talk to the hand

Singapore Bad Bus Services HomePage


Introduction

Welcome! This site aims to fulfill the following:

  1. Identify, collect, discuss and broadcast the negative services passengers have experienced or known from the two major Singapore bus companies, Singapore Bus Service (SBS) and Trans-Island Bus Service (Tibs).
  2. Generate and provide suggestions for improvement on such services, for the benefit of the respective bus companies and their passengers in the future.
  3. Avoid the possibility of damaging the bus companies in any form, but rather, strive to inform passengers and support the previous statement. Thus, both individuals and organisations who visit this site should have an objective and optimistic attitude toward the content of this site.

This site is realized by the efforts of myself, an individual who commutes on Singapore bus services frequently. My name is Teng-Yan Loke. It should also be noted that this site resides physically in a machine in the United States. The views and opinions of this site are from the general public, and not from any bus companies or myself, namely Teng-Yan Loke. Do not direct your complaints to me as I do not represent any bus company, and do not expect me to respond to your complaints or to improve myself in any way.

Of course, bus companies in Singapore do have respectable commendations, which is not covered in this site for the time being. This is further fortified by their effort in striving to be a world-class transport system. As mentioned in the list of objectives stated above, readers should be objective and discerning towards the content here.

Please feel free to comment, contribute, debate and criticize, but do not expect a response or answer from me. E-mail can be sent to <lokety-at-gmail.com>, or used the form provided here. Letters of complaint which are published on this site may be edited beforehand.

For other interesting current affairs, views and news, check out my blogs.


Why This Site

I have been a victim of poor service from the two major bus services in Singapore, and I feel that the Internet is a proficient media by which customers can voice out such problems.


Letters of Complaint

Total number of letters received: 11

No.TitleSenderDate/Time
1Singapore Bus ServiceChoy Peng Wah1 Mar 2006
2Bad Experience of TIBS BusPerlynn Tiah8 Jun 2005
3Bad ServicesFelicious Xu14 Mar 2005
4Bus Driver Bad AttitudeEric Toh8 Jan 2004
5Condition of Service 80Quek Poh Choo15 Oct 2002
6Feedback on Singapore - Malacca Bus Service Delima Express (Lavender Street Bus Station)Vigneswari R23 Sep 2002
7Request For More Bus Services of Bus No. 156Kan Cheng Mun11 Aug 2001
8Bad Bus Driving Skillsgilyn10 Aug 2001
9Terrible Service From SBSAlan6 Apr 2001
10Dangerous Driving - Singapore Bus Service No. 12Lim Hwee Min12 May 1999
11Airbus Service Gives Wrong Change For FareKoni21 Sep 1998



Singapore Bus Service

Date sent: Wed, 1 Mar 2006 21:49
From: Choy Peng Wah

On 1-Mar-06 at 6.45pm I was at Boon Lay Bus Interchange waited for bus service No. 79. At 7.23pm bus service No, 79 bearing No. SBS83L finally arrived. When I told the bus driver of our unhappiest having to wait for a bus for 38 minutes during peak hour, there was not a single word of sorry from him.

I hope that you can take our feedback very seriously and improve your services.

Thank you for your attention.


Bad Experience of TIBS Bus

Date sent: Wed, 8 Jun 2005 02:30
From: Perlynn Tiah

Hi, I'm one of those who has experienced very bad incidents with one of the Singapore bus companies, Trans-Island Bus Service (TIBS).

Here is my experience. On the 7th June 2005, around 10 plus at night, I was trying to take catch a cab along the roadside quite near to the bus-stop. Since I found that there is more buses coming along so I walked slowly forward away from the bus-stop. At that point, all the buses saw me, and they kept a distance of 1 meter away from my walking area. There was this TIBS bus# 167, license number TIB640K, which was the only bus coming toward near me at approximately about 1/2 meter away or less. I was shocked and I quickly stopped walking at the pathway. When the bus stopped, I looked at the driver with a glance and I continue walking along. At one point where the space is too narrow, I almost fell and I quickly held onto the TIBS bus glass panel that was so very near to me, and continue walking.

