Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Kids not paying enough

Kids not paying enough

For their seats that it.

Disclaimer :  This  post is a satirical polemics aimed at voice my demused observation. If you are not happy with it, you are welcome to leave your comment. If you really need to quote, thanks to quote the entire post.

Due to a certain disappointment that I felt towards our freely distributed Today, I now almost stop picking it up and declined the offer of a quick peek by my well-intentioned colleagues.

However, as I broke my self-imposed sanction today, I found that even the casual writer to the papers had started to not just whined about how the system and this fair island is not getting it right, but offered interesting solutions to the problem.

I would say that the words by our dear Ms Bhavani of MICA were neither taken lightly nor forgotten. The problem at hand has to do with the age-old problem of the allocation of seats on the bus. It seems that as usual, seat today were allocated based on a first come first get basis, seniority, time due for delivery, laden load of passengers and for that matter fare paid were not part of the equation. This is truly a problem that despite many decades of courtesy campaign and the many revision to the signboards on our world-class public transport failed to address.

Fear not, our people traveled far and wide and have one of the brightest minds, if we cannot invent new ways to solve the problem; we merely borrow them from other places. While their law is unsuitable as a reference despite both sprang from the common of the crown, their method in ensuring fair seating might prove a good reference.

How that goes you might ask. We simply reinvent the sign and remind our young impressionable students that as they pay only a percentage of the fare that is subsidized by the rest of the commuters, they would do well to not hog the seats and give it out. If there are elderly and pregnant ladies or for that matter, full-fare paying adult with bunches of durian in tow, they do very well to give up those seats to the more deserving ones. Brilliant stroke I would say, unfortunately, there are a few minor flaws to this ingenious line of reasoning.

First off, we are having the reasoning that as students paid concession fares, they are less entitled to a fair concession of seats. May I remind one that senior citizens are also paying concession rate fares and if such a rationale to be used across the board, the senior citizen should be standing during off-peak hours. If we expand on this rationale a step further, people below the height of 0.9m should basically only be allowed on public transport when there is empty space as they are traveling for free. Pregnant ladies should also give up their seats when there are more deserving people in need of the seat as they themselves are paying one fare where in fact, 2 or maybe more are traveling.  This minor inconsistence can be overlook as the rule of fair seating based on fare need not apply as they are deemed more deserving of a seat. Well, we might need to have means testing of seats for people that takes public transport and those who fails should just get off the nearest MRT station or Bus-stops right this instance to make way for the more deserving.

Next comes the judgment of more deserving of the seats, we are herewith, entrusting the judgment of the neediness of seats to students which among others are not worthy of seats. We might need to ensure that they be trained and be qualified through testing to ensure that they are able to judge on who is more in need of the seat instead of them. During which, we might also need to train them professionally so that they are able to do it while dozing off in the train/ bus and/or reading and/or engross in their PSPs, Nintendo DS and their PMPs.

While those were just some of the minor inconsistencies which I believe our well intented Ms Tan should have some great ideas from some other far off land whose law we need not follow or apply, there are merits to this. This will be the ability to spot fare cheats that are using concessionary passed undeservingly. Meaning working (or for that matter non working) adults using student passes or senior citizens that is yet 65 using senior citizen pass. As concessionary pass holders are now required to give up their seats to deserving full paying commuters, those who are neither student nor senior citizens who gave up their seats can be labeled hence as fare cheats and be bought to the nearest police station for questioning.

I do think that this lady is indeed a genius and is worthy to be a minister (except law) and I will be observing her career with great interest from henceforth.

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