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Jerks should not be allowed on buses!

I would choose the MRT over a bus any day, except I don’t live next to a MRT station. I’ve sat on buses that jerk so much – accelerating, then braking repeatedly – that I felt sea-sick and wanted to throw up. After getting off the bus, I would have to stop for awhile before I can continue working to my destination. Gosh, I hate crazy bus drivers!

Jerks on the buses should be dealt with
06:00 AM May 14, 2009
Letter from Thomas Lim Kok Kim

As part of its continuous efforts to improve its bus services, SBS Transit has upgraded its bus fleet to include new Scania Euro 4 buses.

While I do not take issue with the benefits of these buses, I hope SBS Transit can make it a point to impress upon its bus captains to avoid slamming the brakes on these buses where possible.

It has been mentioned before that the buses are more jerky because their brakes are highly sensitive as compared to older models, so bus captains used to slamming on less sensitive brakes have yet to adjust to these new ones.

Nevertheless, it has been some time since these buses have been deployed, so how much more time should the public give bus captains before they can remember to brake more gently? Moreover, this explanation does not hold for new drivers who have not been exposed to older buses with less responsive brakes.

I once travelled on a Scania Euro 4 bus that was jerking so violently that a hefty Caucasian lady, who was standing near the exit, was almost flung out of the bus through the windscreen. She good-humouredly laughed off the incident, but it would not have been a laughing matter if she had indeed been flung out. Every violent jerk is an accident waiting to happen if this matter is left unchecked.

May I request that SBS Transit emphasise the need for braking gently during its training sessions? Better still, if the authorities can make irresponsible braking a traffic offence, I am sure the occurrence of these near-misses will plummet in no time.

We are sorry for the unpleasant, jerky rides

Letter from Tammy Tan
Vice-President Corporate Communications, SBS Transit

We refer to the letter, “Jerks on the buses should be dealt with” (May 14).

We share Mr Lim?s observation that some Bus Captains do not apply the correct techniques in braking while driving the new buses. On such occasions, we do sincerely apologise to him and affected commuters for the discomfort caused by the jerky rides.

As Mr Lim has correctly pointed out, our new buses do indeed have a more advanced and sensitive braking system. We have been training our Bus Captains on the correct way to drive the new buses including the need to apply less pressure on the brake pads.

Unfortunately, old habits are sometimes hard to break. We will continue to emphasise to all our Bus Captains the need to drive correctly so that commuters can enjoy a smoother ride.

We thank Mr Lim for his feedback and apologise once again for the occasions where his ride was less than pleasant.


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