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Old January 4th, 2005, 10:40 AM   #781
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Bye bye ugly yellow bus!

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"My Settlement of Singapore continues to thrive most wonderfully - it is all and everything I could wish and, if no untimely fate awaits it, promises to become the Emporium and the pride of the East" - Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, 10th September 1820
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Old January 4th, 2005, 10:17 PM   #782
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babystan03
Yes.........why can't they make it an express bus?
If I'm not wrong, 16 is an express service from Changi to Orchard
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Old January 5th, 2005, 03:28 AM   #783
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RafflesCity
If I'm not wrong, 16 is an express service from Changi to Orchard
Emmm.......I think the route has been cancelled........
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Old January 5th, 2005, 03:39 AM   #784
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The New Paper - 05 Jan 2005

Sentosa's monorail could be heading for the scrapyard
Built for $16m, it's sold for $350,000

By Desmond Ng
[email protected]

CRAP metal. That's what the Sentosa monorail trams (right) could become after they chug round the island one last time later this year.

Already, someone has bought the rail system, both trams and rails which have become synonymous with Sentosa Island.

Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) invited tenders for the 6.1km monorail last September, according to the Government Electronic Business (GeBiz) website.

Five companies made bids and demolition company Beng Siew Construction won the tender with an offer of $350,550, according to the website.

The monorail opened to much fanfare in February 1982 at a cost of $16 million.

It started with a simple loop service - with nine trams winding their way around the island on tracks up to 6m above ground.

A ride cost $3 for adults and $1.50 for children then, but today, a ride on the monorail is free.

SDC would only confirm that the monorail will cease operations to give way to the new Sentosa Express light rail system.

It did not want to elaborate on the tender or say when the system would be dismantled.

Beng Siew Construction said it was pleased to win the tender and is still deciding what to do with it. It could either sell the steel parts or sell the whole system to other countries.

It said there are 13 trams in all, each with six to seven coaches.

The monorail looked set to go five years ago when SDC invited tenders for a train system to ferry visitors to Sentosa from the then World Trade Centre.

This tender was aborted as the proposals were too costly, said SDC in a Straits Times report in 2001.

In 2003, SDC confirmed that Sentosa Express will replace the monorail.

Some people wrote to newspapers, arguing that the system is a Sentosa fixture and travelling on it is an idyllic and unhurried way of taking in the island's sights.

In a reply in The Straits Times forum page in 2003, SDC said the system was becoming obsolete, and was difficult to maintain and impossible to upgrade with air-conditioning.

It also said passengers often complained that the ride was uncomfortable, hot and too slow.

A frequent Sentosa visitor, tutor Brian Lee, 35, said it's a pity that the system will be dismantled.

He said: 'I remember taking the monorail when I was a kid, and it was quite amazing to see the treetops, the sea and the lagoon from the tram.

'I think that it should be retained, as it gives the place more character.'

Light rail to start running by next year

SAY goodbye to long queues and a warm, humid ride on the monorail around Sentosa. The new air-conditioned Sentosa Express light rail train will run from the North-East Line's HarbourFront MRT station, across the Sentosa Causeway Bridge, to the island in under four minutes.

To be ready by 2006, this $140 million system will be complemented by the island's internal bus and beach tram services.

It will be driver-operated, and will stop at three stations - in the entertainment belt in the north, the forested area in the centre and the beaches in the south, according to a Straits Times report in 2003.

Some of these stations will have underground car parks for visitors to park upon arrival.

The ticket prices for the ride have not been decided yet but it is unlikely to be expensive.

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old January 5th, 2005, 03:40 AM   #785
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Jan 5, 2005
LTA to double number of vehicle export zones
Move intended to encourage competition

BY THE end of this year, the number of export-processing zones (EPZs) - secured yards where cars meant for export are kept - will double to 12.

Their combined storage capacity will treble to about 15,000 units, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) told The Straits Times yesterday.

Despite this, the LTA wants more EPZs to be set up.

It has introduced an open-invitation process for interested parties to become an operator. Unlike earlier invitations where companies had to submit their application within a stipulated time frame, applications can be submitted any time.

