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Old June 11th, 2004, 06:11 PM   #121
babystan03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huaiwei
Hehe....the few times I took the cab, its always because I am in a big hurry, and of coz I will tell the cabby to speed!
Most of the time i took cab, they jus speed naturally.....
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Old June 11th, 2004, 06:16 PM   #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babystan03
Most of the time i took cab, they jus speed naturally.....
Haha...quite true. They seem to assume everyone is in a hurry I suppose?
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Old June 11th, 2004, 06:21 PM   #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huaiwei
Haha...quite true. They seem to assume everyone is in a hurry I suppose?
I supposed it's also hard for the vehicle to always run within limits...they need to "unleashed" those horsepower sometimes......
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Old June 11th, 2004, 10:26 PM   #124
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Unleashed them at the appropriate place lah..Singapore is not a place to unleash their power....Singapore so small...one small unleash can cost one or few lives...can the driver be more responsible?
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Old June 11th, 2004, 10:36 PM   #125
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taxi engines got lotsa power meh... i think its just taxi drivers trying to make as much money in the shortest time possible (which is very reasonable). passengers also wouldnt mind getting to their destination as quickly as possible.
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Old June 11th, 2004, 10:39 PM   #126
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what is so reasonable when it is at the expense of the lives of other people? So what you saved time and kill urslef and others. To me, this is an irresponsible act. Drive at an appropriate and safe speed is their job. The world does not move according to one man or one taxi.
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Old June 11th, 2004, 11:00 PM   #127
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sometimes it seems the risk is worth it to feed your family

the world does not move according to one man or taxi indeed. but all taxi drivers are trying to do is to support their family. families are for now the basic social units of society, and it can be reasoned that taxi drivers are trying to better society by providing for family? of course this argument is a bit... over the top.. but i'm just trying to say um.. taxi drivers take the (relatively minuscule) risk to feed their familiess
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Old June 12th, 2004, 03:47 AM   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisboiboi
Unleashed them at the appropriate place lah..Singapore is not a place to unleash their power....Singapore so small...one small unleash can cost one or few lives...can the driver be more responsible?
When i say "unleash", it doesn't mean driving like a F1 racing car.....in fact the "fastest" taxi i've been is about 120 km/h....and thats only for a short while on the ECP and there are very few vehicle then.......

I'm sure most drivers are responsible enough to drive safely.......If not, as a passenger u can always remind him, can't u??
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Old June 12th, 2004, 01:22 PM   #129
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This story was printed from TODAYonline
Is a bus station at Turf City too downmarket?

Puzzling why the site was leased for retail use if residents' peace was not to be disturbed

Weekend • June 12, 2004

IF bus operators, moneychangers and tour agents are too downmarket for Bukit Timah, why doesn't the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) just say so?

On Tuesday, the URA rejected plans by Turf City to use part of its premises as a terminal for the bus services that ply between Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

Turf City, which leases the former Turf Club premises from the Government, had intended to use a fraction of the land — 50,000 sq ft out of 56 hectares, or less than 1 per cent — for this purpose.

Turf City has found it difficult to hit on a right mix of tenants since it got the site in 2001.

So far, only the hypermart there seems to be doing well. Some tenants have left and Turf City itself has lost $1.37 million since it opened.

With its extensive space, Turf City is a good location for bus operators, eight of whom are ready to relocate half their fleets there. This will bring in up to 4,000 travellers a day and generate business for other tenants. A win-win arrangement for all concerned.

But the URA does not agree.

Using the Turf City site as a transport hub, it said, was not compatible with the existing residential land use in the area as the increased human and vehicle traffic would disturb residents.

If the URA is concerned about disturbing the peace and quiet of the residential areas around Turf City, why then did it allow the Singapore Land Authority to lease out the site for retail use in the first place?

A shopping complex needs shoppers — lots of shoppers — if it is to be viable. And to get to the complex they need to travel there in some kind of vehicle, so there is going to be increased human and vehicle traffic anyway.

In any case, each of the buses that carry people between Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand carry an average of 25 passengers. The estimated 4,000 passengers a day would mean 160 buses.

Surely, a hypermarket such as Giant already generates more than 4,000 visitors and 160 vehicles a day. Do these not greatly disturb residents of the area?

It just doesn't make sense. But, perhaps, the issue is not really about traffic and noise but the type of human traffic that a bus terminal would attract? The residential areas around Turf City are, for the most part, quite upmarket.

