The dirt on our buses
Can we get a refund if we are dissatisfied with bus service? Does LTA regularly check air quality in public buses?
Today Wednesday • December 27, 2006
Letter from Tham Wai Keen
Letter from Carmen Teoh-Tang
Going home on Friday, I took Bus Service No 855.
I was on the bus for only two minutes when I noticed that the air conditioning seemed to have failed. It was stuffy inside the vehicle, and I was beginning to feel a little nauseous. I started to perspire and, worse, had some difficulty breathing.
The ride was not very smooth either as there seemed to be a problem with the brakes — the bus jerked when stopping or starting off. When I finally stood up to alight, I noticed cockroaches crawling around the window next to where I was seated.
This makes me wonder, if a commuter gets on a bus, and is not pleased with the service he/she is getting, can he/she leave the bus immediately and get a full refund?
Are the bus captains empowered to give a refund on the spot?
That day, I was uncomfortable enough to want to alight before my stop and wait for another bus, but was not tired enough to part with the 63 cents extra I would have had to pay to reach my destination.
If I had alighted immediately, would I have been compensated?
I was travelling on a crowded public bus to work. A fellow passenger appeared to have some sort of skin disease and he was peeling the flaky skin off his feet, legs, hands and face. He would casually brush off the flaky skin, causing them to fall on the bus floor. As much as I pitied the passenger for his condition, it was a nauseous sight to behold. He was also coughing continuously.
Many times, I have come across fellow commuters who cough and sneeze. Whenever I came down with the flu and took the bus, I prayed that I would not pass on the germs to other people. The air quality inside the bus is even worse when the air-conditioning is not working and the vehicle is crowded.
I wonder if the Land Transport Authority regularly examines the air quality in our public buses.
Is there an air purifier installed in our buses? Are the buses cleaned with anti-bacterial agents everyday? Sometimes I also notice thick layers of dust in the corners of window frames and underneath the seats.
How often does the LTA conduct checks on the cleanliness of our public transport?
This is so true.
With the repeated fare increase I don’t see the service level of our public transport being raised concurrently.
Only last week I had two terrible experiences with SBS Transit.
I boarded Service No.80 at Bugis Junction on Sunday and the bus is really in poor condition. It is dirty, with graffiti on several seats and the window’s seals are all torn.
On the same day I boarded Service No. 82 at Hougang, it was a rainy evening. The bus condition was not fantastic as well. Not only was it dirty, it was leaking too.
Many time our public transport operator boasts about better buses and trains and the spend XX dollars improving their stations and fleets. But these are all passed down to the consumers with countless fare increments.
When we pay for something, we expect a certain level of service satisfaction. If the public transport operator failed to deliver this basic service, then the consumer have all the rights to demand a refund.