Sunday, January 24, 2010

More on Transport...

In my previous posting, I explained that to satisfy Singaporeans' demand for transport, the quality of the public transport has to be improve sufficiently to reduce the demand for cars. To do this public transport companies have to be focussed primarily on improving service quality and cannot be distracted by the need to make profit for shareholders which is the case today.

Goh Meng Seng in his latest blog posting did an analysis of ridership figures[Link] on the SMRT and this is what he found:


Figures were taken from Singapore's Yearbook of Statistics 2009.
Basically, we had a population growth of 17.2% from 2003-2008 but the SMRT car kilometers was reduced by 13% during the same period. What this means is that the trains are packed roughly 30% more from 2003-2008. So the complaints of Singaporeans who say that the trains are more cramped and stuffy these days are not imagined. During this period, as service quality fell, the public transport fares went up many times.

The poorer service quality will up Singaporeans' desire to own and use cars - but the number of COEs is limited and our roads have limited capacity. COE shoots up and ERP goes up. Just 2 days ago, the govt announced that the ERP at 3 gantries will increase by a whopping 30%[Link] but that is really nothing new as ERP hikes are a regular affair[Link]. All these hikes do nothing to meet demand ...they are suppose to depress demand by hurting people in the pocket. Like I said in my previous posting the income inequality means all these hikes hurt lower middle income families hardest and create further mismatch between people's needs and distribution of a scarce resource- these hikes do not distinguish between the needs of a father has to send his child for to the hospital in a taxi and someone in a Mercedes on his way to the golf course.

There is good reason for people to be unhappy with the system. It is designed to maximise govt revenue & minimise expenditure, make good profits for GLC companies and their shareholders but failed to meet the needs of a growing population and the desire of the people for a better quality of life. In crowded land scarce cities, there has to be nothing to distract govts from it primary goal of meeting the transport needs of the people and satisfy rising expectations for better transport - the effort requires tremendous commitment and resources - anything less will naturally lead to unhappiness. There is nothing surprising about Singaporeans being unhappy with this system of COE+ERP+"for profit" public transport because it is a system that has fallen far far behind the rising aspirations of Singaporeans.

173 comments:

Anonymous said...

this guy is beginning to show his irrational side.what a let down

LuckySingaporean said...

anon 14:30,

Sorry. Don't understand. Please explain.

Anonymous said...

Lucky is right. Public transport sucks because of corporate greed. As a result, average folks like us have been denied our rights to car ownership because of high COE.
The ill managed transport system is a double whammy for commuters.But what should the government do, lucky?

LuckySingaporean said...

anon 14:58,

There has been a number of suggestions but will probably not be taken up by the PAP govt. Once is to continuously remove the pressure by using all net transport related revenues collected to up public transport service quality/cut fares and expand road capacity.

Anonymous said...

To the govt, crowded trains here are still tolerable compared to Japan where guards are specially employed to pushed people into trains. Do we see this happening here? No right?

Whatever it is, what is most important is come election, at least 98% seats for the PAP. This one will not change, despite all the changes happening in Singapore. Even when we have to resort to pushing people into trains!

Anonymous said...

"But what should the government do, lucky?"





The government has to relook its own KPIs that is focused on GDP. The LTA and PTC has to re-prioritise, from being pro-corporation/profits to pro-commuters.

But none of these will happen as long as Singaporeans do not send the PAP a clear message during elections.

Anonymous said...

Your recommendations are a bit extreme. A balance approach where all parties interests , from investors to commuters, are *normally satisfied* would be better. The flipside is that we may take a bit longer to achieve the service level of some very demanding commuters.

Nevertheless, we will still get there. Be patient.

Anonymous said...

This article has demonstrated that the "growth" that PAP has been boosting about all these years has caused continued increase in cost of living but deterioration in living standards for the average Singaporeans. Does anyone know why they are not letting up in driving us further into the black-hole? We know their compensation is tied to GDP growth, but can they not give some considerations for the average Singaporeans. After all they are already drawing the world HIGHEST salary by FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR! If there is a way, I would suggest that we let them take whatever amount their want and just give us a break? I really missed the peace and quite we had 10 years ago. I felt that I could afford a lot more things 10 years ago than it is now. We are really going the wrong direction as a nation -- and we are going FASTER, CHEAPER, WORSE!!!

Anonymous said...

no no no anon 16:33. i am fed up with foreign bodies mashing against mine and my clothes suffer the assault of their animal glands. if PAP don't raise my comfort level NOW, out they go this coming election!!

Anonymous said...

the pap has been trying to rationalise their action, such as why pap need to let in huge number of foreign worker, why COE increase, why ERP increase.......

The bottom line is pap want money. pap think they are the best and deserve to be pay more than the rest.

So, has Singaporeans elected such egoistic leaders?

Anonymous said...

T"his article has demonstrated that the "growth" that PAP has been boosting about all these years has caused continued increase in cost of living but deterioration in living standards for the average Singaporeans."

I totally agree. I am living off salvation army trash bin - quietly - because, my take home salary is pathetic!

Vote Opposition for more good years!!!

Anonymous said...

"The bottom line is pap want money. pap think they are the best and deserve to be pay more than the rest."

I think this is so wrong.WRONG!

Vote wisely. Every vote counts! One vote less for PAP means One dollar lesser for them.!

The lesser votes PAP gets, the lesser money goes into their pockets!

Time to POKKAI THEM!

Anonymous said...

FOR THEM, everything in Singapore must make money be they like TRANSPORT, HEALTH CARE, HDB... MOST UNIQUE.

That way we still have a trick or two to teach the world in the next 5 years.hahaa

Anonymous said...

One of my greatest peeves is WHY MUST I BE MADE TO STAND ON MRT????

We all should be entitled to a seat after a hard day's work. Unless PAP pays us the kind of salary they are getting or improve train services, out they go this election!

We need a change! Maybe double deck train system will solve the problem!!

Anonymous said...

Transport should be part of welfare. Why should old people pay when they had sweat so much to make PAP prosperous?

Vote Wisely!Vote for welfarism and free mrt rides for old people!

Anonymous said...

they should expand the girth of the train and add two more roles of seats so we can be more "integrated as a people".

Anonymous said...

fuk, what is wrong with bringing durian into the train? are these people running the train system singaporeans or not? trains are built for singaporeans and singaporeans love durians so i don't see why i can't bring durians into the train!

VOTE WISELY!

furrybrowndog said...

This is puzzling. Was there any given reason why SMRT reduced its operating car kilometres?

Anonymous said...

I think they should create two system. One track for foreigners another track for locals.

If that cannot, one capsule for foreigners and one capsule for locals.

I can accept that.

District 10 said...

luckytan is nothing more than a hatemonger. what is it with you and rich people? is being rich a crime? why must the rich be made an example in your posting just because all those poor losers are hit by governemnt policies.

One must fight for his own luxuries instead of being allocated as such.

Dont blame the rich for your inadequacies. The rich pays much more taxes and contriute more to society than the poor.

So what if i drive in a v12 engine to a golf course and have $500 dinner at st regis. It is perfectly legal and guilt free. i earned it.

so go ahead and earn your dole and stop the hate.

Anonymous said...

18:28

you are preaching meritocracy.preach on bro.!

Anonymous said...

Dear District 10

You are an embarrassment to PAP trolls.
Lucky is a millionaire!

Seriously.
$500 at St Regis.
What do u drink there? Cow piss?
What a loser.

Anonymous said...

this is disgusting!

wld smrt care to explain why the km operated actually came down over the years??? did the population explosion catch smrt unawares like it did to mah bow tan???

all we heard was the denial that smrt was overcrowded based on some weird yardstick from LTA.

shame Singapore shame

Anonymous said...

this is disgusting!

wld smrt care to explain why the km operated actually came down over the years??? did the population explosion catch smrt unawares like it did to mah bow tan???

all we heard was the denial that smrt was overcrowded based on some weird yardstick from LTA.

shame Singapore shame

Anonymous said...

Dear Lucky

Maybe we need to also consider SBS' NE line?
Now SMRT has a responsibility to their shareholders too. SMRT not equal to gahmen. SMRT is overcrowded true. But SMRT crap trains having problems with increasing capacity during peak hours is also true.

If anything, I think the main problem was the PAP gahmen/LTA(?) falling asleep re the circle line and the whatever lines.

Aurvandil said...

SMRT likes to produce strange and confusing statistics. Perhaps they are hoping that no one will be able to read and understand them.

You can check out their kinky KPIs here

http://www.smrt.com.sg/investors/documents/key_operating_data_mrt/trains_FY2005_Fy2009.pdf

The occupancy number is not % occupancy. Rather it is the number of people they crammed into a train car.

In 2003, there were an average of 53 persons in 1 train car.
By 2009, they had crammed 73 people into 1 train car.

This cramming has been very good for business.

In 2003, SMRT earned $72.1 mil after tax and minority interest.
In 2008, SMRT earned $149.9 mil after tax and minority interest.

2009 just ended so SMRT has not published their annual report. One would however expect it to be a very profitable year

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, I just came back from Japan, spent 2 weeks using their train networks... At peak hour, its as bad as Singapore, however, their trains are fast, you can get to anywhere in the city in 0.5 hr. So you do not feel so uncomfortable.

Anonymous said...

True, it"s fast in Jp but I got pinched, grabbed and groped fast too.

Anonymous said...

"In 2003, there were an average of 53 persons in 1 train car.
By 2009, they had crammed 73 people into 1 train car."

The 20 extra was not local!Vote wisely!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucky

Just wanted to highlight that GMS's analysis is a little too simplistics as it does not take the following into account:

1. The number of new MRT stations and lines that have opened since 2003
2. The increase in number of trips taken as a result of these new stations, ie average number of train rides taken to reach a destination, time spent, etc

Both of you also confused the issue of overcrowding and profitability which are really 2 separate issues. For eg, trains can be overcrowded during peak hours and underused during off peak, etc, translating into low profits, etc.

