Archive for January, 2008

From Today paper,





– Cost of road usage to rise – Improved highway system – Better public transport


Leong Wee Keat


FIRST the carrot, now the stick. After overhauls to make public bus and train services more appealing were announced, screws will now be tightened on drivers to curb road congestion here.


For a start, 16 new ERP gantries will be rolled out, including an outer cordon away from the city. Rates at new gantries will start from $2 instead of $1, and increments will be by $1 instead of 50 cents.


The trigger point for ERP rates will also be changed. Currently, as long as mean traffic speeds do not fall below a certain mark, motorists do not have to pay ERP changes. But from July, charges and increases will kick in if less than 85 per cent of motorists enjoy at least these speeds.


At the same time, the vehicle growth rate will be halved to 1.5 per cent each year for the next three years; the last tweak was in 1990.


This is a move some expect will push up COE prices – even as other costs of vehicle ownership will be reduced to make the point that this is not a revenue generating exercise for the State, which expects to see a $70-million-a-year increase in ERP revenue but a total loss of $310 million annually from reduced taxes.


“If motorists were to drive less, the Government would be happy to collect less ERP revenue,” said Transport Minister Raymond Lim as he unveiled the final piece of the jigsaw in the Land Transport Review.


These include, over the next 12 years, the Government spending $14 billion on new road projects, compared with $3.4 billion spent on roads in the last decade. But building more roads would not, on their own, solve the congestion problem, said Mr Lim who also announced more measures to improve the public transport system.


This includes, for the first time, allowing trunk buses to duplicate parts of the rail network – specifically, the North-South and East-West MRT lines – as well as more frequent buses and trains.


With rising affluence, not only are  more Singaporeans owning cars, they are also using them more intensively: Singapore cars averaged 21,000km a year, compared  to 9,100km in London and 13,900km in  Melbourne.


Said Mr Lim: “The effects are telling. Congestion levels have increased by about  25 per cent since 1999.”


Speeds on major roads in the CBD  have also fallen: A motorist crossing the city from Bugis to Chinatown in the evening  now averages 18kmh, down from 25kmh  five years ago.


The bottom line? Singaporeans must be persuaded to leave the car at home.


“Increasingly, given the more pervasive congestion today, the emphasis must be  on encouraging motorists to shift to public transport, rather than drive on alternative roads to their destination,” said Mr Lim.


And this, in part, involves making the ERP system “more effective”.


To deter drivers who use the CBD to get to another destination, five new gantries  will form the “Singapore River Line” starting July 7. This should reduce by 20 per cent such through traffic, which makes up nearly four in 10 vehicles that pass through the Marina Centre, Suntec City and Bugis areas.


And from Nov 3, the ERP cordon will be widened to include six new gantries, bringing the total number to 71.


The revised ERP rates and speed calculation criteria will kick in only after public transport improvements are rolled out by June, increasing train and bus passenger capacity, Mr Lim stressed. As a result of the ERP changes, the Land Transport Authority expects 6,000 fewer car trips to be made daily.


Even so, Automobile Association of Singapore president Bernard Tay argued that the authorities should wait for the changes to the public transport system to stabilise before reassessing whether it is really necessary for the ERP charges to go up.


“It may seem that the incremental ERP charges have no effect on motorists, but the fact remains that there are currently no better alternatives for them,” said Mr Tay.


But in Mr Lim’s eyes, a two-pronged solution approach was vital – “building up our public transport so that people will have a viable alternative to the car, and taking firm steps to curb excessive car travel demand”.




An average singapore car drive for 21,000km per year? Why not just charge those who drive above average more!?!


This is indeed HOT NEWS… making my blood boil now. Alrite, I think I’ll wait for Mr Brown’s reply on this, I’m sure he has something to say.


[tags]ERP, Transport, Singapore[/tags]




I thought it’s quite sweet. The translation damn funny too.