While a hypermarket is not exactly exclusive, it is a convenience to have nearby. A bus terminal, with the attendant moneychangers and tour agents, is a very different proposition.

If so, why don't we just call a spade a spade and say a bus terminal is too downmarket for this upmarket residential area?

Copyright MediaCorp Press Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old June 12th, 2004, 04:44 PM   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babystan03
When i say "unleash", it doesn't mean driving like a F1 racing car.....in fact the "fastest" taxi i've been is about 120 km/h....and thats only for a short while on the ECP and there are very few vehicle then.......

I'm sure most drivers are responsible enough to drive safely.......If not, as a passenger u can always remind him, can't u??
Theres also that chiming bells sound if the taxi-driver goes too fast
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Old June 13th, 2004, 07:15 AM   #131
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JUNE 13, 2004
Cabbies from HELL
They speed like a madman or fall asleep at the wheel

By Arlina Arshad

MARKETING executive S.Y. Fong thought she was going to die in a taxi.

The cabby was speeding like a madman, zig-zagging in between cars and spewing Hokkien vulgarities at motorists blocking his path.

Civil servant Derek Teo had an equally traumatic encounter - his taxi driver kept falling asleep at the wheel.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) took taxi companies to task early last week, telling them to shape up and reduce the number of accidents.

Commuters The Sunday Times interviewed agreed, but said that drivers who get into near accidents, or who drive like maniacs, should also be reined in.

In each of the past few months, taxis from the four main cab companies have been in about 70 accidents; 17 more than what the LTA thinks is a reasonable number. The companies will be fined $100,000 if their drivers fail to buck up by the end of August.

LTA is giving three newest taxi companies - Smart Automobile, Trans-Cab and Premier Taxis - 12 months to stabilise operations first.

Half of the 20 taxi commuters The Sunday Times interviewed said they have had bad experiences during cab rides. These include dangerous and drunk driving, and rude behaviour.

While commuters said they would put up with bad attitude, they feared cabbies who drove dangerously and put their lives at risk.

Recounting her 'life-threatening experience' while returning home from a late-night party on New Year's Day this year, Miss Fong, 25, said: 'I was angry and wanted to get out. But I didn't want to agitate him further.'

Not wanting to break his rice bowl, she didn't report the matter to the taxi company.

Mr Teo, 28, said he noted the licence plate number of the sleepy cabby, intending to call the taxi company. 'The cabby's eyelids were drooping, and he would jerk up suddenly and shake his legs to keep awake. The taxi was wobbling from side to side. He was a hazard to himself and other road users.'

His girlfriend dissuaded him from taking further action.

Indeed, over three-quarters of those interviewed said they would give the cabbies another chance. And this may well be why the problem persists.

Cab companies said passengers should do their part by reminding cabbies to drive safely or by reporting unsafe taxi trips to the companies or LTA.

SMRT Corporation, which oversees 2,100 SMRT Taxis, said errant cabbies are issued warning letters and demerit points. Their hiring agreement is also reviewed. Counselling sessions, safe-driving courses, and accident-free rewards are some of the programmes in place to help reduce the accident rate, said its spokesman.

Commuters acknowledged that not all cabbies are drivers from hell. They said fines are short-term solutions, adding that educating drivers is the way to go in the long run. After all, as corporate communications executive Yeo Pih Hwee, 26, said, many are well-mannered and drive cautiously.

She was riled up once when one cabby swerved close to a motorcyclist. The cabby apologised later.

'It was probably done at a spur of the moment. All he needed were some lessons in managing his emotions,' she said.

Copyright @ 2004 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old June 15th, 2004, 06:46 AM   #132
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JUNE 15, 2004
New homes bring hope of Buangkok MRT station opening earlier

THE release of a plot of land for homes just a five-minute walk from the Buangkok MRT station is giving renewed hope that the opening of the North-East Line (NEL) station is getting closer.

The 21,985.3 sq m site is by the junction of Sengkang Central and Buangkok Drive. Property consultants said it would add 530 condominium units to the neighbourhood.

They estimate that the 99-year leasehold site could attract bids of between $160 million and $190 million.

Yesterday, the Singapore Land Authority said the site will be put under the Government's reserve list system, meaning at least one developer must submit a bid that meets the reserve price before the site is put up for tender.

Colliers International managing director Dennis Yeo said the site, although not in a prime district, will be attractive to would-be home owners because it's near an MRT station.

Chesterton International director Nicholas Mak said condominium units there could sell for $430 to $470 psf, a price that will attract Housing Board upgraders.