To address the crowded train issue, we must first understand what the Average Operating Car Occupancy (73 in 2009) means. If the actual capacity of a carriage is 120, then it means on average, the train is not crowded. However, the real issue here is not about averages but about overcrowding during peak hour. Therefore, we need to focus on the following:

1. How many pple can a carriage support before it becomes overcrowded (where overcrowded = say 20 above max capacity)
2. How many carriages are often overcrowed during peak hours?
3. What is the duration endured by commuters of a crowded carriages?

Once we have these numbers, we can easily quantify how many commuters are affected everyday and for how long, etc.

I'm one of your avid blog readers and I noticed that the quality of your work has fallen somewhat. A quantity over quality problem perhaps?

Cheers,
Hobbyist Economist

Anonymous said...

you have been warned. pls increase the number of trains during peak hrs or you will be....UNLUCKY!!!

Anonymous said...

Model reply for SMRT: "Nobody, no matter how prescient, no matter how clever, would have been able to predict that this was what was going to happen,"

Anonymous said...

look at the chart again. smrt has been monitoring the crowd and has addressed the problem - this was not highlighted in his post because he took a NEGATIVE view of the chart!

even if smrt increases the number of carriages, they still will not have control over freak crowd. so if one fine day lucky happens to join the freaks, well, smrt can't helch you. even if lucky runs smrt, he will be constrained to justify an increase in frequency for something he cant pin down with accuracy.

Anonymous said...

There is a difference in.."Goh quality". LOL

SUPPORT THE RIGHT GOH!!LOL

Anonymous said...

pui, all gold diggers!

Anonymous said...

"Just wanted to highlight that GMS's analysis is a little too simplistics as it does not take the following into account:"

Are you Stupid ?

What Lucky Tan and GMS tell you is that no matter how much transport infrastructure they improve on, it will not able to handle the large influx of incoming foreigners as the increasing number overload the improved capacity of transport.

So what cock is extra lines and any other debits are talking about ? It will be overloaded right.

Don't act smart alex if you are plain stupid.

Anonymous said...

oi, never ask you...you then act smart. let LUCKY answer the detractors. i am sure he can hold his own.

LuckySingaporean said...

anon 23:12 (hobbyist economist),

1. In my previous postings, the main point has been the public transport system has been turned into profit seeking and that competes with the goal of providing quality of service to the riders.

2. Before GMS data, there has been growing anecdotal evidence of more over crowded trains. Proof in the form of photographs posted by netizens. It is not possible for anyone else except the SMRT to provide absolute evidence and data on this. It is not in their interest to do this.

3. GMS showed that while population has increased, SMRT car kilometers has declined..and loading per carriage has increased steadily from 53 to 73.

4. It is nothing complex- frequency of trains has to be cut down to achieve this. Either during peak hours or off-peak.

5. The average of 73 does not say whether trains are packed like sardines or not however it does say that on average there is higher loading and less chance of getting a seat for each commuter i.e. poor overall quality of rides.

6. When I say trains are packed like sardines, I'm saying they are packed like sardines for me and most people I know who take the train in the morning and observe they are getting more crowded and stuffy. GMS' evidence support this by showing there is reduction of capacity in terms of car kilometers when there is huge surge in population.

7. You suggested the possibility that they could have still okay because capacity is cut from non-peak hours and perhaps the capacity for peak hours sufficiently increased while overall average has gone down. Even if that is true, the non-peak frequency has decreased and that translate to longer waiting times.

8. However, 2 years ago, in response to rising number complaints from commuters who were left on the platform because the train cannot take any more, SMRT said the frequency of its peak hour trains cannot be increased anymore unless there is substantial costly upgrade to the system. The population has increased significantly from 2 years ago....from when the peak hour max. has been reached. There is no incentive for SMRT to undertake this massive upgrade because its primary goal is to seek profits.

We all want more data. Not selective filtered data. But we have always been denied data that doesn't favor the govt or its GLC's case. If there is data that says trains are less crowded during peak hours, wouldn't SMRT have used that to answer the rising complaints? Today we don't even know the unemployment rate for Singaporeans because the PAP govt stopped releasing this data years ago. Now it lumps Singaporeans with PRs in its data release.

This type of filtering has to stop. SMRT should be made to track a wider range of measures for service quality...and be made to release all this data.

If the PAP govt and its GLCs are really that good, then they have nothing to hide. We all prefer not to mine data and get the conclusions wrong.

Anonymous said...

Whether there is filtering of data on unemployment, crowded MRT, etc or not, one thing will not change much, if at all. That is PAP still has support from majority of voters and will achieve at least 2/3 majority in Parliament as well. This is enough to pass laws and policy it think is best for the nation, without being vetoed by the opposition.

Whatever happened in recent elections in other countries, eg Malaysia, Japan, USA etc won't happen here.

Anonymous said...

"Just wanted to highlight that GMS's analysis is a little too simplistics as it does not take the following into account:

1. The number of new MRT stations and lines that have opened since 2003
2. The increase in number of trips taken as a result of these new stations, ie average number of train rides taken to reach a destination, time spent, etc"

siao! if there are more stations and more trips, then the total km operated shld increase and not decrease.

the very fact that it decreased in view of increasing stations meant that there were even fewer trains/km operated along existing lines!!

as lucky has pointed out, commuters are interested to find out how smrt derived at the total capacity number - izzit all singaporeans and foreigners including prs packed together, smeeelling each other's armpits?????

the very fact that smrt chose to remove more seats to cattle pack passengers shows that it is interested in booking in more fares rather than safety or comfort.

Anonymous said...

anyone who reads lucky's article will have to conclude that he is rather mischievous and irresponsible(considering some of his readership may take him seriously) to attack smrt without all the relevant data to support his claims.

the most crucial data is the optimum capacity of each carriage. without that data, we can only speculate.

granted the rides maybe crammed at certain times of the day. but this could also be due to entry points rather than insufficient holding capacity.

Aurvandil said...

"anyone who reads lucky's article will have to conclude that he is rather mischievous and irresponsible(considering some of his readership may take him seriously) to attack smrt without all the relevant data to support his claims."

Isn't this kind of like saying that because we don't have data on the exact size of the hole, the Titantic is therefore not sinking?

Anonymous said...

that's different. you need to make a fairer comparison. everyone knows you can be inaccurate if certain data were missing. otherwise, why blame the authorities for withholding data?

Anonymous said...

Lesser mortals will have to accept that crowded MRTs and buses are inevitable, just like the widening income gap.

They need to think of ways to earn more money to be a greater mortal, and also to avoid those crowded MRT and buses.

Anonymous said...

I would like to add some point on transport. I live and work in Tokyo and I'm a fellow Singaporean. It is not true that they employ people here to shove others into the trains. Japanese do shove one another ONLY during rush hour as there are too many people and you need to get to your destination in time as everyone plans their journey schedules here. So it's no big deal. Travelling in Japan is a pleasure. Trains are clean and quite and they run on schedule. Also, the issue about people commiting suicide on trains is not that often enough to be true. I know many suicides occur in Clementi stations in Singapore. The main issue here has been molest. Some cars in the trains carry female passengers only. I remember entering one by chance. If you get squashed chest to chest with the japanese ladies during rush hour, you won't be complaining. Much better than entering the MRT and seeing Chinamen and Chinaladies, Philippinas, Indonesians, Banglas and Indiamen. Where are the Singaporeans? And many of these PRCs make so much noise in the trains. I have half a mind to tell them to shut up in English and not Mandarin. ;-)

Anonymous said...

lucky, study the figures again. read it in a positive light and you may derive the optimum capacity.

that could be a possibility.

Anonymous said...

'What Lucky Tan and GMS tell you is that no matter how much transport infrastructure they improve on, it will not able to handle the large influx of incoming foreigners as the increasing number overload the improved capacity of transport.'

I AGREE!

'Lesser mortals will have to accept that crowded MRTs and buses are inevitable, just like the widening income gap.

They need to think of ways to earn more money to be a greater mortal, and also to avoid those crowded MRT and buses.'

I DISAGREE! Rather I urge all 'lesser mortals' to use their votes for the polical oppositions who can press the LKY regime for a change or if needed, take over and run the country if the LKY regime falters. Singapore for Singaporeans!!! Full stop.

Anonymous said...

Lucky, having glance over the responses to your post, i have a feeling that the LKY regime is taking an offensive move to discredit your ideas. What the regim is doing is to deploy civil servants and their political slaves to post here to paint a different story that is more agreeable to the regime.

Perhaps the truth is inconvenient to the LKY regime.

Anonymous said...

"I know many suicides occur in Clementi stations in Singapore."

They(yes, they and us) been rather quiet about suicides in MRT now a days.

Now the surest way to improving services is to report on such phenomenon.

Anonymous said...

The way most of us younger native Singaporeans see it is that: when you let a country's politics be dominated by only ONE SINGULAR voice, your views as a decent and average Singapore citizen will fall on deaf ears as there is no checks made on the powers that be; there is no one to offer genuine honest criticism to the same master who pays their pay check. We have noticed that the government released the news that 2000 Singaporeans will be retrenched by Seagate prematurely last year. I suppose this to allow for the population to forget sooner and then design a climate that is healthy for re-election. The problem is that when you let a party dominate politics for so many years, they WILL forget about the people and their main concerns. Also, such an overbearing government will start to plan what IT wants for Singapore without LISTENING to what the Singaporeans wishes Singapore to be. This is dangerous. And it is already happening with the new spikes in the supposed foreign talent policy. We need to send a clear message in this coming election. They have come in very boldy with unreasonable justification for the million dollar salary. Without enough alternative or opposing voices in parliament, they will be MORE daring with their moves. Just you wait and see.

Anonymous said...

Ya, they are playing God with the citizens'rights by saying changing laws to suit their hegemony and megalomaniacal tendencies. They have become power obsessed and money crazy. Look! They have now banned demonstration or protest by even ONE singaporean. It used to be 5. Did the Malays and Chinese fought with each other on a racial clash for this law to be passed during a DEPRESSION in the economy? PAP is playing the racial and religious card too often. And they are overusing it this time.

