Public Transport and Getting to Work/School.

In the 18th Jan 2008 issue of the Straits Times, one article spoke on the plans for public transport in the future, to make the bus and rail system “the other car”. J. spent 15min on that article and thought it was an insightful read and one that brings a lot of hope for the future… maybe. The new changes to the bus systems such the estimated arrival time at bus stops in Orchard road, the bus routes at almost every bus stop have been welcome changes, and much more useful and less a waste of money than the failure that is “TV Mobile”.

Because as it is, taking public transport to work is a pain in the hindquarters. Currently, J. stays around a Northerly district in Singapore that requires taking a 15-min bus ride to the nearest MRT station. As a medical student, J. has been posted to all the major hospitals.

Estimated Total Time Taken for J. (i.e. walking, waiting) to Reach MO Room/Student lounge from home

  • CGH – 2hr 15min
  • NUH – 1hr 45min
  • AH – 1hr 40min
  • SGH – 1hr 30min
  • TTSH – 40min
  • KKWCH – 40min

That’s a lot of traveling time. Especially, when going to CGH can burn 4 out of 24 hours. It’s ridiculous given that ward rounds start at 7.30am most days and 6.30am post-take.

Now compare with the estimated travel time by car:

  • SGH – 30min
  • CGH – 30min
  • NUH – 25min
  • AH – 25min
  • TTSH – 25min
  • KKWCH – 20min

That’s why that though J. used to have the idealistic impression that he’d choose public transport for the money saved, it’s disappeared due to the stark reality of having to spend so much time commuting on a job, that though it’ll have good job satisfaction, has crap working hours for relatively poor pay and high effort.

Let’s hope the transport system carries on improving. It’s already moving in the right direction.


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