Until then, this bus driver came down of the bus while they were passenger still on their seat and he confronted me. I was quite annoyed that he challenged me, and I was getting too pissed off. I told him that I would lodge a complaint if he still insisted in arguing with me at the public area. I also asked him he had to drive so near to me, as he should have kept a distance of 1 meter away from the pedestrian walkway. Moreover, there are still passengers waiting to go home.

Lastly, I was most unhappy with the part when he threatened me, because when I said that I would to lodge a complaint to the company, he said "If I lose my job, I will go and look/find you." When I heard that, I was telling myself, do I deserve these threats from him, and he is making a scene at a public place along the roadside, and he is not keeping his bus distance away from pedestrian for at least 1 meter away.

I demand a stop argument where I made a police report on this case. Why do I have to do that because, he threatened me so as also to protect myself from anything that happen to me in future, for at least there is a report on this issue.

Although I did not pursue the matter from the police, this kind of impression and attitude from the driver shouldn't have happened, not just myself but to everyone.

If this incident ever happen again, I would keep myself away from taking buses and as I won't forget. Even my friends who were with me at that time, were disappointed with the services and the approach from this driver, giving us a very very bad image!

Regards,
Perl


Bad Services

Date sent: Mon, 14 Mar 2005 15:37
From: Felicious Xu

Today, 14 Mar 2005, I took bus #188 from International Business Park on my way (Regent Park, Clementi) home around 14:15pm. I already pressed the "stop" button nearly 250m far away from the bus stop, while I was very surprised that the driver (India guy) did not stop the bus. So immediately I had to press twice to remind the driver. However, he still past by as if nothing happened. I had no choice and dropped at next stop and had to spend 15 mins to walk home under noon sun since nearby no bus at all could get back home! The most frustrating thing is that till I left bus, there were no apologetic words from the driver!

I feel so lucky that soon I will migrate to other county and no longer to tolerate Singapore public transportation service any longer! Singapore Bus Service, take care of your public services, compare to other advanced countries, you are weakening your competition power!


Bus Driver Bad Attitude

Date sent: Thu, 8 Jan 2004 21:45
From: Eric Toh

On 6th January 2004, at about 1252 hrs, I boarded a bus number 74, registration number 9582 (a double decker bus without air-con) from the first bus-stop at Holland Drive to Hougang.

The bus fare was supposed to be $1.60, however the bus driver issued me a $0.80 fare. Thinking that he issued me the wrong fare, I politely confronted him to issue me the $1.60 fare. He gave me a rude reply that he had issued another $0.80 fare. To my understanding the bus driver should have issued me a ticket that is supposed to $1.60 instead two $0.80 fares, because once the ticket inspector checked he would think that I am cheating.

I would like to know whether it is right for the driver to issue me the two $0.80 tickets. Please give me an explanation. The two ticket numbers 3117 and 3118 are with me for reference. I would like to advise to take action against the driver who was rude and this will tarnish the good reputation of Singapore Bus Services.


Condition of Service 80

Date sent: Tue, 15 Oct 2002 22:26
From: Quek Poh Choo

Buses like 2262, 2776, 2642 smell strongly of urine. It seems to me that your fleet of buses have not been washed for a long time. I have to tolerate the pungent smell thus making me very sick. Thank you for your great effort to provide a pleasant and enjoyable ride such as providing TV Mobile, cooler and quieter environment. Please investigate and do the necessary.


