My car broke down the other day. And for the first time in over a decade, I had to take public transport. Since I couldn’t get a taxi on the first day that I needed to go to work without my car, I was forced to take a bus. And boy, what an experience that was!
Despite all the public service videos aired on television, Malaysians have still not learned to queue up for the bus. Hmm, maybe it’s because nobody had seen those videos aired on TV1 and TV2, preferring Astro instead?
Never mind what the reason. Fact still remains that we do not queue up for the bus. And if that is not bad enough, we push and shove each other just to get in, especially during peak hours.
Ok, so here I was riding the bus, and I must say public transport vehicles have improved over the past 10 years or so – its comfortable, the air conditioner worked well, and I had a really good ride with no bumps or creaks along the way. Now, this is where the good stuff ends.
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What annoyed me about my experience is the serious tardiness of our bus system. The bus arrived 45 minutes later than scheduled. How are commuters expected to rely on a bus service that is always late?
I reached my office 1.5 hours later than usual, and thank God I did not have any appointments on that first and only day of taking a bus.
Next, I tried the taxis. They were filthy! The fabric seats had designs obviously made from spilled drinks. At least I had hoped they were spilled drinks rather than human fluids!!
On one occasion, I couldn’t close the door as a previous passenger had left tissue with nasal discharge in it. So I had to wind down the window to close the door. Aren’t our taxi driver expected to ensure their rides are clean and smell nice?
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That evening, I took another taxi home. This one was a little better inside the cab, but the tires were bald. I took it, praying all the way that it won’t rain, or that I will reach home safely and not be involved in any traffic accident.
Well, needless to say, I am now a two car household. I bought a second car for the wife and this decision was prompted solely because we just cannot rely on our busses and taxis. They are just a disgrace.
Even Indonesia has taxis that anyone would be proud of! So the next we want to put down any of our neighbouring countries, we should just look at their taxi services first.
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