Asked what eventual storage capacity it had in mind, the LTA said it does not have one.

'We are doing this because we want to encourage more competition,' a spokesman said.

Applicants must have at least three years' experience in importing or exporting vehicles or in logistics. Their proposed sites must each be able to hold at least 400 vehicles.

The Automotive Importers and Exporters Association is not thrilled by the move. A spokesman said: 'An EPZ should be more than a carpark. It should be a value-added business where vehicles in other countries can be brought here to be resold, so as to create a vibrant hub like Dubai or Bangkok.

'We don't wish to see another bubble tea phenomenon,' he added, referring to the proliferation of stores selling bubble tea in 2001, which ended with most of them closing.

At least one motor trader welcomed the move, however. Mr Ng Cheng Swee of Auto-Plus Automotive said he had applied before but was not successful.

'I will apply again,' he said.

Asked if the $500,000 security bond required is too high, Mr Ng said: 'No, it's necessary to make sure people are serious.'

The number of vehicles taken off the road has risen in recent years, with deregistrations last year expected to hit 115,000. The EPZ scheme, introduced in 2003, gives vehicle owners immediate access to scrap rebates while their cars wait for an overseas buyer.

Last year, 20 individuals and companies were charged with keeping deregistered vehicles in unauthorised areas, as well as misleading the LTA that the cars had been scrapped or exported.

Last month, two of them pleaded guilty. One was fined $4,000 on two counts of keeping deregistered vehicles, while the other was sentenced to four weeks' jail on two counts of false declarations.

The cases of the other 18 will be heard this month.

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old January 5th, 2005, 01:57 PM   #786
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I remember it was merged with 36 or something. They are expecting everyone to take the train now?
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"My Settlement of Singapore continues to thrive most wonderfully - it is all and everything I could wish and, if no untimely fate awaits it, promises to become the Emporium and the pride of the East" - Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, 10th September 1820
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Old January 5th, 2005, 01:59 PM   #787
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ridiculous...they should still have the airport express service as an alternative..maybe just reduce the frequency

But I remember the normal bus service from Changi to Orchard could take at least 45 min with all the stops
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Old January 6th, 2005, 03:49 AM   #788
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Jan 6, 2005
Comfort taxis to get speed-alert device

I REFER to the letter by Mr Jacky Tai (ST, Dec 24) regarding the installation of a speed-limit device in taxis. Installing a speed-limit device in taxis was a measure ComfortDelGro Corporation had explored for its fleet comprising Comfort, CityCab and Yellow-Top taxis but chose not to implement because of drawbacks like loss of power when travelling with heavy loads and when going upslope.

Comfort recently conducted a trial involving a silent speed-alert device which sets off a flashing light when the driver exceeds the speed limit. Feedback was positive and there are plans to install the device in more taxis, and eventually the whole Comfort fleet.

ComfortDelGro views safe driving by its drivers seriously and has in place several measures to instil in them the importance of driving safely. These measures include sending drivers for road-safety training, communicating road-safety tips to them through our in-house magazine and service campaigns, evaluating their driving competency through a commuter survey as well as putting new taxi drivers through a driving competency test.

New drivers are also required to go through a six-month probation in which they have to maintain clean driving and service-performance records. ComfortDelGro will not hesitate to weed out drivers that compromise the safety of other road users.

We wish to assure Mr Tai that ComfortDelGro will continue to reinforce communication, campaign and training efforts to educate our drivers on road safety.

Tammy Tan (Ms)
Group Corporate
Communications Officer
ComfortDelGro Corporation

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old January 7th, 2005, 01:18 AM   #789
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Sigh....Singapore must be one of those countries exporting the best quality second hand cars around!
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"My Settlement of Singapore continues to thrive most wonderfully - it is all and everything I could wish and, if no untimely fate awaits it, promises to become the Emporium and the pride of the East" - Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, 10th September 1820
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Old January 7th, 2005, 09:23 PM   #790
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SBS Transit Launches First FAST FORWARD 97e

A new bus service aimed at getting commuters to their destinations faster was launched today. Called Fast Forward 97e, the new offering by SBS Transit will call only at stops where there are high passenger boarding and alighting activities.

