|Photo from Hardwarezone|
While it is true that Singapore's population has grown - the number of people on our island grew 20% in the past 5 years - something deeper is at work here.
As the chart below shows, each person took the bus or train once a day on average before 2010. This might seem low, but the figure includes children, elderly, car-owners, and other folks who don't take public transportation much. This "one-trip-a-day" pattern persisted for half a dozen years, so if you were in charge of a bus or train company all you had to do was to make sure you had enough capacity to meet population growth which clocked at a bearable 5% or less every year.
|Sources: Land Transport Authority, Dept of Statistics|
To put these numbers in perspective, suppose each person took one trip a day on average in 2011. This would reduce the number of trips by about 600,000 a day, or about 2,500 train carriages - not a small number.
The next time you gasp for air in the bus, think about why people are suddenly moving around the island so much, and leave a comment if you do come up with something.