More False Entitlement

In yet another complaint about the rising cost of taxis and/or driving.

“Singapore has one of the best transport systems in Asia,” they say. “You don’t need a car.”

I would have agreed if not for the taxi fare hike this week. If you’re a taxiphile who lives in Bishan and who works in the city, you’re going to be forking out about $450 a month just getting to and from work. And that’s if you’re lucky enough to get a cab.

You can take the bus and the MRT for leisure activities, of course. But when you’ve got tons of Christmas goodies or weekly groceries to lug home, taxis are the best option.

With bus, taxi and MRT fares rising, it looks like you have to set aside about $500 a month in transport expenses — which is how much my little car costs me in COE repayments, season parking fees, normal parking, ERP fees and fuel when it is running well.

But it’s not just cost alone that’s making me stick stubbornly to my wheels. The other reason is convenience. Singapore may have an efficient public transport system, but you can’t deny that there are some places that are woefully unconnected.

I sputtered when I read that this person lives in Bishan and works in the city, yet insists that she has to either drive or take a cab to work. It takes 20 minutes on the MRT from Bishan to the city. There is just no excuse. Your tons of ‘Christmas groceries’ are not purchased on your daily commute. Your ‘weekly groceries’ are purchased once a week by definition. And there is no reason why you should have to get groceries from outside of Bishan. There’s even a huge shopping mall there, for fuck’s sake.

The writer goes on to say that she likes to go to far-flung places like Changi Village and Kranji on the weekends. Granted, getting to those places by public transport is a pain in the ass. But she’d save a darn lot in fuel costs if she restricted her car usage to driving to those places on weekends instead of driving to work every day. She could then just get a ‘red plate’ car that can get her a $17,000 COE rebate and an $800 discount on road tax.

There is no right to drive. If you pollute, don’t complain.

1 Response to “More False Entitlement”


  1. 1 passerby December 21, 2007 at 3:47 am

    YES!! I have been seeing people going on about how they’ll move from taxis to cars and it makes me feel very very sad – I am also shocked and surprised at how many people even on the blogosphere are so dependent on car transport (taxis or their own) to go places. The taxi hike is steep but personally it never bothered me because taxis have always been an ultra last resort. People say the public transport system is insufficient – well frankly, I think it’s pretty good enough and the “discomfort” is not worth embarking on the grossly inefficient use of resources known as driving a car for short trips.😦

    Personally I think one way of making future adults be less whiny about their entitlement to having a car is to encourage more bus use among students… Especially in the elite schools, it’s quite alarming when kids don’t realise for a second that by asking their mommy to fetch them home on a trafficless weekday afternoon (with little baggage) they’re exchanging the short discomfort (?) of walking in the sun to the bus stop for disproportionate carbon usage. Or something like that.


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