Fast Forward 97e plys the same route as its existing parent Service 97 but stops only at 17 out of the 34 bus stops that the parent service stops at during peak periods. With the additional traffic management measures put in place together with the Land Transport Authority (LTA), commuters travelling on Fast Forward 97e can save up to 20% in travel time. For example, if a commuter takes the parent Service 97, it will take up to 66 mins to travel between Jurong East Interchange and Fullerton Road. With Fast Forward 97e, it only takes about 53 mins.

To further improve on travel time, new “Give Way to Buses Exiting” signs will be put up at bus stops along the Fast Forward 97e route to encourage other road users to make it easier for buses to exit from bus bays. These bus stops are located at:-

a) outside NOL Building, Alexandra Road;
b) opposite NOL Building, Alexandra Road;
c) opposite Normanton Park, AYE;
d) outside ITE Dover, AYE;
e) outside Jurong Regional Library, Jurong Town Hall Road;
f) outside HarbourFront Centre, Telok Blangah Road and
g) opposite HarbourFront Centre, Telok Blangah Road.


To make it even easier for other road users to identify a bus that is pulling out of a bus bay, three additional LED signal lights have been installed on the off-side and back of the new Fast Forward 97e and existing Service 97 buses.

Bus lanes have also been drawn along the southbound of Alexandra Road between Depot Road and Telok Blangah Road to facilitate a smoother travelling flow for our buses.

During the morning peak hours between 7.30am and 8.30am, Fast Forward 97e will depart from Jurong East Interchange and call at limited bus stops along Jurong Town Hall Road, AYE, Alexandra Road, Telok Blangah Road, Keppel Road, Anson Road, Robinson Road and Fullerton Road. In the evening peak hours between 6.00pm and 7.00pm, it will pick up passengers from Collyer Quay and call at limited bus stops along Raffles Quay, Shenton Way, Keppel Road, Telok Blangah Road, Alexandra Road, AYE, Jurong Town Road and Jurong East Central towards Jurong East Interchange (see attached route information).

Details of the stops and estimated arrival times can be found at all the bus stops called by the service. Commuters can also log on to the Fast Forward dedicated website at www.ffw.com.sg for more information. Promotional brochures are also placed at major office buildings in the vicinity of these bus stops.

Mr Ong Kian Min, Chairman of Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport joined commuters for a trip this morning. “I applaud SBS Transit for their efforts in offering this new brand of Fast Forward services to cater to changing commuters’ needs. With the introduction of more of such Fast Forward services, commuters will be able to get to their destinations faster and enjoy greater time savings,” said Mr Ong.

SBS Transit Service Ambassadors wearing blue vests were on-board all trips and at bus stops to promote Fast Forward 97e to the commuters.

To encourage more passengers to try out this new Fast Forward service, SBS Transit will charge a promotional normal adult fare for the month of January 2005. After January 2005, commuters will pay fares of $1.53 to $2.28 if they pay by ez-link card or $1.60 to $2.35 if they pay by cash. This fare is the same fare as the existing Express services. Similarly, transfer rebates will be given but concessionary travel is not applicable.

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"My Settlement of Singapore continues to thrive most wonderfully - it is all and everything I could wish and, if no untimely fate awaits it, promises to become the Emporium and the pride of the East" - Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, 10th September 1820
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Old January 8th, 2005, 02:25 AM   #791
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Hmmm.....they should have an 36e service for the airport too....
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Old January 8th, 2005, 12:14 PM   #792
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Taking the Sengkang LRT with Ignoramus and Huaiwei during the last meetup:





Arriving:


Arrived:


At the "crossroad":
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Old January 8th, 2005, 12:37 PM   #793
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babystan03
Taking the Sengkang LRT with Ignoramus and Huaiwei during the last meetup:

