The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More buses please.

Could we have more buses in Singapore, please? My thinking is that if I put it as a polite request, it is more likely to be listened to, than if I put it as a criticism. However, I must explain why we need more buses in Singapore.

If you have ever taken a bus quite early, in the morning, in Singapore...say 7.15, up to town, you would have noticed an interesting phenomenon: it is possible to squeeze a surprising number of people on a bus, if you don't care how comfortable they are. This morning, I was on one such bus. I was travelling earlier than usual and was unable to find a seat. Indeed, I found myself standing, alongside what seemed like most of the other people on the bus. It was most uncomfortable. At one point, in fact, the doors of the bus were having trouble closing, because there were simply too many people squeezed on the bus. It was only possible to close the doors after a little more shuffling and greater squeezing of the people deep in the interior of the bus. After that, the bus was completely full. It wasn't a fun journey.

Now, the number of buses on a route is not an immutable number. If there were a willingness to improve the lot of commuters, more buses could be put on the route. I would think that at least 50% more buses are needed in peak hours, on many routes, to save most people from an uncomfortable journey. Perhaps on some routes a doubling of bus numbers would be necessary.

The word "bus" is usually accompanied by the word "service". Now, if it is truly intended to provide a bus service, then scheduling more buses would seem the obvious thing to do. I shouldn't even have to be writing about it. However, if the intention is to maximize profit at the expense of the comfort of the passengers then the present situation is what the operators will choose to create: deliberately schedule too few buses to maximize the revenue per bus, by maximizing the "human packing" per bus.

If nothing is done to increase the numbers of buses (and their frequency) on routes in the morning, one can assume that maximum profit of this supposedly public service, is the goal. If, however, I find myself able to get a seat at 7.15 in the morning, I will understand that service is truly the goal of the bus service.

I hope for change for the better.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and seven months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, five years exactly, and Tiarnan, twenty-eight months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, wunderkind, wonderkind, genio, гений ребенок prodigy, genie, μεγαλοφυία θαύμα παιδιών, bambino, kind.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 7:23 PM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes. This has been a constant problem here.

While i hardly encounter it, since i take the train at 6 in the morning, the bus is very crowded in the evenings, when everyone knocks off.

I think the gov needs to pressure SMRT, SBS to increase the services- and for good reason, as it will help to reduce the need for driving- a goal set by MOT.

Perhaps we should wait and see after the circle line is up, and after LTA/MOT finishes it's study of the bus routes.
I think it was late last year or early this year when they said that LTA/MOT will take over the planning of the bus routes, and tender it out to companies, including SBS and other private ones.

On a personal note, i think SBS has a lot more to improve than SMRT. I'm pretty satisfied with the trains at the current moment, but not the bus. Definitely not the bus.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Miao said...

I echo your stand. I've tried waiting 45 minutes for buses before. It's really annoying.

9:04 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Yes, Miao. There seems to be mistiming of buses going on, as well. The other day I waited over half an hour for a bus that is supposed to be: 8 to 12 minutes apart!

10:03 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Yes, the overcrowding on the bus at peak hours can be obscene...people squeeze themselves on because they are desperate to get to work/home from work, etc. Awful...and completely unnecessary: it can be eliminated simply by adding buses.

10:05 PM  
Anonymous mack said...

I look at this overcrowding of passengers on buses from another perspective. My concern is on the safety of the passengers: whether the passengers’ safety is compromised in the event of a crash.

In the past, there is a sign on every bus that indicates the maximum number of standing and sitting passengers. I presume that there was some form of legislation governing the maximum number of passengers on each vehicle back then.

Recently when I was back in Singapore for a vacation, I noticed that the information on the number of standing passengers is no longer there (leaving behind just the number of sitting passengers).

I wonder why the removal of such information?

11:31 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Mack, I very much doubt that a maximum number of standing passengers is being obeyed, at this time. Perhaps that is why it has been removed. The fact that so many passengers end up standing for their entire journeys at peak hours indicates, to me that the government is not concerned about either passenger comfort or safety.

One day there will be a crash and many will be injured or killed, who are standing. Perhaps then they will do something about it. Would it not be better to do something in advance?

6:55 AM  

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