land Transport Authority (LTA), MP Lim conducted his own spot checks to verify complaints of irregular bus services in Mountbatten at two separate bus stops during the morning peak hour, between 8am and 9am.

He was "horrified" that three bus services - 158, 12 and 197 - took half an hour to arrive. He wrote to the Public Transport Council.

Due to MP Lim's efforts, residents have been promised one more service for 158 during peak hours. According to Mdm Ling, the waiting time of 23 minutes has been reduced to 17 minutes. The bus company stated on its website that the average waiting time for its buses is between 10 to 15 minutes. There is still room for improvement. Mr Lim said he would follow up with SBS Transit and monitor the services for improvements.

About 40 residents took time to attend the event at Katong Community Centre and shared their ideas which have all been noted and will be considered. It was heartening to see quite a number of younger residents attending the dialogue session and offering suggestions.

One resident's question got me thinking, because the bus company used GPS to track all their buses, it has all the statistics of its commuters and the trips they make, why didn't they use that data to improve on their bus services?  

By coming forward with feedback, residents in Mountbatten can make it a better place for all.

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