Ok... So which one is Ignoramus and which one is Huaiwei?
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Old January 8th, 2005, 05:24 PM   #794
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This 97 thing is quite useless to me...it dosent operate when I need it!
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Majulah Singapura 前进吧,新加坡!Onward Singapore முன்னேறட்டும் சிங்கப்பூர்

"My Settlement of Singapore continues to thrive most wonderfully - it is all and everything I could wish and, if no untimely fate awaits it, promises to become the Emporium and the pride of the East" - Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, 10th September 1820
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Old January 8th, 2005, 07:50 PM   #795
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Jan 8, 2005
Traffic Police gets female chief

Appointment of female commander is the first in its 79-year history
By Tanya Fong


THE new commander of the Traffic Police, Superintendent Ng Guat Ting, 43, was sworn in at the Traffic Police Headquarters yesterday, making her the first female commander in its 79-year history.

But she is no stranger there, having held the post of head of road safety, research and planning between 1994 and 1996.

Before she rejoined the Traffic Police, she was the deputy director of operations from 2001 to last year.

She is taking over from Assistant Commissioner Teo Kian Teck, who will become the director of services development and inspectorate from Jan 17.

At the swearing-in ceremony yesterday evening, Supt Ng said: 'No one should die or get hurt on the roads because of the irresponsible behaviour of road users. I will build on the achievements of Assistant Commissioner Teo and his teams to realise this vision.'

She said the strategy to achieve this is multi-pronged, and she will be 'leveraging on law, enforcement, use of technology and education'.

Supt Ng, who joined the police force when she was 19 years old, and is known for being a woman of few words, said that commitment and competency are two requisites for success.

'Work takes up much of our time in life. My motto is that we should enjoy what we do for work,' she added.

Going by her philosophy, it is not surprising how far she has come since she joined the force.

The mother of two was also the commander of Clementi Police Division from 1999 to 2001.

Said Supt Ng: 'It has been a very challenging and rewarding job.'
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"My Settlement of Singapore continues to thrive most wonderfully - it is all and everything I could wish and, if no untimely fate awaits it, promises to become the Emporium and the pride of the East" - Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, 10th September 1820
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Old January 8th, 2005, 10:55 PM   #796
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YESTERDAY'S TALES

The car-share commuters

CAR pools were the order of the day once upon a time, with motorists giving passengers rides into the city.

That was because the daily $5 licence fee to get into the restricted areas was waived if the car held four people, including the driver.

But some car poolers were known to be picky, choosing to get into only fancy-looking cars and giving beat-up vehicles a miss.

The Area Licensing Scheme (ALS) was introduced on June 2, 1975, to combat growing numbers of cars trying to get into the city during the morning peak hours. It changed the way traffic was managed, and became a Singaporean way of life.

Then, the daily rate was $3, which was increased to $5 in 1980.

In the 1970s, $3 could buy two cinema tickets.

Quite a bit of bonhomie was involved, said retiree Jack Tan, 69. 'You never knew who you'd pick up, and we'd have a nice chat on the way to work.'

But car pooling was scrapped in 1989, because motorists were picking up public transport users instead of fellow motorists to avoid paying the fee, defeating the purpose of reducing congestion on the roads.

All private vehicles, including motorcycles, entering the CBD had to pay the Area Licensing fee. The fee was lowered to $3 for all users, except company car users, who paid $6.

Only emergency vehicles and public buses were exempted from paying the Area Licensing fee.

In 1990, the World Bank published a 284-page report, saying the scheme had succeeded in reducing traffic congestion, and encouraged more people to take public transport and form car pools.

Countries like Norway also copied the ALS to ease traffic congestion and raise revenue for roadworks.

The ALS was replaced by the Electronic Road Pricing scheme in September 1998.


SHARING A RIDE: A woman heading for Orchard Road is picked up at a car pool point in Marine Parade in 1980.
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"My Settlement of Singapore continues to thrive most wonderfully - it is all and everything I could wish and, if no untimely fate awaits it, promises to become the Emporium and the pride of the East" - Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, 10th September 1820
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Old January 9th, 2005, 03:36 AM   #797
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This story was printed from TODAYonline

Of rail and retail

SMRT more than just about moving people, says CEO Saw Phaik Hwa

Weekend • January 8, 2005

Tor Ching Li
[email protected]

EYEBROWS were raised two years ago when the new president and CEO of train operator SMRT Corporation was named — an industry outsider was going to head the 6,000-strong company, and a woman to boot.