'If the site is sold by year-end, it should be ready for occupancy by 2007 or 2008. There should be enough people living around the area for the MRT station to open by then,' he said.

NEL operator SBS Transit kept the Buangkok station shut last year, saying that not enough people live close by.

But recent public housing sales in the area have been encouraging. This April, HDB received 1,779 applications for 760 four-room flats to be sited beside the station.

Copyright @ 2004 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old June 16th, 2004, 10:57 AM   #133
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JUNE 16, 2004
Transport
No fare hike this year despite extra security
BUS and train fares will not be raised this year despite the extra cost involved in deploying security guards at MRT stations and bus interchanges.

By Rebecca Lee

Minister of State (Transport and Health) Balaji Sadasivan gave the assurance yesterday, but did not rule out future fare hikes arising from higher security costs as 'security is a shared responsibility'.

His reply to a question by MP Wang Kai Yuen (Bukit Timah) sparked off a debate on whether the burden of providing security for public land transport was similar to that for airports.

Dr Balaji explained that security at the airport is borne by three parties - the State, the airport terminal operator and commuters.

The State bears the cost of the security patrol by policemen and army personnel, as well as the guarding of key installations such as the VIP complex.

The airport terminal operator pays for security in areas such as the screening of passengers before they board a plane.

Users also bear part of the burden. Of the $21 passengers pay to use the airport, $6 is for a passenger security service charge.

Applying this principle of shared cost, the provision of security in the land transport system will have to be paid for by all three parties, Dr Balaji said.

Currently, the cost of providing uniformed guards is less than 1 per cent of the operator's total operating cost and less than 1 cent per journey, thus there was no need for any fare increase, he added.

Dr Balaji was addressing growing public concern in recent months over who will bear the security cost as unarmed security guards started patrolling MRT stations and bus interchanges at the beginning of this month.

Transport operators recognise that it is in their commercial interest to enhance the security of their systems and will absorb some of the costs where possible, he said.

The Government has also played its part by deploying police patrols, as well as providing training.

'Given that the security measures are implemented for the safety of commuters, it is not unreasonable for commuters to also share the cost should that become necessary,' he said, adding that any fare hike application will be scrutinised carefully by the Public Transport Council.

Copyright @ 2004 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old June 16th, 2004, 11:07 AM   #134
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JUNE 16, 2004
Don't ad noise to MRT rides

GONE are the days of peaceful MRT rides, which I used to enjoy once.

The latest in a string of noisy advertisements in MRT stations is for Jack Neo's latest movie, The Best Bet.

Every 30 seconds or less, I hear the song, 'Bai liu li bai, hui bu hui kai...' ('Will I strike 4D this weekend?').

Let me do the maths for you. An average wait is about five minutes so a commuter hears that ad 10 times. And woe to late-night commuters, who wait seven to 12 minutes.

In addition, there are places where two plasma screens are not synchronised, so you can hear the ads at intervals of about 15 seconds!

And what about those of us who make transfers at interchanges? We hear it again and again.

It is with pure frustration that I am writing this. Because on Sunday, I took the MRT four times, changed trains eight times and had to wait 12 minutes for one of those trains. I heard about 100 repetitions of 'Bai liu li bai, hui bu hui kai...'

'Bai liu li bai, hui bu hui kai...' Irritating, isn't it?

BENEDICT CHIA
BING HOWE

Copyright @ 2004 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old June 17th, 2004, 08:18 AM   #135
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JUNE 17, 2004
MRT project contractor in a jam
10 stations won't get new facilities for disabled, elderly at the same time as others being retrofitted with lifts, ramps

By Karamjit Kaur

TEN Mass Rapid Transit stations will not have facilities for the disabled and elderly by the end of next year because the contractor is in financial trouble and will not be able to meet the deadline, The Straits Times has learned.

The stations, on the North-South and East-West lines, which will not have the lifts and ramps for those on wheelchairs ready on time are: Tiong Bahru, Tanjong Pagar, Raffles Place, City Hall, Bugis, Lavender, Braddell, Newton, Orchard and Marina Bay.

Contractor Hua Kok Realty is now trying to pass on the project to other contractors, a Land Transport Authority (LTA) spokesman said in reply to queries.

If that fails, the contract will be terminated and a new tender called, she said.

'This development will most likely affect the schedule of the project and we would need to review the schedule later,' she added.

The 10 are among 48 stations on the two lines that the Government decided in 1999 to retrofit with lifts.

