Thursday, April 17, 2008

In Singapore, we call roads 'carparks'

Forgive me if I sound whiney, but I'm battling the bad flu bug and thankfully, this bout is coming to an ebb.

The professor says that the flu bug can worsen depressive symptoms for a while, yes it's true!

Singapore's transport system is bursting at its seams. No, I don't mean public transport. I mean the whole works. Roads, cars, infrastructure planning, etc.

Which genius decided that Singapore's roads should be inundated with 3% more cars every year? Just 2 years back, the Bishan-NUS journey took 40-60 minutes. Now it's at a sad 70-90 minutes. I kid you not. I've never seen jams this bad along the route before.

And the buses get packed to capacity, because there's only so many trips they can make if they're stuck in the gridlock for hours at a time...

And if it rains, all hell breaks loose. The already-stretched traffic infrastructure implodes upon itself, and congestions beget congestions. It once took me 2 hours to get from NUS to Bishan.

Peak hour traffic in Bangkok isn't that much worse than Singapore these days. It's quite pathetic.

It's not lofty ideals like democracy, or romantic delusions of the beauty of various foreign cities that drives emigration out of Singapore and into Australia, Canada and the USA. It's the simple things. Such as the prospects of no longer having to jostle in peak hour traffic for a sixth of your waking hours every weekday.

My family's heading to Melbourne in June for a holiday, and I'm really chuffed at the idea. Especially when I'd get to see what is it about Australia that entices Singaporeans to flock there. Perhaps it's the more relaxed pace of life? Or that the pay there is better despite? Or is it the less humid weather?


The shrimp dumpling noodles at Hong Lim food centre 2nd level (a bridge connects it to Chinatown Point) is excellent. And the servings are huge for the price.


Random photos!


Pkchukiss said...

Wow, I stand like that on the train too, but at least it's moving... Imagine: paying $2 to go through a gantry, and still sit in a traffic jam - it's the ultimate screwing you can get from LTA

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I miss Singapore transport efficiency a lot actually. God the 2+ hour trip to the bloody airport and back in Chicago (it's 50 min for two-ways when good).

And the time when the bloody American Airline assholes canceled my flight (not due to weather!) just 2 hours before take-off. It's a $50 trip one-way (fortunately my friends sent me there) to the airport usually and those bastards refused to compensate (and they only compensated a $50 voucher when I complained again online, yes to sit on their bloody planes again)

That's before I mention the buses that breakdown all the time and the trains that always smell like pee. And when my sister came over, almost every transport (all her flights, Amtrak train service in New York, New Jersery's subway line, and bus in chicago) broke down or got delayed by a few hours.

And gas prices are almost $4 a gallon. Damn I can go on and on. No wonder I just stay in my school neighbourhood nowadays.

Did I mention I miss Singapore transportation?

kc said...

i smell a conspiracy when FAA grounds the american airlines MD-80 fleet at a whim just because too few zipties were used to secure a bunch of cables. ridiculous!

as for taxi fares, ever since they revised it we're hearing of $37 trips from yio chu kang to NUS these days... that's about $1.50 per kilometre. $50 for clementi to the airport? it wont surprise me

and in the past few years, SMRT cleverly decided not to repair their bus air conditioners and ramp up the train temperatures in a bid to cut costs. they don't smell of pee, but they smell of (insert whatever odorous racial minority you can think of)

speaking of vehicle breakdowns, i've survived a ride on a bus with dead wipers in a heavy thunderstorm, and once saw smoke coming out of the very bus i was on. it isn't too good over here

maybe you won't miss the transportation here as much, when you notice that in the past 2 years it has deteriorated into a national disgrace

doing the appropriate conversions in google, 95 octane petrol is approximately USD$5.57/gallon over here

and that's coming from me, a person who lives in central singapore only about 10km away from orchard