Straight-talking Saw Phaik Hwa was not fazed; she charged into the job, bringing to it what has proved to be her very useful experience with airport retail chain DFS Venture Singapore.

Last year, SMRT Corp, which is listed on the Singapore Exchange, reported a near trebling of its interim earnings, with profits of $81.3 million, for the six months ending Sept 30.

And she did it without raising fares.

Said Ms Saw: "Although fares are reviewed annually, we have not applied for an increase in fares over the last three years because of the weak economy. Our fares have actually come down as we have been absorbing the rise in GST.

"We have been going all out to make SMRT the customer's choice. We want to drive ridership to improve our profitability. At the end of the day, it's a bottom line thing."

Citing SMRT's ongoing Ride-For-Free Countdown as an "aggressive" and "out of the box" promotion tactic — where till April this year commuters of SMRT buses and trains stand to win prizes such as a Nissan March or a year's free travel — Ms Saw quipped: "Would you think of a train system having a lucky draw?

"In the old days, SMRT's mission was to be a reliable and safe train system. But if that's your mission in life, it's very uninspiring!

"So we want to be more than just reliable and safe because we do want customers to choose to use our system. Our mission is to be the customers' choice. Of course, a lot of people say 'no choice, must take train'. But if you take that as a fait accompli, then it's a non-starter — we're not going to get anywhere.

"We take it that we owe it to our customer — whether they have a choice or not, we shall be their choice."

SINGAPORE ICON

This guiding principal is now an integral part of SMRT's Vision, Mission and Core Values set out earlier this year, as part of SMRT Corp's brand building initiatives.

In May this year, the group launched a $2.5-million initiative to rename Tibs Taxis and Trans-Island Bus Services under the SMRT brand name and motto of "Moving People, Enhancing Lives".

Said Ms Saw: "We're not just about moving people, but enhancing lives as well."

The efficient MRT system, said Ms Saw, should be as much of a Singapore icon as Changi Airport.

"We want Singaporeans to know that SMRT can always be trusted to do the right thing, regardless of the situation," she added.

This means implementing a pay freeze during Sars, outsourcing and streamlining staff size for the new economy, offering its 2,400 SMRT taxi drivers a "comprehensive" $1-million relief package to cope with the rising price of diesel, reaching out to the community through charity work and spending $150 million upgrading its first batch of trains which are now 17 years old.

"We've got to be all things to all people at one go," said Ms Saw. "For shareholders, our added value comes from other non-fare related revenue."

The first "can do, must do" revamp that Ms Saw kick-started was the overhaul of the "horrible looking" retail outlets that used to occupy MRT stations.

"I come from not only a retail background but airport retail where every square metre costs thousands of dollars, and every square inch is so powerful and important!" she exclaimed.

FOREIGN TRAVEL

Ms Saw, 49, is also keen to develop SMRT's foreign business potential. There is "tacit agreement" that SMRT will be a partner in the operation and maintenance of Jakarta's ambitious $1-billion monorail system, which is due to be up and running by end 2007.

Said Ms Saw: "In the past, SMRT has not taken a very aggressive stance overseas, even though many countries know us and have come looking for us to partner them in projects. We are now positioned to do so."

According to Ms Saw, SMRT is also "keeping a close eye" on how things develop in China's and India's rail systems, which they are already "very involved in". More specifically, it will be bidding for Shanghai's urban rail project, where SMRT is already acting as a consultant.

Ms Saw also plans to grow her share of the local taxi market of 20,000 from just 10 per cent.

"In a free market, it is not realistic for the second largest player to remain at that level with just 2,000 licences. It's foreseeable to grow to 20 to 30 per cent eventually.

