The other day, I found out why, when I decided to put our "world-class" public transportation to the test.
Boy did I regret it.
I figured that the closest alternative to driving has to be taking taxis, and so, I left my car at home one day, and tried to take a cab to work.
It took me nearly 20 minutes before I even spotted an available one. And that one was an uncle who was changing shift (not to my destination) and took pity on me after seeing me drenched in sweat from the blazing sun. If he wasn't so kind I wondered how long more I would have waited.
OK, I guess it's my fault for staying in such a far out place like Woodlands, where no men (and thus taxis) exist, so I tried it out again during evening peak hour, on the way home. I suppose it would be easier to get a cab then.
Again, it took over 20 minutes before I even spotted a taxi with the green sign on top. Car after car passed by, but no, not a single available taxi. After an agonizing wait, one taxi finally entered my office building to drop off passengers, and I pounced.
I don't even want to talk about the ride experience afterwards. Let's just say he upheld his profession's reputation, if you know what I mean.
Frankly, I find it ridiculous that with so many taxi companies in Singapore now, and their talk of expansion and constant bidding for Category A COEs, I can still wait close to half an hour before a single taxi is available. In half an hour I can easily drive from home to town (or anywhere actually) with clear traffic, so that's productivity down then.
With that kind of 'service', you have to wonder whether their exorbiant fares are worth it (the trip home cost me $30, or about half a tank of fuel for me).
Before you ask me about buses and trains, I have to point out that there is NO bus service from my workplace going to anywhere near I live (another benefit of living in Woodlands. Yay), and the nearest MRT from here is a good 15-20 minutes away. Taking the bus/train home would involve lots of silly transfers and use up probably a good hour or two, which is honestly very stupid. And we all know about the rush hour squeeze on the MRTs and buses.
I detest public transport simply because you are at the mercy of others when you rely on them. Call me cynical, but I'd rather be in control of my own fate rather than risk wasting a big chunk of my time waiting (time that can be more wisely spent) and potentially getting into a death trap, seeing how most taxi drivers operate here.
I don't care if driving in Singapore bankrupts me. There simply is no replacement.
World class public transport, yeah right.