[tags]youtube, humour[/tags]


21st century inventions


I’m still a little engineer at heart, so here goes the inventions I’d love to see.


1) Automatic toilet bowls: With an automatic retractable scissors that detects someone peeing without lifting the seat (if you ladies think it’s bad in unisex toilets… till you see the gents!). I wonder what the hell is wrong with these people. You know you bobo shooter, still choose to shoot figure 15. KNS! Next time mount a damn laser pointer before you pee!


2) Telsla coils on expressways: Zap those road hogs to pieces!! I repeat… the rightmost lane is for OVERTAKING.


3) Afterburners for cars: Don’t you just hate people who accelerates and high beam or horn you when you filter into their lane? Now you can BBQ their cars:D


4) Portable lie detectors (with Tesla coil attachment): Easier way to seek the truth. “What is your profession”, “I am a cameraman”. *ZAP*. “Can you…?”, “yes, I can photoshop” *ZAP*


Now you see why I’m no longer an engineer.


Bevlyn Khoo – Lonely Afternoon


Hsin Yeow from  A little dream told me that Bevlyn will be performing at the Esplanade today for the launch of her new EP, Lonely Afternoon. Although I’m feeling a little sick, but I know that this is one event I shouldn’t miss. True enough, I wasn’t disappointed. I have heard Bevlyn sing on a number of occasions during weddings, but this is different. The setting, the ambience and a quieter surrounding made the entire experience alot better.


She belted out all the songs from the EP in two sets. Lovely, very lovely. I particularly like “Anymore”, whom she said she wrote it for a friend. I guess, like photographers, writers often write through their life experiences as photographers see the world with a certain level of emotional attachment. While she sang, my heart wandered. Thank you for this truly wonderful experience. You can get a copy of her EP at Gramophone music stores. I got myself 2 autographed copies… she wrote “To: Super Photographer”. Well, that’s definitely something special:) All the best to you Bevlyn!:D



(taken off her website)



While I was there, I met familiar faces from the A little dream team, like Hsin Yeow, Matthew, Ein Ein and a couple of very young and talented musicians (who formed up the 3 piece band) whom I’ve never worked with, but would definitely look forward to in the future. You guys rock!!:D Oh, I met Eadwine too. Goodness, you grown taller:) And nice to know that you bought two copies too:P


So what do I do on a lonely afternoon? I think about the people and places that left footprints in my heart.


[tags]A little dream, Bevlyn Khoo, Lonely Afternoon, Esplanade[/tags]




When I said I eat during weddings, I mean it. Here’s the evidence:) Thanks Lou for the picture, love it! I look hungry, don’t I?




Weapon of choice: Freddy Kruger has four, Wolverine has three, Wansheng has two!! And I’m gonna shaft these up… the stack of beehoon:P




Nice hair:)


Feeling a little bored from editing then I saw this… and I don’t know what’s wrong with me… *puts on JB accent* “小姐你的头发己飘亮一下喔”…





[tags]Photography, Wedding, Humour[/tags]


How it’s like to be in Cloverfield…


Ok I know, this is the second post on the movie… I just found the best way to describe the movie experience.


Manhatten was attacked by some ugly looking monster and the lead actor is running for his life while filming the entire episode. Doesn’t sound too bad isn’t it?


But you are the speck of dust that’s stuck on the sensor of the video camera.


[tags]Cloverfield, Movie[/tags]




A heightened sense of events.


Recently, I’ve been getting wierd feelings. Sometimes, images just flash across my mind. I might not know what they mean, but they seem to mean something. Last week, while approaching the road near Jalan Sultan after dinner, I saw in my mind a very fast car coming right at me on that very road. I can’t tell if it hit me. But somehow I slowed down before I walked across the empty road.


Out of nowhere, a very high speed BMW came into view. And I understood how deers behaved when they see spotlights. I stood rooted. Good thing I was a few steps behind. I was a little scared, a little sad. Because I know, things do happen as my mind tells me.


At least I know, I’m still here.