Anonymous said...

The government is bullying the people. HAHA~~ When Singaporeans stay in their own toilets too long, they would soon get used to the smell of their own shit. The government has already told you to shut up. GCT told Catherine to shut up and joined a party if she wants to comment on them. LKY told us recently, that WE ARE THE PROBLEM - NOT THEM, when "our spurs are in our hide". It amazes me how he compares us using an animal analogy.

Majulah Singapura!

Anonymous said...

People are so glum on trains. Maybe SMRT should sell alcoholic beverages to commuters.

Anonymous said...

It amazes me how he compares us using an animal analogy.

we are animal like :)

that's why we hanker for more "peanuts".

lim said...

@anon 25/1/10 10:21

>> to attack smrt without all the relevant data to support his claims."

I think in this case, it is up to smrt/lta to dispute his and GMS's analysis..

Or we can all agree that it is overcrowded when you see passengers on the roof of the carriages, like what you can commonly see in/on India's trains..

Anonymous said...

"I think in this case, it is up to smrt/lta to dispute his and GMS's analysis."

the omission of data is a political strategy.

they will win!

Anonymous said...

i also dont understand the bus lane. the road outside my house was more congested than before the bus lane was implemented. in france, people dont even need to pay road tax. why dont they learn from leaders of first world countries on how they run their countries?

Anonymous said...

c'mon. you put yourself out there..and the substance does not stick and then when the spur got stuck in the hide, you take a hike and hide in the spur?

pls

cy said...

"it is better to be approximately right than precisely wrong"

while the data from SMRT may not be complete, from anecdotes and personal experiences plus these data, one can conclude that SMRT is indeed profiteering at our expense.

you don't need to know a person is fat by weighing him/her.

Anonymous said...

"...the omission of data is a political strategy...."

It is for this reason they are NEVER held accountable. There withold information that prevents you from crtitising what they did wrong.

This is political deception. I remember growing up and my secondary school teacher used to say: "It is up to you whether you want to trust the government."

When you withold full information, how can you not always justify why your income is more than a million dollars? They're not cunning. They're educated mafias. And LKY is the Godfather.

Anonymous said...

This is a good blog as the writer makes sincere attempt to inform and educate.

Onlooker said...

Our transport system is famous for being more expensive,worse and slower.

Hey that is exactly opposite of what lim swee say said.worker must be Cheap better,fast so the transport have to be opposite to offset any potential gain in productivity.

Ironic isn't it :)

Anonymous said...

"you don't need to know a person is fat by weighing him/her."

this is not a fat lady. this is a complex rail system interwoven into a complex economy. duh.

Anonymous said...

This is a good blog as the writer makes sincere attempt to inform and educate.

sure, does he have the guts to admit he could be ...gosh, wrong?

Anonymous said...

Got this from the recent Reform Party's Education Seminar from The Online Citizen website:


"He also added that the recent amendment to the Statistics Act, which makes available micro-array of anonymised data available to researchers in public agencies, is no substitute for a Freedom of Information Act."

As mentioned earlier by some Anon in the commentaries regarding suppression of information to the public which tend protects the asses of the PAP when they screw. That's why they are arrogant to speak the way they do. 'Cos they keep things away from you. They want to know everything about the citizens so that they can control Singaporeans blindly but they are not gonna declare transparency of their own data. Remember the NTU economics professor who made a study to say that jobs are going over to the foreigners and not Singaporeans. Did you remember Lim Boon Heng held a conference the next day to dispute that fact. And look at their open admittance today that more than 1 in 3 are foreigners on this island. And fellow Singaporeans can't get jobs. Learn the PAP's hypocrisy. Their knee-jerked reactions or over-the-top gestures are a sign that they are defensive and that they are "lying" to prevent you from questioning their misadventures and bad decisions.

Here's another:

"Academic freedom was cited to justify the pull-out of University of Warwick to establish a campus in Singapore. NUS Professor Thio Li-Ann was hired to advise the university in August 2005 on how constraints on freedom of expression in Singapore might affect teaching and research activities. Professor Thio’s bottom-line was, “Speech is permissible as long as it does not threaten real political change or alter the status quo.”

Vote for community and transparency in this coming election. Could someone do a write on all the past contradictions of the government of the day? So that fellow voters could be clearer in their goals to make Singapore more vibrant, freer and TRULY peaceful rather than make-belief appearances.

Anonymous said...

To Onlooker,

Looks like Raymond Lim has got a lot to learn from LSS! :-)

BTW, I like to see valid arguments from both sides and hope that the government agents would provide some meaningful input here as well.

Anonymous said...

25/1/10 13:41 and 25/1/10 14:58

don't be naive. you have an "enemy" waiting to see your downfall and waiting to replace you or be the next...power. what do you do? open your door wide and invite them into your house?

Anonymous said...

fucking idiots!

Anonymous said...

If you are honest, humble and sincere, what's the fucking problem then? It's when you start making assumptions that people are out to get you and can't wait to break you down, then please, by all means, do a blanket cenorship on anything that shakens your power foundation. Then it seems to me, the government is more interested in its party's goals than Singaporeans themselves. Are we, Singaporeans a means to an end? And not the end itself? It's time for the PAP party to realign its political values. Did I hear you say: "...to build a democratic society? Based on JUSTICE and EQUALITY? So as to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation? Did it say "for our party?" They stay in power too long, they'll get all kinds of fucking ideas that people are out to get them. They're not.

Anonymous said...

Heheh....this country is run on dirty politics and economics....hehehe

Anonymous said...

There's an elephant sitting in the living room. And nobody says a word about it.

Anonymous said...

sorry, i know you mean well but you are another fucking idiot.

Anonymous said...

Did it say "for our party?"

but you are fucking playing party politics.

now do you understand why i am against the current political system?

Anonymous said...

like i said b4, lky was right when he disagreed with the 1 man 1 vote system. but he couldnt come out with a better system so he did what's best to keep idiots out. LOL.

lim said...

@anon 25/1/10 15:32

>>ike i said b4, lky was right when he disagreed with the 1 man 1 vote system.

I like his idea too, 2 votes for me, and non pap supporters, and 0 votes for pap supporters..

Anonymous said...

great show ahead. let's watch them burn

Anonymous said...

hopefully, the country will not burn because of them. unlikely?

anybody guess is as good as mine. LOL

Anonymous said...

LIM PEH SONG

@anon 25/1/10 15:32

>>ike i said b4, lky was right when he disagreed with the 1 man 1 vote system.

I like his idea too, 2 votes for me, and non pap supporters, and 0 votes for pap supporters..

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR!

HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Anonymous said...

fucking idiots. hahahahahahahaha

Anonymous said...

open your eyes lah. look around you. the western political system is COWDUNG lah.

if your pride yourself as cleber very high high educated. you cant see this.. you worse than throw rubbish people lah not that i look down on them but it is what they do...dump rubbish like you.

PUI!

HAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHHA

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucky,

I found this on wikipedia:

Formation: 6 per trainset
Capacity: 1920 passengers, 288 seats

Therefore, average trainset capacity would be 1920/6 = 320 but assuming all trainset are equally spaced.

It's not that hard to find data if you try hard enough :)

I will also address another point you highlighted:

"GMS showed that while population has increased, SMRT car kilometers has declined..and loading per carriage has increased steadily from 53 to 73."

Actually, I just check the SMRT annual report. Apart from loading per carriage, everything from Total ridership, Car kilometres operated, Average weekday trips, Total passenger-trip distance has increased.

Car kilometres operated (millions):
- 2008 78.0
- 2007 77.1

Also noted that SMRT added 83 more train trips per week during the morning and evening peak periods from Feb 2008 and they have a stated target to keep average load at 1,200. Why 1,200 out of 1,920? I dunno but it works out to 62.5% capacity. Optimum level perhaps?

Now, assume SMRT add another 83 trains trips this year. What happens? Car km would increase of course. But what if they increase it because the operating hours are extended to 3am daily? Then the additional KM, trips, etc do not mean much to the average commuter.

So my point again is that we should try to be careful when we "connect the dots" by correlating datasets.

If you want to argue that public transport should not be a profit-making enterprise, then you should make a case of why a state-operated transportation beats private enterprises for efficiency, costs-effectiveness, comfort, etc.

This might be a more effective argument.

Cheers,
Hobbyist Economist

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kawasaki_Heavy_Industries_%26_Nippon_Sharyo_C751B

Aurvandil said...

"Also noted that SMRT added 83 more train trips per week during the morning and evening peak periods from Feb 2008 and they have a stated target to keep average load at 1,200. Why 1,200 out of 1,920? I dunno but it works out to 62.5% capacity. Optimum level perhaps?"

If this is correct, then our MRT should be more than half empty most of the time.

How many people who take MRT on a daily basis agree with this?

LuckySingaporean said...

Hobbyist Economist,
:::Actually, I just check the SMRT annual report.Apart from loading per carriage, everything from Total ridership, Car kilometres operated, Average weekday trips, Total passenger-trip distance has increased.:::

From 2007 to 2008, GMS' data also show an increase. But if you go back further to 2003 the car kilometers was 89 and fell to 77.1 in 2008 before it increased slightly to 78 in 2008.

:::Also noted that SMRT added 83 more train trips per week during the morning and evening peak periods from Feb 2008 and they have a stated target to keep average load at 1,200.:::

I remember reading this and having a good laugh because 83 trips per week worked out to 11 trips per day and thats works out to 2+ trips per line per day...and roughly 0.5 trips per peak hour on each line. That is less than a 5% increase and as the news release says it is to "maintain" the average load ...not to "lessen" the load.

I'm really trying very hard to see where you're getting at. I'll put out another interpretation of the numbers - once I can see it. But you really have to show me. I run this blog because I think it is important to overcome the biasness of the MSM and get the truth out. I'll be the 1st to correct my mistake once I see it.

Anonymous said...