Feedback on Singapore - Malacca Bus Service Delima Express (Lavender Street Bus Station)

Date sent: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 10:37
From: Vigneswari R

I am writing about an incident my aunty encountered with a bus company. The bus company is the bus service at Lavender Street which caters to passengers travelling from Singapore to Malaysia. The particular service which I would like to feedback about it on the Delima Express bus which brings passengers from Singapore to Malacca. My aunty was about to catch the bus at 2.30pm on 1st August 2002 to Malacca when she realized she was running late. She was to go to a family function and some last minute shopping cropped up. She called up the bus company using her son's handphone saying that she was already on her way to board the bus but she will be at most five minutes late. The lady on the other end of the line told her that it was alright as the buses will always wait for their passengers up to ten minutes. From experience too, this particular bus service has waited up to fifteen minutes for late passengers and I have witnessed such circumstances.

The lady at the service counter also said that she will inform the bus drivers of the particular bus about my aunty's informed lateness. My aunty was four minutes late and was desperately searching for her bus with her 17 year old daughter who was following her on the trip. My aunty and her daughter went up to the counter lady at the bus station. The lady was about middle-aged and when asked where the 2.30pm Delima Express bus was, the lady lamely replied that it left. My aunty was furious and I would be too if I was in her place. It is not only the fact that the bus left that made her angry but also because none of the two ladies at the service counter approached her problem. They ignored her and refused to do anything about the matter. They practically remained seated on their seats minding their own business kind of thing. When my aunty questioned the middle-aged lady about the phone call she made and reminding her that the lady herself said that she would caution the bus driver to wait and re-assuring my aunty that buses do after all wait for ten minutes the least, all the staff at the service counter turned their heads to different directions. They avoided looking at my aunty. It is not that my aunty is ugly or anything. In fact she is about 42 years old with a presentable composure if not pretty looking as most people describe her to be. So is this what they are trained or are thought about problem solving?

Not even an apology was made to my aunty. My aunty is a person who confronts people especially when she feels it is justifiable considering the scenario she was in. She banged the counter and shouted "So, what am I supposed to do? I bought the tickets and missed the bus and that's it, is it?! What is this and what kind of service are you all having?" No reaction from either of the two ladies. They were as cool as ever. If this is what is called remaining calm in difficult situations, I think the concept needs to be revised. I don't know how some might deal with the situation but I would be raging with anger just like my aunty. Now, at this point in time, I found out that the ladies were a bit " thick-skinned" too as one can lamely put it. Does the management really allow such things to go on without taking any form of action maybe to something like this that happened in the past? Promising the ladies that she would take action aganist the matter, my aunty left. That is why, after about almost two months, when my aunty was narrating the incident to me at the Woodlands Causeway taxi-stand together with my parents and about five other people in the queue listening with obvious attention, I felt the need to bring up about this incident. I asked my aunty as much details I could jot down at that point in ime and thus have made time to write this feedback. What made me want to act on this immediately is simply because my aunty has not had the time to do so as she is a very busy working woman and also because the ladies at the service counter in the bus station will take it for granted. They must have heard alot of complaints from customers but keep repeating their mistakes without any consciousness because they are sure we won't do anything about the matter and they will get away with it as usual.

Writing to the management might not be useful as what my aunty pointed out. How many people would have had the same problem as my aunty had encountered? This is one problem I felt that has to be put on the limelight and I would also like to prove that not all "barking dogs don't bite" as the ladies at the counter might lamely think it to be. My aunty desperately portrayed that she needed help and the ladies refused to do anything to approach the situation. To me, they seemed to have acted unethically. Just because the bus ticket is sold and the sales is made, nothing else seemed to matter for the people on the service line.

