Monday, March 29, 2010

Public Transport Cheap

A few weeks back, I commented that it took me $0.91 per trip to use the bus to get to one of my destinations. This makes a two-way trip a mere $1.82.

With the rising costs of COE prices which I have highlighted previously, a lot of Singaporeans will have to consider taking public transport as an option.

Comparing the costs of public transport and car ownership

Public transport in Singapore is definitely affordable I must say. Compared to a car, if one was to spend $5 on public transport each day, the total cost per month only adds up to $150. That is assuming that the person does not take any taxi. But we can add in some discretionary taxi expenses at say $150 per month and the grand total is ONLY $300.

Compared to a car's monthly charges of $1000 and up, $300 is definitely very affordable. One can save the difference and invest in stocks or REITs to beef up their retirement funds. This is indeed a worthwhile option that people should consider.

Cheap but....

Today I took my regular two way trip which cost me $1.82. While public transport is cheap, it is not entirely "convenient" per se.

On my first trip, I had to wait 10 minutes for the bus. Due to this long waiting time, I was late for my appointment by 5 minutes as I still had to walk a certain distance to get to where I wanted to go.

On my return trip, I faced some dilemma. The bus was crowded and there was only standing space left. When I had about 5 stops left to my stop, I was sort of "forced" to move to the back as that was the only way new passengers could get in.

I did not want to block the way yet at the same time, had to lament the fact that after 5 stops, I would have to SQUEEZE my way out of the bus. So yes, the bus is cheap but it does put you in a tight spot (literally) at times.


  1. Haha, you make it sound so uncomfortable to take a bus!

    I've taken buses for all of the 10 years of my working life and it's really not as bad as it sounds la. Of course you have to auto move to the back so as to let people board, it's just courtesy. I spend my time looking and observing people, or thinking about investments, my companies or personal finance. Sometimes I even come up with ideas or topics to blog.

    Altogether, a very nice experience.

    And as you say, it's just about $2.00 per day !

  2. It can be quite uncomfortable. Especially if you are the kind who gets edgy when deciding whether to move in or not.... And I am always obedient soldier type...just move in and later have to squeeze all the way out again.

  3. Hi FF,

    The proper way to do this is to act blur and hug to the nearest pole or handrail and stand your ground :) 50% joking :)

    I agree with mw - time spent on buses are good for thinking. I take around 4 bus trips per day on average, so I can say that I always prefer buses to mrt.

  4. No such thing as cheap and convenient; low risk and high return.

  5. Hi LP,

    Yeah. I agree with you that bus journeys are actually the best times to do some thinking and reflection. It is something that you cannot do when driving a car.

    Cheap and convenient...hmmm...Geely car considered cheap and convenient or not? =)

  6. heya!

    well, i did some sums before getting a family car though your post resonated with me because it was exactly my mindset too!

    On average, the daily cost (all in) of my Honda Fit can be approx $30++ over a 10 year period. Surely, this warrants me to take a taxi everyday.

    But then again, since it is a family car for 4, the economy for it is rationale given that we travel huge distances to our workplace (my parents and i work in the east).

    And of course the comfort when going out together when we can. :) And the time saved.

    Other than that, i tend to prefer taking public transport.

  7. Hi Paul,

    Nice to have you at my site.

    I guess the value people place on ocmfort and convenience will determine whether they buy their own car or not.

    So at the end of the day, it is not so much on whether a car costs $XX dollars but whether the value we perceive we get from owning a car is greater than the $XX dollars we need to pay.

    I am speaking from personal experience =)


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