To those "Fucking Idiot" posters, your "Fucking Idiot" comments do not add any value but ruining the image of this blog. I have great respect for Lucky and hope that you guys don't tarnish his blog with such name-callings. If you have a valid point to make, explain it clearly so that people would understand. You would have my respect too if you are sincere even thought your views might be different than mine.

Anonymous said...

Hi Hobbyist Economist,

Can you explain how car kilometres is derived? Based on what you have researched, if all factors have increased, then the car kilometres has only increased a mere 1 km between 2007 and 2008. In my opinion, it seems like it is not a lot if SMRT has increased the frequency of trains during peak hours.

As for suggestion about Lucky argument emphasising on cost effectiveness, efficiency and comfort etc, personally, if I were to argue on that stance, it would probably be very difficult to come up with that kind of statistics unless I am in the academic arena with the proper funding to gather primary data.

I tried to do the short-cut and search on any existing report about the comparison between rapid transit systems around the world. Due to time constraints, I did not have much luck. I came across two websites which actually sort of ranked transport systems around the world. Our world class transport system did not feature in the top 5 of these two websites (though you can always argue the authenticity, reliability and validity of these websites
http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/10/02/transportation-tuesday-top-10-cities-for-public-transit/
http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/green-living/free-ride-the-five-best-mass-transit-systems-worldwide/1095)

One interesting point is that the number of ridership is used as factor in gauging whether a rapid transit system is good or bad. I think if you make a good system, people would choose the rapid transit system over other types of public transport.

Reading further in the comments of others, people might not agree with the other top 3 or 4 choices. However, I guess a good standard of measure would be either Tokyo or HK.

To put it plainly, your call on Lucky to argue based on the factors you have mentioned is something like in law where Lucky probably has to prove that the person is innocent in all counts as compared to proving that the evidence present is not relevant in the case. That is a tad more difficult.

Personally, I used the rapid transit system in HK, Shanghai, San Francisco. I am still amazed that HK system is so much faster than ours given the similarities. I did not have to wait too long for a train and the speed at which it travels, I feel it is much faster than in Singapore.
Most of the time, sentiments are made on gut feelings and less on statistics, because obviously it is so much more costly and time consuming.

Anonymous said...

Is it SMRT's role to improve infrastructure? Shouldn't that be LTA's role?

I'm curious as to what costs are borne by SMRT and LTA individually.

Anonymous said...

Anyone remember the 1993 Clementi train collision? One train was said to be carrying 1800 passengers, which averages 300 per carriage.

Fast forward to now. Please guess how many are crammed into each carriage these days.

http://infopedia.nl.sg/articles/SIP_814_2004-12-31.html

(6th sense: I remember the NLB site showed a number less than 1800 in the past. Did someone change the figure???)

Anonymous said...

Anon 1920
Precisely that is what bothers me and that is, in my opinion, the crux of all the issues in Singapore. As for this posting, to me, is another separate issue from what we have been reading so far.

Everything is murky. SMRT is a listed company. When SMRT is listed, the cost of infrastructure should be borne by the LTA. Since SMRT is a commercial entity, it should at least pay yearly kind of toll (like in toll charges on roads) to use the rail lines and other things. Obviously, I am not too sure about the whole thing. But it is the same issues with the power stations, telecommunications and other integral and strategic pillars of our economy. Plus the fact that NTUC has dipped its fingers into everything you can imagine, you can see how commercial and political/social interests have mixed, which to me, is a rather dangerous concoctions of conflict of interests, which incidentally, is related to the current posting here. : )

Whatever it is, it just seems that everything is so murky and thus, there will always be that selected group of people who will always benefitted from both ends.

Not to say that Qin Shihuang did the right thing, but politics and commercial interests did not mix. In order to push through his agenda of world conquest, businessmen were not allowed to participate in state affairs. Sadly, for the scholars too, as ideas and expressions were also surpressed.

However, bringing back to my point, government role is to regulate and facilitate. Not to meddle in commercial affairs unless it is against the law, constitution and the common interests of man where they are susceptible to deceit, bullying and oppression.

Anyway, people on the ground, for far too long, has already grown into the mentality of what we can do if the government decides to do something.

Though the situation is not severe in Singapore, but we are just like a small town run by a bunch of warlords. If they are kind enough, they may give you a few buns. However, if their offsprings are detached and obsessed with their own lives, then pray that you can lead a good life or you are not the one severely affected.

Anonymous said...

as a commuter using the public transportation, i can comment that the overcrowding of the mrt is very similiar to the hospitial occupancy. I have read that some need to stay at the corridor of the hosital. reason? overcrowding.

the huge influx of foreigner caused all these, and the poor planning on the pap side. yet pap are drawing million in salary. what a joke. i believe this kind of 'funny' thing can only happened in sinagpore.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how our transport will be like, if we drastically cut down on bus services, and install electric trams instead.

I was in Europe, and I was amazed at the tram services in Europe. They came at every 10 minutes, were no wider than your usual buses, could carry easily 100 people per tram, and the trams were never caught in traffic jams, unlike our public buses.

And yes, the trams complemented the subway (or MRT) much better than our buses do.

Anonymous said...

Mr Lucky

SMRT is not LTA.
While I understand your desire to inform and educate the masses ... u are missing the point.

LTA and PAP cocked up. They underestimated the demand. The design was poor and simply cannot cope. The anger should be at LTA. Not SMRT.

Anonymous said...

Let everyone give everybody a chance! Vote wisely and give them a 48.88%. If they fare better after that or results prove unsatisfactory, well give them a 84.88%.

They can't increase much much more FT now to increase the GDP. Based on what? INTERNAL CONSUMPTION??? This trick won't work now when US,Europe and First world countries are still reeling.

If our growth be paltry the next few years... PEGGED THAT TO THEIR MILLION SALARY. OR REAL JOBLESS RATE.

Anonymous said...

Mr Lucky

Sidetrack a little.
Mr Obama is now almost desperate ... to almost abandon his Wall Street buddies and turn to Mr Volcker.

Have we reached the mythical identifiable top?

LuckySingaporean said...

anon 21:53,

I think it is very very close just not sure if it is this week or next few weeks. The market still seem to have strength to bounce up with each sell off. I've place stops for all my stocks and preparing to exit.

It is estimated that most of the stimulus + easy money will end by June...and we are starting to see inflation which will limit the FED ability to keep easing - they may reach the point where they run out of options. Between inflation and recession as options, they might have to go for recession....

Anonymous said...

The papist leegime is very cruel. They are not interested in the welfare and future of Singaporeans. They are more interest in their own control on power and $billions. That is why the whole system is structured to squeeze every cent from Singaporeans. That is why they have to bring in so many foreigners. That is why they have to whip Singaporeans like slaves to drive the economy. Pathetic lot.
Lucky, I hope u contest in the coming GE. The time and mood is just right. Your chances are good. Singaporeans are absolutely fedup with the papist leegime. They are souless money grabbing monsters.

Anonymous said...

hi Aurvandil,

"If this is correct, then our MRT should be more than half empty most of the time. How many people who take MRT on a daily basis agree with this?"

That's the problem with anecdotal evidence :) Let me try to prove this mathematically using the numbers from SMRT. Could be tough but try to follow:

SMRT 2008 AR
Total Ridership: 469.3 mil rides
Total Passenger-trip distance: 5,714.5 mil km (assuming this means total distance clocked by all passenger)

Avg distance per ride = 12.18km

Consider this:
Number of MRT stations: 51
Total track length: 89.4km

Therefore, avg distance between track: 1.78km (assuming equally spaced)

Therefore, avg number of stations per trip = 12.18km/1.78km = 6.8 or 7 stations. So each passenger will travel 7 stations before alighting.

Now, if exactly 1 person get in on 7th station and 1 person get out, turnover per trip would be 51 stations/ 7stations = 7.3 or 7.

Now, max capacity per train is 1,920 so if we assume full capacity, a train from start to end per trip would have ferried 1,920 x 7 unique passenger = 13,440 unique passenger.

SMRT reported an avg of 1.38mil trips per weekday. Dividing 1.38mil by 13,440, you get 102.7 full trips per day assuming full capacity.

Do you think SMRT runs only 102 trips per day?

Now, considering that SMRT has 106 trains. Each train only has to run once a day to exceed the 102 trips mention above. Of course, not all trains are active any one time and 102 trips refer to full capacity. However, is it inconceivable for SMRT to run 204 trips per day? Not really right?

As for Anon 18:27

"Can you explain how car kilometres is derived? Based on what you have researched, if all factors have increased, then the car kilometres has only increased a mere 1 km between 2007 and 2008"

Not 1km, it's actually 0.9 mil or 900,000 km.

I think the main issue here is that during peaks hours, you have massive number of commuters heading to the same geographical area at around the same time.

In my opinion, the most economically efficient way to solve this is to merge SBS and SMRT. That way, the single entity can use buses more effectively to re-allocate peakhour loads across alternative transport options, including relying on small private operators to provide peripheral support. Secondly, we need to revamp the cab system but that is another story for another post :)

Let me conclude by highlighting this from wikipedia on HK's MTR:

"As of first-half 2009, the MTR has a 42% market share of the franchised public transport market, making it the preferred transport option.[3]"

If the popular and incredibly efficient MTR can only garner 42% market share, imagine how competitive the transport market is in HK!

Cheers,
Hobbyist Economist

Goh Meng Seng said...

Hi Hobbyist Economist,

I really wonder whether you have taken the MRT train before? At any time of the day?

I have gone through your calculations and may I say it is not correct. I need time to verify some data but the gist of the situation is the correlation of population growth --> increase in demand for MRT --> SMRT did nothing to increase supply --> increase in cramping of the trains by 35%.

Such simplicity is easily seen by all and I do not think we need complex data analysis to come to the same conclusions.

Anyway, I have replied to your comment in my blog.

Goh Meng Seng

Goh Meng Seng said...

Hi Hobbyist Economist,

According to my observation, Singapore's train carriage is smaller than HK's MTR.