If readers don't mind reading on, the problem did not stop there. You see, my aunty was to go on this trip for a family function. It was not like she was happily taking a trip to nowhere with all the time in the world with her. She paid for the tickets for a purpose just like everyone else. So she did not give up. She and her daughter practically dragged their bags and ran to the main road to get a cab to the causeway point. She reached the causeway and spotted the bus after checking the passports at the Singapore causeway point. She questioned the bus driver and the conductor, that is, the two men in charge of the bus and scolded them. After all, the hassle she had been through was quite a bit especially to those who know about customer relationship management whereby you get to look at things from the customer's point of view and will thus understand. The two men said the lady at the counter service did not tell them anything. Furthermore, the two men had a conversation in Malay thinking my aunty did not understand. But she understood Malay very well and this is what they said, "How ah? This woman! Managed to get into the bus on time. Managed to catch the bus too!" This comment was like an insult in some way and it was like the two men wishing she had after all missed the bus. My aunty of course gave them her third firing of the day. My cousin had a great job in cooling her mother down all the way through the journey consistently telling her to relax and calm down. Luckily my aunty was still intact considering her health too because she is an asthematic patient.

After almost two months, she still remembers this incident crystal clear. She spent extra taxi money too.I wrote to the management of the company after writing in to the print media. If they want to compensate and I think they ought to, for their poor service, they can do so by returning a cheque of my aunty's taxi fare. It is the least possible thing they can do. I will also write back to the print media to say if the company took any form of appropriate actions and if it compensated for my aunty's extra expense. If no one hears about this matter henceforth, then one can know that writing to the management of some companies will really not work at all times. I am writing on behalf of other 'victims' who might have faced similar scenarios with bus companies in one way or another. I am satisfied in taking the effort to lift my pen to put my thoughts together and narrate this as it is the least possible thing I can do before taking on other actions I have in mind. But for now, I shall just see what comes of this matter. I wish the company invloved and responsible will take this report of mine as customers giving them second chance by reacting to their feedback. In this way, incidents alike and negligence of service providers might not discourage people from using their service.

Signing off


Request For More Bus Services of Bus No. 156

Date sent: Sat, 11 Aug 2001 17:14
From: Kan Cheng Mun

Dear Sirs,

I'm a student in the National University of Singapore, doing my second year of Engineering. I stay in Bishan and I take the bus 156 from my place down to Clementi and change to bus 96 to reach school.

Recently, SBS has increased the distance of the bus route of 156, extending it to Sengkang interchange. Ever since then, I noticed the frequency of the bus 156 has dropped significantly, especially so during the peak hours. Additionally, the bus is often packed with commuters from Ang Mo Kio and Sengkang. As a result, I am usually unable to board on the much desired bus.

As a loyal and frequent customer of SBS who buys the monthly commission stamp, I sincerely hope that SBS could keep up with the name of being the best and most efficient bus service provider. Specifically, I hope that SBS could increase the frequency of bus 156 especially during the morning peak hours (from 7am -10 am). I look forward to the much desired change and I wish that I would not resort to other froms of transport which is seemingly more efficient recently.

I appreciated the attention spent on reading this letter and I would be very honoured to hear from your valued reply and your constructive change to the apparent problem.

Your faithfully,
Kan Cheng Mun


Bad Bus Driving Skills

Date sent: Fri, 10 Aug 2001 01:22
From: gilyn

On 9/8/01, when I was going home on a number 86 bus with the bus plate number of SBS 172M at around 9.30pm, the bus driver drove very badly by braking the bus at unnessary times.

In this way, the bus kept on jerking and causing my mother, siblings and I to shake and nearly fell down as we were standing. Therefore, I think that the driver or the bus company should handle the matter very seriously as dangerous driving may cause accidents.


Terrible Service From SBS

Date sent: Fri, 6 Apr 2001 03:32:27 -0700 (PDT)
From: Alan

I was waiting for bus 88 opposite Bishan MRT at around 6.25pm. It was peak hour during that time. The first bus 88 came. It's a single deck type of bus with crowded passengers onboard. Of course, I couldn't get on the bus too. So I decided to wait for the next bus 88 and hope it was a double decker SuperBus. To my disappointment, it turned out to be a single deck bus again and again the bus was fully packed with passengers. I couldn't even squeeze on to the bus.

