Sunday, October 21, 2007

Carrots for Giving Way to Buses

Oct 16 Straits Times: Give way, save others time

SBS Transit launched a campaign to encourage motorists to give way to buses exiting bus bays after a survey conducted over almost two years, found that the average waiting time for buses dropped by between 38 per cent and 80 per cent when motorists gave way. Land Transport Authority and SBS Transit officers will be handing out $10 petrol voucher to motorists who give way to buses exiting from bus bays during the campaign (ending December 15).

I was pleasantly surprised to find that carrots are being handed out this time compared to errant motorists being fined for obstructing in bus lane. It is usually during the peak hours that everyone is rushing and the willingness to give way is hard to cultivate. Will the LTA or SBS Transit officer stop the kind motorist on the spot? Hopefully not as that may cause more delays .....

There were earlier discussions to scrap bus bays since buses have to wait for the left lane to be clear before they can resume the journey - I strongly support this proposal because travel time is critical to those who use public transport. LTA has invested a lot of money, though I do not agree to a few of them such as:
1. Centre Divider in a bus bay - just to ensure that bus drivers pull in properly? It is too even narrow for any pedestrian to stand.
2. Concrete half-height posts to provide any vehicle from running up to the bus stop? It is an overkill just because of one or two accidents recorded. But I think the contractor who was awarded the job appreciated such a safety measure.

Motorists will just have to get used to being intermittently delayed on the left lane when a bus stops for passenger boarding or alighting. It is such a simple solution and the improved flow for public buses can easily be simulated through all the data that LTA collects to prove the case.

So, what are we waiting for?

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