Nevertheless, I found this at HK's MTR website

http://www.mtr.com.hk/eng/railway/detail_worldclass.html

Max capacity is 2500 passengers for 8 carriages. Means, about 312 passengers per carriage.

To claim that occupancy rate is 73 per carriage, that is really something out of syn with our daily experience. ;)

What I mean is, SMRT has not clarify how they get such figures or what kinds of formula they used to derive such figures.

Having said that, though the absolute figures may not be meaningful to us, but the RELATIVE growth of such figures is very meaningful to us. It explains why we are feeling the trains are getting more crowded, not just peak hours, but ALL THE TIME of the day since 2003.

This is the gist of it and the simplicity itself does not compromise the conclusion at all.

Goh Meng Seng

Anonymous said...

hobbyist economist says, "Actually, I just check the SMRT annual report.Apart from loading per carriage, everything from Total ridership, Car kilometres operated, Average weekday trips, Total passenger-trip distance has increased."

the actual data, as lucky has put it, "From 2007 to 2008, GMS' data also show an increase. But if you go back further to 2003 the car kilometers was 89 and fell to 77.1 in 2008 before it increased slightly to 78 in 2008"

confirmed liao! hobbyist economist is a pap/smrt mole.

he is here to make murkier the already murky waters kept by the establishment.

first a mole tried to say that we had no definitive data because smrt chose not to reveal it, therefore we cannot conclude ---- yan1 er3 tao4 ling2.

then came along an "economist" who tried a convenient half-truth.

man, whatever figures exhibited here, commoners got eyes to see, ears to hear and noses to smell for themselves.

the train is very crowded most of the time. the other day i took a train from pasir ris around 10 plus, by the time it left simei, it was starting to get unbearably crowded.

if you don't have a heart, just shut up and sit down.

Aurvandil said...

Hi Hobbyist Economist

Apologies but I don't really follow the math. I can understand Lucky's table but your math is too "cheem" for me.

In any case, it is always useful to do a reality check on your findings.

I take the MRT relatively often. Lucky has stated that he takes the MRT daily.

Lucky has stated that he has found the MRT increasingly cramped and stuffy.

I share his observations.

Even during non-peak hours, the carriages are not half empty. I therefore found your conclusion very strange.

In any case, many Singaporeans are unable to afford a car and have no choice but to ride the MRT daily. For these thousands of people. there is no hiding the reality that riding the MRT (esp during peak hours) is a crowded and uncomfortable experience.

Aurvandil said...

"In my opinion, the most economically efficient way to solve this is to merge SBS and SMRT. That way, the single entity can use buses more effectively to re-allocate peakhour loads across alternative transport options, including relying on small private operators to provide peripheral support. Secondly, we need to revamp the cab system but that is another story for another post :)"


I don't think an even larger GLC monopoly is the way to solve the problem.

At the heart of the problem, the surge in transportation demand is largely due to immigration.

From Lucky' table, the population grew by 17.6% from 2003 to 2008.

SMRT's corporate greed aside, it is fairly obvious that the public transport system has been unable to keep pace with this population growth. This has been made worse by SMRT trying to make a fast buck (proft increase from $72.1 mil to $149.9 mil).

Instead of building a super large GLC monopoly, we should conisder the "radical" policy option of moderating our population growth in line with what our public transport infrastructure can support.

Anonymous said...

simple. there is always a lag before things catches up. that's business if you want to stay afloat. but that does not mean that operators are heartless and care less. it means they will have to take time to adjust to the...new reality which is....reflected in the last two years. comprehendo?

moral of the story?

that makes you grumps UNREASONABLE people!lol

Anonymous said...

Especially that bloody GMS. neber read his blog! tat guy enter politics, we die!si si si.....

Anonymous said...

hehehe, when the pap/smrt mole "hobbyist economist" can't explain his non sensical maths, other pap hooligans anon 8.48 and 8.53 came out to make a ruckus...

Anonymous said...

you also like to stir shit ah? hehehe...ya, you don't have to tell these experts, they already know because, they are under pressure to deliver lah.

main thing is, they are doing something about it( you can tell from the stats) without you telling them lah - bodoh

we have more urgent matters to fuck around

Anonymous said...

like what? saving the world? LOL

Anonymous said...

what to do, they are just merely doing their job.

seriously, with garmen controlling the inflow of FTs, surely there must be a target number of FTs to let in yearly and in total. If not, we shld be very worried.

Therefore, garment should be in contact with HDB, SMRT and so on before to prepare for the added demand.

lim said...

@anon 26/1/10 08:48

>> simple. there is always a lag before things catches up. that's business if you want to stay afloat.

Eh.. What happens to the radar? The forecast, the foresight? NO FORESIGHT/FORECAST, then we expect lags, but with talented fortune tellers, LAGS are not excusable...

Anonymous said...

Hi Meng Seng,

the average capacity of a 6-carriage SMRT train is 1,920 as stated. So average occupancy per carriage is 320.

Why is an avg 73 passenger per carriage unrealistic when the numbers are spread across a large number of trips that could be 30% full most of the time?

"I really wonder whether you have taken the MRT train before? At any time of the day?"

Yes but probably once or twice a year in the afternoons. Does this make me less qualified to comment on MRT? Let me know so I will not engage further.

"... but the gist of the situation is the correlation of population growth --> increase in demand for MRT --> SMRT did nothing to increase supply -->"

Ok, this is where I find it a bit simplistic. If population increase by 17.3%, how many of these new comers are frequent MRT users? If we keep saying low wage workers form the bulk of the increase, then how would these folks (labourers, cleaners, maids) compete with you for space on the MRT on a daily basis?

From an anecdotal standpoint, I don't see maids or bangla workers taking MRT to work during peak hours, not even on a daily basis. The only time they take the train would be on their off days during weekends. So to correlate broad percentage points to illustrate gaps in the system is a little simplistic. Again, this is my opinion. If you want to strengthen your case, try to get more data. We can discuss this further offline.

As I've reiterated in my earlier replies, the problem statement is:

"during peaks hours, you have massive number of commuters heading to the same geographical area at around the same time"

For my detractors, let me put my position clearly again:

1. Yes, I think there is a problem with overcrowding in MRT during peak hours
2. No, I don't think the main reason for this is due to the increase in population. One of the reasons, maybe. But the only reason? Nah ... too iffy.
3. To identify the root causes, more data and analysis is required.

As an opposition party supporter, I hope our opposition parties can spend more time and effort to better understand the problems at hand and develop strong alternative policies that makes economic sense while bringing the broadest social benefits to the masses.

As for the various readers of this blog, I have utmost respect for Lucky but where I disagree, I like to point it out. I think he'll appreciate it too. If disagreeing with Lucky makes you think I'm a PAP mole or sympathizer, then so be it lah. Lucky, you can start your own private army liao seeing the large number of loyalist fans you have ... ha hah ha.

Cheers,
Hobbyist Economist

HarryLKY said...

Hobby Economist,
To me u r a fraud.
1.The papist strategy has always been to put out half truths and bog others down with the unnecessary n irrelevant minute details. That is exactly what u r doing.
2. The papist lapdogs always loudly claimed that they are opposition supporters to camouflage and confuse others. The inclination of your postings betrayed you. The fact and logic of GMS's article is very clear. There are less train services in 2008 than 2003 as measured by the total distance travelled by the train. On the other hand population has increased by 17.2%. U introduced other factors to cloud and confuse the picture.
3.How dare u make anedcotal comment on foreign imports taking the train when u admitted that u only ride the train once or twice a year. Ask any regular train commuter and they will tell you at what time and in which direction which category of foreign workers will swamp the trains.
4. It is a no brainer for u to argue that an increase in population need not necessary translate to higher ridership. This is the type of warp mentality exhibited by the papists. They are so focues on confusing the masses that they have lost their commonsence. This is just like the argument ShaMmugam made that the 1.3 million foreign workers on s passes do not affect housing. Where do u expect them to stay and how do u expect them to get about if they don't stay in pigeon holes and take public transport ?
4. U r a fraud and I urge others not to waste their time in meaningless discussion with u. Ur paid mission here is to distract, bog others down with minute details and then confuse.

Anonymous said...

aiyoyo, very simple lah.

to all those who think you've been out-squeezed, molested, olfactorily challenged by foreigners on mrt train,

regardless of the time of the day, or

boarding and exiting stations,

kindly vote for alternative parties e.g. reform, worker, sdp and sda.

this is imperative as your pap gahmen is still in denial and needs a wake up call.

thank you.

Anonymous said...

pls add "or length of distance travelled" and "or number of trips taken in a year" etc etc etc.

just VOTE!

Anonymous said...

Hi Hobbyist Economist,

Thanks for taking the time to explain, but you did not explain how the car kilometres is derived or defined.

It was my mistake taking into account the units for the car kilometres. However, what puzzles me was that I was looking at the table from 2003 to 2009 and was intrigued by the numbers shown. Though the values were given in millions, in 2003, the car kilometres was 89 and then decreased, before it was increased in 2009. Though it may be 900 000 km, relatively it could still be very small. Some people argue that absolute values had no meaning in analysis and research.

As for your attempt in the mathematics, I too, cannot really comprehend. I can understand what you are calculating, but to what I know, is the interpretation of the values that is important. I am no expert, but I think if the frequency of train and waiting times at each station are important in the calculation. In addition, probably the operating costs of adding that number of frequency and others etc. In my opinion, that would give a clearer picture of whether SMRT or SBS is doing a good job i.e. serving the public interest as well as private shareholders.

In my opinion, transportation has an inelastic demand. (Probably that is why there is a PTC to regulate price increases and other issues) Though I agree with Lucky on many issues, it also does not implicitly mean that I will always stand on Lucky side. What is wrong in expressing my support for Lucky and you labelled people as loyalist and implicitly assume we are merely blind supporters without any critical analysis or thinking.

