Sunday 26 May 2013

The system works

When you are travelling the last thing that you want is to waste time waiting for your transport. In many cities around the world, public transportation system such as trains, buses and taxis are critical elements of integrated networks which serve their population. Reliability, safety and affordability would determine the quality of public transportation system.

Singapore, consistent with its image as an efficient city state, offers an integrated network of public transportation system which enables millions of people to find their ways around the city effectively. While the Metropolitant Transport System or MRT is comparable with many other cities, I find the taxi services to be very good. Just hail the taxi, hop into them, tell the where you want to go and you'll be charge a fare based on the meter. Sound very basic but you may not get such predictability in Kuala Lumpur.

The Marina Bay Sands in one of the tourist attractions which attracts thousands of visitors every day. Just imagine you are there on a Saturday evening after a laser and bubble show. Many will be queuing for taxis and, yes, the queue could be really long. This is when the magic happens. The queue moves slowly but surely, nobody tries to jump queue, there will be enough taxis for everybody and no haggling is necessary. Try that in Kuala Lumpur and your blood pressure may shoot up.

I always consider the quality of the taxi service as an indicator of the quality of the city. It reflects the values of the people, their maintenance culture, commitment towards a service culture and how the society values others who may not be familiar with the place. So, whatever we feel about if taxi service in Kuala Lumpur, it may be a reflection of ourselves.

We may want to argue that Singapore is a fine city, where people will be fined for any breach of laws or rules, but the system works.

P/S The school holidays start next week in Singapore and parents will bring their children abroad. To get the economy going, The Great Singapore Sales will kick in to bring Malaysian and Indonesian bargain hunters to the island ~ as told by one of the taxi drivers.

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