<TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%"><TBODY><TR>Oct 30, 2009
FALLING BUS/TRAIN RIDERSHIP
</TR><!-- headline one : start --><TR>Higher charges for driving won't get motorists to switch
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<!-- START OF : div id="storytext"--><!-- more than 4 paragraphs -->I REFER to Tuesday's report, 'More cars, so public transport trips down', which can only mean years of certificates of entitlement (COEs) and Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) have not achieved the desired effect of getting more motorists to use public transport.
Public transport operators have not improved matters either with more overcrowding on buses and trains, more train breakdowns and unavailability of taxis when they are most needed.
The buses rattle and jerk with less experienced drivers speeding and then slamming on the brakes.
The only successful part of the transport system is the millions of dollars collected in COE premiums, ERP prices and train and bus fares, with the main transport operators keeping a far closer eye on their bottom line rather than the comfort of commuters.
A complete review of the transport system's priorities and the COE and ERP structure is overdue. Commuters will not change their habits just because charges are raised.
The COE pain may be self-inflicted by buyers of new cars, but the extent of this pain is in turn controlled by the Land Transport Authority's (LTA) tweak of the quotas.
The LTA must recognise that raising more revenue will not solve problems - other measures are needed.