From my perspective, it is always easy to say that you should have this and that or done this and that. From the way you have gone about explaining, the burden of proof always lies on those people who criticise. That is always more difficult. Same like the ruling government. Intrinsically, it is going to be more difficult. For example, former president Ong Teng Cheong wanted to check the accounts or reserves or other issues. All he got back was that in order to get the accounts in order, they need many years to get all the data ready for him. If you were him, how would you feel?

Similarly, in this situation, people feel that there is a problem or something is wrong, but somehow they cannot put a finger to it, then you get somebody to tell you, please get your facts or data right before you shoot your mouth off. However, all the skeletons are in your closets and ordinary folks are not going to get the keys to those closets. How then are you going to tell people to get their facts and data right?

Though Lucky and Goh Meng Seng may not have the data or the analytical skills to justify their findings thoroughly, what matters is that there is really some kind of overcrowding problems (which you have also acknowledged).

For research, it usually starts by observation. There is a certain pheonomenum or problem that people highlighted. However, even if the research is poorly done or reasons not verfied accordingly, it does not disguise the fact that there is an issue.

Back to sentiments and opinions, I really find HK MTR to be really good. I remember waiting for a train during the off peak hours and you do not have too long for it. As for Singapore, you have to wait 6 to 8 minutes. I have HK friends whose only complaint about the MTR is that it is more expensive than taking buses. However in Singapore, you hear about overcrowding, eating sweets on MRT and waiting time. I also feel that taking the MRT is also rather expensive. That can also be said to be relative and this issue is linked to my real salary.

Overall, public transport in Singapore is expensive. In general, since Singapore is considered to be a developed country and you are paying rather expensive prices for almost everything, is it fair for consumers to expect a minimum standard of service?

Aurvandil said...

Hi Hobbyist Economist

I think we are making progress. From your last posting, you stated the following as your position:

1. Yes, I think there is a problem with overcrowding in MRT during peak hours
2. No, I don't think the main reason for this is due to the increase in population. One of the reasons, maybe. But the only reason? Nah ... too iffy.
3. To identify the root causes, more data and analysis is required.

So you now agree that there is overcrowing, abeit only during peak hours.

Since there is already overcrowing, what would be the impact of an annual population increase of 200,000 to 300,000?

I tend to agree that most of the foreigners who take the MRT daily are not your construction workers and maids. They tend to be your PRs and middle income FT who many Singaporeans feel have been competing with them for jobs and HDB flats. How do you think these foreigners are currently going to work?

Finally if you feel that immigration is not the root cause for increased overcrowding on the MRT, what in your opinion is the main cause?

Anonymous said...

To Anon 09:55

Ref your: "seriously, with garmen controlling the inflow of FTs, surely there must be a target number of FTs to let in yearly and in total. If not, we shld be very worried."

Sorry but I think the garmen is either totally out of control or doesn't really care. Cheap labors imports are considered pro-business and the floodgate is WIDE OPENED.

The government kept reminding us that we need to keep our wages low to compete against the 3rd world countries. Therefore it is justified to continue exploiting the import of cheap labor. Have they ever look themselves in the mirror with their million$$$ pay cheque on their face? Whilst average Singaporeans are constantly being compared to the cheap labors from 3rd world countries and that we are not working hard enough, they themselves draws nearly 10 times that of Obama's pay and never stop reminding us how much they scarify! In the USA, The President does everything, here we have the President, SM, MM1, MM2, PM, LBH, LSS. I know, it has been said that it is more difficult to run a small country. By the same token, the average shopkeeper should draw 10 times the salary of NTUC's CEO.

Anonymous said...

it's a geographical problem. i suspect, most complains come from people who live relatively near to central areas.

central areas will always be crowded because the nation converges at that point - that's why it's called central.

as people decentralize, the load gets lighter on the train the further you are from central stations so people from marsiling will experience lesser crowd before they alight than say those who alight at bishan and naturally those who live in bishan will conclude that the train is CONSTANTLY packed - if i may quote H.E. who wrote : "Why is an avg 73 passenger per carriage unrealistic when the numbers are spread across a large number of trips that could be 30% full most of the time?"

unquote

unlikely you can do much about that but commuters should not be made to wait for second or third train before they can board.
if that happens, then maybe it's time to kick up a fuss.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1753

I think the issue is more of overcrowding and boarding. I remembered that couple of years ago when I did board the MRT during the peak hours, it was pretty frustrating. It took the fourth or fifth train in order to board it. As for living near the central areas, it is not too much of issue as you bear for a little while. However, for those living further away, you will be standing and squeezing for quite a while before you reach your destination. In addition, with more people living in the outskirts of the city, there are more people competing for that limited number of seats.

When I was working in the city a couple of years back, I used to wait until about 8 or 9 plus before going home. However the current situation is that no matter which time you go home, it is going to be crowded.

*sigh* I still remembered working as a sales assistant in Takashimaya, standing for 10 hours a day. By the end of the day, my legs would be aching and I was dying to get a seat, but to avail. Later, I realised I would be better off taking the bus home, however later, SBS cut off the bus routes to Orchard and forced people to take the NE lines which are also incidentally more expensive.

Therefore, I am already biased and cynical of whatever and whenever the transport companies try to justify for its actions.

Anonymous said...

*18:16

still,i hope smrt will increase the frequencies to please people like you.we need to meet somewhere in the middle - which means you may still have to stand all the way home.

even then, i suspect there is no end to this issue and this topic will always be be exploited by contrarians to score points with their supporters.

Aurvandil said...

"When I was working in the city a couple of years back, I used to wait until about 8 or 9 plus before going home. However the current situation is that no matter which time you go home, it is going to be crowded."

According to Hobbyist Economist, this should be so. This is because based on his very complicated calcuations, the SMRT is actually half empty most of the time.

Anonymous said...

its true lah...depending on which time of the day and where lor. i take mrt, i always find seat...you not happy ah?lol

Anonymous said...

geographical problem, lol...

i stay in the west, have you ever tried boarding an eastbound train from jurong east to city in the morning?

truth be told, singapore is pretty much a centralised city the entire island!

Anonymous said...

aiyah luky, my giam lah. millianiare. go drive bmw lah solve problem for poor ppl like us lor.
vote ban rich ppl from mrt more room for poor ppl!hohoho

Anonymous said...

truth be told, singapore is pretty much a centralised city the entire island!

wah...logic very strong. mean your jurong west condo hdb 3000 psf ah?

wah...how come i don no neh?maybe time i sell my tuas condo hdb at centralies price. hahahaha

Anonymous said...

i stay in the west, have you ever tried boarding an eastbound train from jurong east to city in the morning

siao one. ppl say from work to home. you say from home to work. of course reverse lah. but moaning, jurong peak is many people.who ask you live there? garblemen fault ah?

you got chioce. live orchard. meritocracy what. lllol

Anonymous said...

yeah.his house centrolise hor. go change address with centrolise house in bukit limah lor. haaaaaahaaaa

Anonymous said...

LTA says from April 17, you people shall be liberated. Praise PAP.

Anonymous said...

Mr Anon 18:54

Correct. Technically speaking.
The train is usually 60-70%.
Very few ppl take the train from jurong to airport during peak hours. Most get off in the central(city hall, TP, Raffles).


Mr Anon 21:14

You are an embarrassment to PAP trolls.
BMW is a wannabe car.
Try Maserati/RR/ Ferrari ... for people who has already arrived.
Are u the same nobody who bragged abt $500 dinners?

Anyway, few of the poor take mrt during peak hours. they work at ulu factories,etc. if at all. its mostly the middle class who take MRT during peak hours.

Anonymous said...

Mr Anon 22:07

Indeed good news.

Unfortunately, u will soon find that the circle line trains are too small and slow. and its not a full circle.

Still its better than nothing.

Anonymous said...

Service quality droped.
Fares went up and up.

That is the crux of the problem!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Mr Lucky

Sadly the STI & HSI tanked as expected and even more predictably I failed to execute my stops.

Hope the trading day has been more profitable for u than it was for me.

Now I wonder if I should ride out the impending roller-coaster ride and buy on dips. I see Obama has castrated Volcker's plan so it shouldn't be too painful in the short term. Fingers crossed.

Mr Buffett said to buy and hold forever?

Anonymous said...

Problem is lag. You don''t put out 10000 curry puffs based on projected demand. You start pushing out more puffs when your puffs are constantly cleaned up!

And they are rolling out the puffs soon!!

You will be hungry no more!!

Anonymous said...

Try Maserati/RR/ Ferrari ... for people who has already arrived.


luky nor arrive? you arrive or not? you sumbody drive what car? merseedes bang ah? lol

Anonymous said...

Mr Buffett said to buy and hold forever?

Anon 22:26,

Do not be mistaken, WB's strategies does not apply to the cowboy market here. If you have followed him MORE closely, you would not have asked that question.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon:

"Thanks for taking the time to explain, but you did not explain how the car kilometres is derived or defined."

Neither did GMS or Lucky. A little biased don't you think?

" ... I am no expert, but I think if the frequency of train and waiting times at each station are important in the calculation. In addition, probably the operating costs of adding that number of frequency and others etc. In my opinion, that would give a clearer picture of whether SMRT or SBS is doing a good job i.e. serving the public interest as well as private shareholders."

Precisely. That's why more analysis is required to understand the root causes and reason why I said GMS's analysis is too simplistic. You pointed out that my calculation is "cheem", but you also highlighted that I did not take into account the waiting time, etc. If these data is available and are factored in, the model will be more complex but clearer. Too bad these data are really not available. However, we should start asking SMRT to publish these data.

"... Though I agree with Lucky on many issues, it also does not implicitly mean that I will always stand on Lucky side. What is wrong in expressing my support for Lucky and you labelled people as loyalist and implicitly assume we are merely blind supporters without any critical analysis or thinking."

Dude, did I call you a loyalist or blind supporter without critical analysis? How to differentiate you, Mr Anon from the many anons around who were too busy calling me names instead of trying to understand what I was trying to put across? Don't want to understand or don't take an effort to understand, also never mind. But indulging in name calling just becos I pointed out that Lucky's analysis is simplistic? (not even wrong hor) Classic case of blind royalty. Lucky I never say lucky is wrong, otherwise might get a fatwa liao.

