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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Driving Is More Stressful Than Taking Public Transport?

Heard from a local radio call-in program one morning:

The topic was about the newly-opened MRT Circle Line, and what the public had to say about it.
One caller said, "The Circle Line is certainly a big welcome to the public because it made it convenient for many car drivers to take public transports to work everyday. When we drive, we are under a lot of stress. If we can take the public transport, there will be no stress and we can arrive at work fresh."


My take: SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TRY TAKING THE PUBLIC TRANSPORT DURING PEAK HOURS.

No stress??? Helloooo... the worries commuters have to put up with everyday during peak hours include (but are not limited to):
  1. Rushing to catch buses, lest risk waiting another 20-30 minutes for the next bus.
  2. Bus A has arrived. Should I take it now or wait for Bus B, which may or may not take a long time to arrive, but will stop closer to my destination? Decisions, decisions, decisions.
  3. Crowded buses - doesn't matter whether or not you get to board them, it will still be a stressful experience. Can't find a spot to grab on for balance, risk of straining your wrists from over-exerting strength to maintain balance, risk of getting your feet stomped on by passengers who lost balance, ineffective air-conditioning systems which lead to sweaty passengers which lead to stuffiness, etc...
  4. Crowded MRT and bus stations. I'm not exaggerating when I say the situation is very much like a sauna, except there're also exhaust smoke, dust, and people pushing you around.
  5. Having to be 100% cautious at all times to make sure you don't break any rules and comply to every bit of social and moral responsibilities, no matter how trivial. Failing to do so can lead to your picture being taken by model-citizen-self-righteous passers-by, who will later publish it on Stomp explaining why you are a lousy citizen.

How many of us have had our days ruined right at the beginning of the day by an ungracious seat-hogger, being shoved about by people in a hurry to collect birth certificates*, a nasty jab on the toe by someone's high heel, an embarrassing stumble in the MRT or bus, or just plain arriving in the office drenched in sticky sweat despite having had a refreshing shower just 1 hour ago?

This is not a complain directed towards the operators of public transports. In fact, Singaporean public transport is very efficient, me thinks. But to say it is stress-free to take public transport is like saying the Malaysian government is corruption-free - total bullshit!

*A form of expression directly translated from Cantonese, which is usually used to tell someone off for rushing for no apparent reason.

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