"We have to continue to seek opportunities to improve. There's always a better way to do something, technology-wise or organisational. We must grow the business successfully and I would like to continue to give my staff good bonuses and competitive salaries."

ALL ABOARD

SMRT is currently taking a "proactive" approach to encourage people to go out and take the trains, such as working closely with shopping centres and retailers along the MRT and LRT lines to publicise the happenings in various malls.

"I'm not forcing you to go out, the choice is yours, but I'm giving you a reason to travel and enjoy your leisure, you see," said Ms Saw, who stays along Coronation Road West where there is ironically "no bus or train" service to take to work.

And the plan must be working — according to statistics from the Land Transport Authority (LTA), the number of trips taken on the MRT and LRT every day has risen by 67.4 per cent, from 760,000 in 1995 to 1.27 million for the 12 months up to March this year.

Ms Saw herself takes the train "whenever possible" to get around town after driving to work in either her BMW 745i or Nissan 350Z sports car.

But even as Ms Saw encourages people to shop along her train lines, she is not indulging in shopping for train lines herself.

"The answer is no, I have not been made an offer I can't resist (to buy over the SBS Transit's North East Line)", said Ms Saw with a laugh. Since operations started late last year, the NEL has chalked up losses of $20 million — even with negligible maintenance and repair costs.

Said Ms Saw: "I'm very willing to run the NEL even if it doesn't make a lot of money, if it's for the 'greater good'. But a loss of $20 million a year will not be tenable for our shareholders."

Inevitably, talk of a rail deal has resurfaced following the recent media merger. But Ms Saw said: "Integration is tougher in our industry. I can't stop running the trains, increase the fares or cut the service. Costs savings and efficiency opportunities are limited. Revenue will not change unless the population in the area increases."

COME TOGETHER

"I always feel that for Singapore, it makes sense to integrate the whole transport system — buses, taxis and trains should be integrated for the greater good of Singapore. That's one area I feel Singapore can do better as a country. Otherwise, there will be duplication and waste."

"Unlike other countries where a monopoly may be viewed negatively, in Singapore there's the LTA and the PTC (Public Transport Council) to ensure efficiency and efficacy."

On the flipside, this inter-agency web currently contributes to a "lack of connectivity" between the MRT stations and nearby buildings.

Lamented Ms Saw: "Compared to Japan or Hong Kong, where train operators are given the land to develop, in Singapore there are more opportunities to improve in terms of connectivity and integrated shopping."

Overzealous enforcement of strict fire safety code has also resulted in Singapore having "the least exciting train stations compared to any other new areas in the world", according to Ms Saw.

For example, SMRT was only allowed to paste four A4 pieces of fire-resistant posters at each station to publicise their Ride-For-Free Countdown promotion.

"I'm fully sympathetic with the need to enforce safety, but it's just the incongruity of people walking in and out of stations wearing far more flammable material than our posters. Hopefully in time, we will become more open in how we do things."

Mention the spate of MRT suicide cases last year, and Ms Saw shrugs in incomprehension: "To me, there is more to live than to die for."

In other words, there's always light at the end of the tunnel.

Copyright MediaCorp Press Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old January 9th, 2005, 01:27 PM   #798
huaiwei
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I have to strongly agree. If they find the system unweldy, the replace the existing system with a new one along the same route. How in the world are we going to have tree-top views now that the monorail will be gone?

Sad indeed...
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Old January 10th, 2005, 11:09 AM   #799
huaiwei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ailiton
Ok... So which one is Ignoramus and which one is Huaiwei?
Er.....that chap seems to look quite similar to me?
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Majulah Singapura 前进吧,新加坡!Onward Singapore முன்னேறட்டும் சிங்கப்பூர்

"My Settlement of Singapore continues to thrive most wonderfully - it is all and everything I could wish and, if no untimely fate awaits it, promises to become the Emporium and the pride of the East" - Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, 10th September 1820
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Old January 10th, 2005, 11:16 AM   #800
ailiton
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Yeah I believe the taller guy is you but which one is ignoramus? The indian girl touching your back or the little guy standing near the doors?
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