" ... From the way you have gone about explaining, the burden of proof always lies on those people who criticise."

But of course! I pointed out that Lucky and GMS analysis is flawed, immediately I was asked to "proof" it. Secondly, I've gone 1 step further to provide the data, eg Carriage capacity, track length, no. of stations, etc and calculation to back up my point. You can disagree but that doesn't mean you're wrong. You just need to "disprove" my calculation and offer your take.


"... Intrinsically, it is going to be more difficult. For example, former president Ong Teng Cheong wanted to check the accounts or reserves or other issues. All he got back was that in order to get the accounts in order, they need many years to get all the data ready for him. If you were him, how would you feel?"

Dude, we are talking about the actual causes of transport crowding, how did we sidetrack into this???

"Similarly, in this situation, people feel that there is a problem or something is wrong, but somehow they cannot put a finger to it, then you get somebody to tell you, please get your facts or data right before you shoot your mouth off."

Hold on, please do not put words into my mouth. I never for once said "please get your facts right before you shoot your mouth off." I also didn't think I was rude or nasty to Lucky or GMS in my original reply. I merely highlighted that their analysis was too simplistic. Hell, I even agree that the SMRT is overcrowded during peakhours.

"However, all the skeletons are in your closets and ordinary folks are not going to get the keys to those closets. How then are you going to tell people to get their facts and data right?"

I guess the above didn't stop Lucky and GMS from writing the original post did it? BTW, if you read Leong Sze Hian and Yawning Bread's posts, you'll realize that each of them put in a fair amount of research and data analysis in their posts. And I don't think they have keys to the closet as well.

Cheers,
Hobbyist Economist

Jezebella said...

I agree that transports are getting really packed, which adds on to my frustrations that many people still refuse to move to the centre of the train or bus.

lim said...

@anon 26/1/10 22:30

>> Problem is lag. You don''t put out 10000 curry puffs based on projected demand. You start pushing out more puffs when your puffs are constantly cleaned up!

Oh so you start going to ntuc fairprice to buy flour, curry powder, eggs, etc when people are queuing up for the puffs? GREAT SERVICE!!!

Or your puff sucks, and nobody wants them..

Anonymous said...

"Leong Sze Hian and Yawning Bread's posts, you'll realize that each of them put in a fair amount of research and data analysis in their posts. And I don't think they have keys to the closet as well"

Nevertheless, they seem to be holding to some keys. Whatever these people open with their keys, there will always be that lingering doubt about whose skeletons are those.
Many will just sit from a distance, wonder and even be amused by the bones.

Anonymous said...

///Many will just sit from a distance, wonder and even be amused by the bones.///

the more adventurous ones will use the bones for broth.

Anonymous said...

Hi Hobbyist Economist,

Seems like I have touched on some raw nerves. Just to clarify, I did not mean to be offensive or anything.

Since it is like a point by point rebuttal, perhaps I will do the same. My previous write up is not meant to critically analyse what you have written, but just to express my views holistically.


*Lucky, you can start your own private army liao seeing the large number of loyalist fans you have ... ha hah ha.*

This is what you wrote and perhaps my comprehension of the language is not as strong as yours or my interpretation of the language is deemed to be much less inferior or jumping to conclusion whatsoever, then let this point rest. Anyway, since you cannot differentiate, then why blanket everybody with your remarks. Some things are better left unsaid, but of course some things are said with a motive.


*"Thanks for taking the time to explain, but you did not explain how the car kilometres is derived or defined."

Neither did GMS or Lucky. A little biased don't you think?*

From what I CAN follow, GMS and Lucky were talking in relative terms. They were discussing about the increases and decreases in figures. You were the one who bring who bring in the absolute figures and in your calculation, you seemed to rationalise that the figures are reasonable. So who is the person to ask to clarify? For example, if I do not understand accounting terms, how I can derive the figures. However, even though I cannot understand accounting terms, I can still spot trends and unusual figures.

*Hold on, please do not put words into my mouth. I never for once said "please get your facts right before you shoot your mouth off." I also didn't think I was rude or nasty to Lucky or GMS in my original reply. I merely highlighted that their analysis was too simplistic. Hell, I even agree that the SMRT is overcrowded during peakhours.*

My apologies in the tone of writing. I got a bit emotional as I felt that the intent of your posting is akin to the ruling government always telling people not to criticise or talk so much just because we are not capable, no evidence etc. They are always telling people to stand up and be counted instead of being an armchair critic. Point is that it is not that simple which brings to the example of Ex-President Ong Teng Cheong. It is not a sidetrack but an analogy of things being not made available and the difficulties of trying to prove something because the circumstances and other issues do not allow you to do it. Same like the GIC and TH investments, how are you going to make valid arguments without the critical data. Going back further, NTU professors were made to apologise that it was a honest mistake in their research. Are you getting the drift?

*I guess the above didn't stop Lucky and GMS from writing the original post did it? BTW, if you read Leong Sze Hian and Yawning Bread's posts, you'll realize that each of them put in a fair amount of research and data analysis in their posts. And I don't think they have keys to the closet as well.*

Anonymous said...

Precisely, the present climate in Singapore that the ruling government is trying to create, in my opinion, is to discredit and devalidate any voices. I have already written that in most research, it always starts with an observation or a phenomenon. You already acknowledge that there is an overcrowding issue, but at the same time, I think you are also implying that the factors pointed out by GMS and Lucky are not valid by saying that the interpretation from the figures of SMRT is too simplistic. It is logical to understand that most issues or problems do not one single cause but rather many underlying causes. However for the lay persons, we are always interested in the main underlying cause of the problem.

In all research, assumptions have to be made because information is not readily available. To me, you are trying to imply that Lucky and GMS should not post or make conclusions unless they are sure of they are writing. For me, this is the internet, as long as you present your case and whether it is good or valid enough, people can judge for themselves. It is always good to discuss, but leave the judgements to the individual.

Anonymous said...

By meaing judgement, just a suggestion to your posting can be omitted.

*As an opposition party supporter, I hope our opposition parties can spend more time and effort to better understand the problems at hand and develop strong alternative policies that makes economic sense while bringing the broadest social benefits to the masses.*

By making such a conclusion/judgement, you are already trying to steer people to a certain opinion and implying that the posting put up by GMS and Lucky are of a inferior or credible piece of opinion.

I feel that the conclusion should be more open. Usually, when we make a conclusion in research, we always state the limitations and constraints as well as the assumptions in making the conclusion. However, in your posting, you seem to suggest that Lucky and GMS interpretation are flawed and not valid to take into account. It is different from saying that perhaps we need some other data to be more conclusive.

But in the real world, it is next to impossible to have a model where all factors can be taken into account. It is also impossible to predict or account for something due to the scale or time or effort involved in gathering the data.

Anonymous said...

Wow 141 comments and still growing. Very, very hot topic indeed!

Anonymous said...

Anybody wonder the reason why we want OPPOSITION is just to have the PAP works HARDER, CHEAPER, FASTER and of course less ELITISH ARROGANCE?

LuckySingaporean said...

Everyone,

For sometime, I've been wondering why the trains I take were so stuffy and packed during peak hours. When I saw GMS' data, I saw it as a like probable/plausible explanation. The logic is simple, while the population has grown, aggregate capacity has not followed.

I accept that this is not absolute proof that trains have become more crowded in the morning because one can argue that while overall capacity has fallen, more capacity is redirected to peak hours to overcome any increase demand. However, from daily rides of peak hour train, this other interpretation does not tally with my experience. I used to be able to open my newspapers to read but cannot do so most of the time these days.

I have no numbers or statistics here. As an individual, I will never have the resources to proof this absolutely. All I have is a testimony. You ride the train every morning and have the same experience or a different one.

To me, what GMS said is true simply because I experience it every morning and I have a long memory of what it was like to ride the train in 2001 because I actually switch to taxis for a period before they raised the fares and got me back on the trains in 2007.

You don't always need a thermeter to get absolute measurements to know that you have fever. Most of the time you know from the experience.

Anonymous said...

you didn't just share your experience, which was fine, you went on to attack smrt when their figures actually supported your observation(there was no denial on their part for you to attack them) and were in the PROCESS OF ADDRESSING YOUR COMPLAIN which you were not honest enough to admit!

LuckySingaporean said...

anon 19:35,

They have been addressing the problem for the longest time. However, if ever there was any attack on my part it is against their need to trade off commuter comfort for profits. There is no denying they are a for-profit organisation and it is natural for them to do this. I was pointing the entire setup simply won't work towards a better transport experience for Singaporeans.

Anonymous said...

Mr Lucky

Eh. SMRT is not LTA!!!
Obviously, they are not perfect.
Obviously, the trains are too packed.
Pls, remember, SMRT is just the operator.
The prices are hardly excessively.
And I need their dividend to retire. (just kidding)

Focus. LTA. Raymond Lim. Focus.
Hitting out blindly does not solve the problem.

Anonymous said...

Mt Lucky

I remembered a couple years back I was warning abt a big crash but u were coolly exchanging investment tips with that economist dude. And U did great rite?

Recently I remember getting a fatwa when I suggested that Obama and Timmy wasn't so great.

Just curious. Why are u worried now?

PS: Mr Wang just happen to have lots of info that u dun. He is not smarter than u.

Anonymous said...

+They have been addressing the problem for the longest time.+

when you say longest, what are you measuring against?every year, you can see, from the figures, they have been adjusting to changing demands and at the same time, ensuring they remain sustainable. this is a natural and continuous process of balancing corporate and public interests.


++However, if ever there was any attack on my part it is against their need to trade off commuter comfort for profits.++

again, this is another of your baseless accusation. there is no prove between your personal and subjective discomfort and their profitability especially when there have been a deliberate effort on their part in improving ride frequency.


+++There is no denying they are a for-profit organisation and it is natural for them to do this.+++

if you had understood that, you would have stopped at voicing your experience without ill exploiting the issue to gain misleading support for your cause.

