Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Open Letter to CEO SBS Transit, CEO SMRT, Minister of Transport, Parl Sec for Transport

Open Letter to CEO SBS Transit, CEO SMRT, Minister of Transport, Parl Sec for Transport

Calvin is a cyclocommuter in Singapore. Yes. There is such a thing there in Singapore and more are taking to cycling to work.  This is what he face at times on the road. Do u have the same problem?  Things are not moving and he decided to send a message to those who can effect change. Let's see if there will be a reply.  This is what he wrote.

to: ceo@sbstransit.com.sg, desmondkuek@smrt.com.sg, MUHAMMAD_FAISHAL@MOH.GOV.SG, LUI_TUCK_YEW@MOT.GOV.SG

cc: hock_yong_chew@lta.gov.sg, mcslim@lta.gov.sg, IRENENG@ISEAS.EDU.SG, TEO_SER_LUCK@MTI.GOV.SG, safecyclesg@gmail.com

Dear CEO SBS Transit and CEO SMRT,

I write to you on behalf of all cyclists who have been belittled, bullied and even run off the roads by your bus drivers on the road.

Within the past week, I managed to capture two incidents involving your bus drivers on video (see link below). I have written to SBS Transit in the past regarding similar incidences (ref: 2012/Feb/0666 & 2012/Jan/1692).

SMRT bus drivers, though not captured in this video, are equally guilty of the same boorish behaviour. I submitted a feedback via the SMRT website on regarding an incident involving Service #852 TIB671X on 11 Oct 2012, but received not a single reply. How very appalling.

This is not meant to generalize all bus drivers as road bullies - in fact, most drivers whom I encounter are courteous and considerate - but it only takes a few black sheep in your entire pool of bus drivers to tarnish the good work of the others, and endanger the lives of all whom they encounter on the roads.

As public transport operators, both of you have the biggest number of big vehicles collectively plying our roads from dawn to midnight, and you owe every road user the diligence and duty to operate the vehicles with due consideration for our safety, especially the vulnerable ones on foot or on two wheels.

None of us wish to be fodder for the wheels of your buses, so please educate your drivers to give way and to give room (1.5 metres is all we ask, and that is in the driving theory book) when they are around vulnerable road users. A little consideration and patience saves lives.

Dear Minister Lui and Dr Faishal,

I was there at one of the LTMP focus group discussions in Oct/Nov last year. You have already publicly stated your priority for off-road cycling, and not road cycling. Not a word has been heard since the discussions ended, but I am not waiting with bated breath to hear any good news from you or from LTA.

But I do hope this video (see link below) will convey very clearly the hair-raising encounters cyclists have to endure everyday on our roads, and maybe earn some of your empathy to re-think your position. No, we do not want, nor even wish for, a dedicated bicycle lane; all that most of us ask for are more stringent laws and harsher sentences that will incentivize good driver behaviour and which will serve to protect our backs. The sentences meted out in accidents where drivers have killed cyclists only shows how grossly cheap our lives are. In mind-boggling contrast, a petty thief gets more jail time than a drunk driver who takes the life of a cyclist.

This I say with no disrespect, Sirs - You can choose to address a very real and existent problem, or just simply ignore it. If you opt for the latter, the next time the life of another road cyclist is cruelly taken, I hope you will remember that you HAD the power to save lives.

I have uploaded a video of the two incidences to Youtube http://youtu.be/g3O2RwgBqQg for your edification. Watch carefully, and do try to imagine the 4-foot tall spinning bus wheels passing alongside you just inches away - that is certainly not a nice place where you would want to be.


Calvin Boo


  1. Gutsy effort Calvin.Hope your campaign succeeds.



  2. Dude, we face situations like this all the time. I think the space seems reasonable. If you feel its unsafe, try mountain biking like me so you have a better peace of mind.

  3. first incident is really too much. the bus can just wait for the bike to pass the bus stop and stop his bus, no need for such action.

    on second one, it is quite subjective. sg roads do not seem to be designed with much space for cyclists. the bus should have tried to keep a further distance a part but we don't know what's going on on the right side. anyway for such incident, whenever there is a vehicle overtaking me, i'll slow down immediately to avoid the narrowing gap when it passes me. give and take, we share the roads but don't expect everyone to think the same. better to be safe then sorry.

    don't see why we cyclists can't just slow down and be safe than to expect other road users to always give space to us.