Is it fair for commuters to pay train fares when they have to take buses, because there are no trains?

I refer to the article “Shuttle bus services along MRT stations affected by engineering work to follow train fare structure: SMRT” (Today, Nov 27).

It states that “Next month, shuttle bus services — following the same fare structure as trains — will be provided along the 19 MRT stations affected by additional engineering hours, operator SMRT said on Monday (Nov 27).

Last week, SMRT and the Land Transport Authority announced that from Dec 8 to 31, 17 stations along the East-West Line, from Tiong Bahru to Tuas Link, as well as the Bukit Batok and Bukit Gombak stations on the North-South Line, will close earlier on Fridays and Saturdays at 11pm and open later on Saturdays and Sundays at 8am. To allow for extended engineering work, these stations will be fully closed on two Sundays, Dec 10 and 17. This will help speed up the process to put in place the new signalling system on the line.”

With regard to “Nevertheless, National University of Singapore transport researcher Lee Der-Horng said the authorities should consider offering a discount to commuters. But any discount could be ultimately borne by taxpayers, SUSS urban transport expert Park Byung Joon pointed out. “Somebody has to pay. If commuters do not pick up the bill, then the taxpayers pick up the bill,” he said” – I find this line of reasoning to be somewhat not very logical, as surely the party who caused this inconvenience should pay for it.

Otherwise, where is the deterrent to not have even more closures and delays?

The people who make decisions on our public transport should not take commuters for granted – time and again – as one of my friends aptly said – “you think Singaporeans are stupid or what?”

Leong Sze Hian
A.S.S. Contributor

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