No choice, I got to wait for the next bus. I almost got fed up when I saw another single deck bus drove into the bus stop crowded passengers. By that time, it was 7.15pm. Eventually I got on a SuperBus at around 7.20pm. From 6.25pm till 7.15pm, three buses came and all are single deck buses. My question is: why did SBS plan such a small capacity of buses at such peak hours? Don't the route managers know that it was peak hour and expect lots of passengers? Where are all the quality services SBS has promised?

Don't tell me this situation is unforseeable. Everybody knows that evening hours are peak hours and yet SBS did such a stupid thing to send three miserable buses to fulfill the needs. Hope this won't happen again on my next trip on bus 88, I hope.


Dangerous Driving - Singapore Bus Service No. 12

Date sent: Wed, 12 May 1999 18:40:57 -0700 (PDT)

I am totally appalled and disgusted by the attitude of one of your employees.

I boarded a SBS bus no. 12 this morning at Bedok at about 7.55am. As I was boarding the bus, still holding on to the rail attached to the bus door, the driver actually closed the door. I nearly fell out of the door and could have been hurt if a passenger by the side had not caught hold of me in time. The bus driver did not even wink nor apologise. He just drove off in a rush. This happened at the subsequent bus stop as well.

Admittedly, he could be ill or feeling down. However, as an employee of SBS at duty, he should be more professional and should have taken care to provide safe service to the passengers. Such dangerous driving could cost lives!

I have noted down the bus number of the vehicle. It is SBS9450B. I hope that the issue of dangerous driving would be addressed and brought to the attention of SBS and its employees.

I look forward to a response from SBS on my complaint. Thank you.

Yours faithfully,
Lim Hwee Min


Airbus Service Gives Wrong Change For Fare

Date sent: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 23:12:09 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Airbus service
From: Koni

I boarded an Airbus (number 1, I believe) outside the Singapore Mandarin Hotel on 21 September 1998 at 1:15PM to Changi Airport. The bus driver told me that the fare of S$5 would be collected upon arrival. After a 40-minute ride on the bus, the bus arrived at Terminal 1 of Changi Airport at 2:05PM. There were only 5 passengers in the bus and two workers (presumably bus company workers as they did not pay their fare upon arrival).

As I did not have any smaller change, I gave $50 to the ticketing man (an Indian man in his late 30s or early 40s). He insisted on returning my change after collecting all the passengers' fare. So I waited for another 2 minutes and ultimately, he gave me supposedly four S$10 and one S$5 notes and then quickly ran off to the Arrival Hall. Because I was in a hurry to catch my plane to Hong Kong, I put the notes back into my wallet and went up to the Departure Hall.

When I arrived home in Hong Kong, I opened my wallet and then I realised that I was cheated. The ticketing man in fact only gave me three S$10 and one RM$10 note. As both S$10 and RM$10 notes are red, I didn't realize that the ticketing man cheated me until it was too late. I was furious and angered at his act.

As a tourist, I would not expect this kind of thing to happen in a developed country like Singapore which boosted about her efficiency and friendliness. Such a dishonest act is disgraceful, distasteful and outrageous. How could a bus company in Singapore allow people with such a poor conduct to work for them? As the ringgit has depreciated and the imposition of foreign exchange controls by the Malaysian government, ringgit circulated outside Malaysia will soon be worthless. However, people in Singapore should exchange their Malaysian ringgit with banks instead of resorting in such a dishonest act which left a black mark on tourists like me.

Going forward, I have to think twice next time if I were to board any of those airbuses or buses in Singapore generally. I would have been better off if I had taken a taxi instead. I don't believe that I am the only victim of this crime. I would imagine that other passengers may have suffered too. I do hope that the bus company can investigate such a misconduct and exercise discretion to reprimand their employees for justice's sake. I could be contacted via my e-mail address <etuskof@hongkong.com> and I look forward to hearing the favourable response to my compliant.


Preventive and Corrective Procedures

What should you as a passenger or a bus driver do to avoid problems from occuring during the bus trip? How can one respond when confronted with incidents on buses? This section offers tips and advice that may be useful.


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