by: Sharon C/
The recent call for fare adjustments of 2.8% by the public transport operators is definitely not justifiable.
One of the reasons I believe that fares should remain status quo for now is because the transport operators are hiring more foreign drivers than locals, which means that even if fuel costs have increased the transport operators would be able to off-set that increase with lesser manpower costs.
In addition, public transport is a public good and so should not be profit-oriented.
Yes, public transport as they are now, is owned by private companies but aren't they still regulated by the government? And since they are still regulated by the government, can they not approve fare adjustments until the operators improve their service?
In the past, fare hikes always came with the promises of better service. But were the promises kept?
We see more foreign drivers who are unable to communicate with the locals, and are unsure of bus routes. These foreign drivers, ungraciously slam the boarding doors on us even though we ran with all our might to catch the bus. And they often choose uncouth words over cordial ones when they need to give a reminder or a warning.
How many bus drivers actually greet passengers when they board? Yes, there may be one or two who actively exchange greetings, but they are the minority. What about the majority?
And I am frustrated even though I have only experienced these horrendous service standards and almost endless waiting times, for the past few years only (I'm a Year 2 Junior College student).
Commuters wouldn't mind paying more if they can expect faster and better service standards.
Service standards which include shorter queues at bus interchanges, shorter waiting time for services, lesser technical glitches and breakdowns.
Not forgetting bus captains who actually behave like captains.