Some will also have new facilities such as toilets for the disabled and the entire project is expected to cost $81.5 million.

Hua Kok Realty, which secured the contract for 11 underground stations in the upgrading, has completed about 35 per cent of the project.

It has completed changes at Toa Payoh station.

But because of its recent financial troubles, it stopped work at the other 10.

Its parent company, public-listed Hua Kok International, announced last week that it was in preliminary talks to sell its business in a reverse takeover, subject to shareholder and government approval.

Hua Kok Realty is the group's main operating subsidiary involved in construction works in Singapore and India. It contributed an estimated 63 per cent of the group's revenues for the half-year ended Dec 31 and owes creditors close to $40 million.

The LTA project is one of four projects it has now, the others being Housing Board jobs.

How long the 10 affected stations must wait for the new facilities will depend on whether Hua Kok can pass on the job to another contractor. A re-tender might mean completion only at the end of 2006.

Work at the other stations is running on schedule.

Since construction started in 2000, seven stations - Novena, Tampines, Dhoby Ghaut, Outram Park, Somerset, Bukit Batok and Toa Payoh - have got their new facilities.

Dover, Expo and Changi stations, which were built later and added to the existing lines, already had the facilities.

Work at another 29 above-ground stations, being done by Gammon Skanska, is about three-quarters done.

Three stations to be linked to the new Circle Line - Bishan, Buona Vista and Paya Lebar - will be retrofitted as the new line is built.

Handicaps Welfare Association past president Edmund Wan was disappointed by the delays.

But, recalling how lobbying for lifts began back when the MRT system was being planned, he added: 'Then again, we have waited almost 20 years so what's another year?'

Copyright @ 2004 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old June 17th, 2004, 05:02 PM   #136
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JUNE 17, 2004
Learner drivers may opt to do test in auto car
By Christopher Tan

AS EARLY as January next year, people taking up driving will have the option of doing their driving test in an automatic car. The only catch is those who pass with an automatic car will not be allowed to drive a manual vehicle.

When asked, the Traffic Police would only say that offering tests using automatic cars was 'a logical next step'.

'Such forms of testing is available in other countries. The public too has sought to have such testing choices made available here in Singapore,' said spokesman Phillip Mah.

He said the Traffic Police was in the final stages of a review and details of the change will be announced 'in a few months'.

The Straits Times understands that the relevant parties are working towards a January deadline.

The major driving schools have already prepared for the change with some having already budgeted for a fleet of automatic vehicles, trained their instructors, and come up with new curricula.

Copyright @ 2004 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old June 17th, 2004, 07:29 PM   #137
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Yay!!!
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Old June 18th, 2004, 06:56 AM   #138
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JUNE 18, 2004
Lorry licence not needed to drive hefty car
DRIVERS of hefty cars such as Rolls-Royces, Bentleys and stretch Mercedes limousines do not need to apply for a lorry licence after all.

The Traffic Police has raised the weight limit of the Class 3 driving licence to 3,000kg - from the 2,500kg ceiling which had been in place since 1977.

The rule change, effective from May 31, came shortly after the issue was highlighted by The Straits Times in January. The Housing Board also raised the weight limit of its multi-storey carparks to 2,000kg last month.

'This revision applies to only passenger cars,' a traffic police spokesman said, referring to light commercial vehicles Class 3 licence holders are also permitted to drive. Class 3 drivers cannot pilot a truck with an unladen weight of more than 2,500kg.

She said driving licences issued from this month will show the new limit, but drivers who want the figure shown on their current licences can have it pasted on at any major driving centre or at the Traffic Police Headquarters in Ubi Avenue 3.

'The revision comes as advances in technology lead to bigger and heavier cars evolving over the years,' the spokesman said. 'The increase in unladen weight can be attributed to additional safety features... without increasing the degree of skill needed to operate the machines.'

According to official statistics, there are about 60 cars here that weigh more than 2,500kg.

Motor industry sources say a handful of armoured models - driven by diplomats and businessmen - may even be over 3,000kg.

Mr Barry Kan, general manager of Malayan Motors which distributes Bentley cars, said the rule change is 'fantastic'.

'Finally, Singapore is in line with Europe in applying this rule,' he said.

Copyright @ 2004 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old June 24th, 2004, 06:44 PM   #139
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i hope they bring back the boards that show bus waiting times...
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Old June 24th, 2004, 06:47 PM   #140
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Yup...I hope they bring it soon too.......I'm so sick of waiting for buses....
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