++++I was pointing the entire setup simply won't work towards a better transport experience for Singaporeans.++++

you are in no position to derive with absolute certainty without access to insider data/information and their future plans

mischievous and irrational!

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans have been ripped off on public transports. Studies and personal experiences of other Singaporeans have confirmed that public transports in HongKong and Taiwan are better than Singapore. Yet on a per capital basis their government collected only a fraction of the revenue the Singapore PAP government collected from Singaporeans. Where has all the revenue gone ? The major part went into the huge reserves when it should have been spend on upgrading the whole transportation network to ensure that motorists get their fair value and public transports are good in terms of train frequency, ride confort and a reasonable fare. It is very greedy of the government to tax the motorists like hell and yet expect to make good profit from public transportations. So long as the government continue to pursue these objectives, public transports in Singapore will continue to be inferior to other major cities.

Thien Rong said...

I think the public transport will get worse because

a) Singaporeans are mostly rich enough to own cars,

b) Singapore will run out of land for road,

c) Land for carpark will keep increasing to park those cars not in used because of the high cost of ERP

Anonymous said...

What if PAP wins 98 or even 100 % seats at the next election?

What will the bloggers say then?

It will very interesting to read Lucky's blog post election.

Hahaha

Anonymous said...

With oppositions constantly dismal performances,I am not surprised.

Anonymous said...

Quote:"What if PAP wins 98 or even 100 % seats at the next election?"

Answer: Singaporeans are now half dead. If that happens in the coming GE, then Singaporeans will surely be DEAD.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucky and all,

this will be my last post on this subject. Let me try to put it all into perspective:

1. GMS, you and I agreed that overcrowding is an issue. While I actually think this is a peakhour problem, everyone seems to think this problem occurs at almost all hours for all routes and all stations. (BTW, if a train carriage is empty, who is there to witness this? A case of survivor biasness perhaps?)

2. GMS and you seem to think this is cause by an increase in population. You correlate the growth in population with the decrease in car km. This is where I beg to differ.

My point is this:

Imagine SMRT starts with just 2 stations, AMK and Novena stations. Assume there are 50k pple living in AMK and 50K in Novena.

The MRT users in this case would AMK folks who wants to go to Novena only. Since there's no station in-between, MRT users are limited to those who travel between the 2 points. Let's assume 5k in AMK and 5K in Novena. Total MRT users = 10k.

Now, I open a station in Toa Payoh. There is a population of 50k in Toa Payoh. How many pple will use the MRT?

Now some AMK folks who has never use the MRT becos it doesn't stop in Toa Payoh will start using it. Vice versa for Novena. So the 5k in both AMK and Novena becomes 10k in AMK and 10K in Novena. What about our new station Toa Payoh? Another 10k. The total number of MRT users has now becomes 30k where was only 10k before. One station has effectively added 20K new users. So those who think adding 1-2 stations won't make much difference, think again.

This is what folks in IT and Telecom term the "Network Effect"; ie the value of the network increase exponentially as you add more nodes, users, stations, etc.

I will now use another example; which is you Mr Lucky Tan :)

I refer to your post here where you said:

"I'm proud to say that I've been able to break my taxi taking habit by sleeping earlier and getting up earlier to take the MRT. Although they are packed like sardine cans, I found out that the back of the train is emptier so I don't have to smell someone else's armpits."

and in the last paragraph:

"If I can break my 7-yr habit of taking taxi almost every morning to work, I'm sure the rest of the country can also do it and find somethng more worthwhile to do with their money."

You were not a regular MRT commuter for 7 years but became one when taxi fare rates were hiked up in 2008. Obviously Comfort Delgro's action has inadvertently converted lots of pissing commuters to explore other transport option. The peripheral impact was these pple started either to buy a car, take bus, take train, walk or cycle to work. What was the impact? In the same article, you mentioned:

"Right now there is a 31% reduction in peak hour business. ..."

Let me qualify by saying that the fare hike alone would not be the sole factor contributing to overcrowding, although I am sure if Comfort reverts back to the old cab fares, many pple might just be incentivise to start taking cab. This is also why I said a single company would be more beneficial as it would be easier to plan an integrated transport system (caveat, I am assuming a single entity operating with a mission of serving the transport needs of the people first and profits second.)

Last but not least, I want to qualify my points by saying that I DO BELIEVE an increase in population will contribute to overcrowding BUT to say this is the main reason is ... too simplistic for lack of a better word.

I must say this exchange has been an eye-opening experience for me. I have been reading your blog for more than 2 years now and this is the first time I've commented. I reckon this will also be my last. Damn siong man.

Cheers,
Hobbyist Economist.

Anonymous said...

To Hobby economist or whatever

I know I dnt hv any IP rights on "Cheers" and "economist" when signing off but I'm intrigue by your choice coz there are millions of nicknames and signing off to choose from.

there is a reason why I choose my nickname as it is.

To the so called elites who always explains and explains until kingdom come why PAP/tax/transport/other systems is always right please don't waste your time. I take history as my guide, once the old man gone PAP will start infighting and the rest will just snowball. Singaporeans are just too smart nowadays to keep with the idiotic " one man rule all
system".

No citizen is bigger than Singapore. We pledge our oath to Singapore and not to a single person who is power crazy.

Yes our grandparents and parents have failed to fight for democracy from PAP. But that only strengthen our resolve to fight for democracy now and in the years ahead.

Cheers
Economist with a heart :)

Amateur Economist said...

If 20 mynahs are sitting on a tree, and 50% or 10 of them usually get worms for breakfast, how many of the original 20 mynahs will still get worms if 30 new sparrows appear on the horizon due to this "Newtwork Effect"?

See, non sensical right? that is the type of questions hobbyist economist tries to confuse Singaporeans with.

If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Good day and good riddance!

Anonymous said...

"I take history as my guide, once the old man gone PAP will start infighting and the rest will just snowball. Singaporeans are just too smart nowadays to keep with the idiotic " one man rule all
system"."

from the surface, it looks like a one man rule. i used to hold that view but has since changed.

if anyone would to crucify him, it will basically be about these two pts.

1 his ideas outsmarted most challengers

2 his ideas kept challengers from political powers

the million dollar question is, will his ideas stay, or evolve, after his departure?

good ideas last much longer than human .
mortality.

i think this country holds great possibility of a new political system.

Anonymous said...

the old man's ideas outsmarted his challengers, maybe or maybe not.

but certainly most of them did not bring benefits to singaporeans --- that's the reason to discredit him in the annals of history of Singapore.

Aurvandil said...

Hi Hobbyist Economisit

Good to hear that this has been an interesting experience for you.

To summarise your latest post, you seem to be alluding the the increased SMRT demand is due to some form of "substituition effect". More people are switching to use MRT because

1) there are new stations
2) people are "pissed" with other forms of transportion

If this is correct, we should then see a reduction in the usage of other forms of transportation.

This hypothesis is unfortunately contradicted by the empirical data.

GMS has posted a follow up to his original posting. In this follow up, he analyses SBS bus usage.

The numbers show that instead of falling, SBS bus ridership has increased in tandem with population growth. If we can observe the same effect with cars/taxis, then we can conclude that the "substituition effect" hypothesis is probably not true.

Population growth therefore remains the most likely reason for the increased demand.

Finally you mentioned

"... I am assuming a single entity operating with a mission of serving the transport needs of the people first and profits second."

This is a noble sentiment. Based on empirical data that SMRT has published, SMRT seems to be putting profits first and transport needs of the people a very distant second.

Anonymous said...

We may have to resign to the possibillity that people who can't understand what last post means can't understand the business of traffic management vs staying profitable. The kind of argument which always blame greed is as genial as a lousy meal with high cost.

Anonymous said...

Is this place likened to a fortune 500 franchise system where the franschisees work for the franchisor, to pay royalties in exchange for the rights to use his formula and brand? When one franchisee drops out, the franchise is simply assigned to the next. It is fail proof and not limited by global boundaries.
The more the franchisees earn, the more the franchisor earns. Except for the businesss obligations signed on the Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDDs) and Uniform Franchise Offering Circulars (UFOCs), there are no further obligations between the franchisor and franchisees, their relationships are strictly business. It is a proven model in the business world where only the fittest survives. Everything is done to enhance wealth and to preserve the franchise. As such there is no room for the less productive individuals. The young are imported in and if possible the aged should be exported away. It may seems to be harsh, but it is a highly efficient and rewarding model. Sticking to the formula, the franchisee usually gets what he paid for; to the franchisor, the sky is the limit. Competition aka greed equals profits, nothing improper about that lor.

Anonymous said...

"As such there is no room for the less productive individuals."

You think you can reverse the business model....in/of the world(not just singapore)?

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

Singaporeans look forward to receiving the resignation of

Traffic Management Executives who

do not understand the importance of delivering quality value service for citizens, but

focus on unadulterated corporate avarice for shareholders.

Anonymous said...

and you do?

Anonymous said...

You think you can reverse the business model....in/of the world(not just singapore)?

anon 14:48;



High time for REFORM, you think?

Anonymous said...

i wish Lucky you would write up on what LKY said in our 154th MSM today because i can't wait to commenty on it. The old fool's showing fear and I don't want stupid and naive singaporeans to fall for his bait. How many times can you cry wolf?

Anonymous said...

High time for REFORM, you think?

i would seriously like to hear from you how you intend to REFORM the animal in us(to lky, you are an animal)?

more...legislation?

Anonymous said...

and you think so?

Anonymous said...

which planet you come from? satarn?

Anonymous said...

Saturn,duh

Anonymous said...

Raymond Lim and his LTA's Dr Chin has got excreta in their brains!

It's a lose-lose situation for Singaporeans. When they up ERP rates to so called improve the traffic situation by making people take the train they are in fact aggraving the peak hour train crush even more! That is the sort of 'solutions' we get for paying them astronomical paychecks?

We are paying such people to squeeze us from both sides. They need a lesson to be delivered in the coming GE.

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