He is a thirty-five-year-old department manager in a MNC, having gone through the typical Singaporean path of going to a Singapore JC then a local university with a scholarship. He started work since he graduated, job-hopped two times and now, he’s ready to settle down in this company, drawing a gross pay of $8,000 a month.
Single, rich and without commitment, he has a few credit cards but every morning, he still takes a bus to his office at Tuas, despite having the financial capability to buy a car.
So, why does he do this? Here’re the reasons he provide, and to be honest, it’s just so convincing that anyone owning a car could just sell off theirs now.
It’s a depreciating asset
“I won’t say it’s an asset at all—you’re essentially ‘renting’ the car because it belongs to a bank. Even if you pay for it in full, the depreciation is so high that you’re practically just burning cash as every day passes.”
Well, this is clear-cut for many.
It’s not convenient
“I know this seems unbelievable, but hear me out first. You see, some people, after work, would want to buy some food. If you’re driving, you’re just getting from point A to B. Yes, you may stop somewhere to buy food, but that’s a detour. If you’re taking the train, the infrastructure in Singapore would allow you to buy whatever you need on your way to somewhere. Want to grab some breakfast on the way to work? You can get it from any MRT station.”
Peak hours are unpredictable
“There have been train breakdowns, but they’re not as frequent as jams in expressways during peak hours. My understanding is that peak hours jams are almost an everyday affair—someone could spend an hour or more from Jurong to Tampines because of the jams. With trains, without breakdown, it’s an absolute one hour journey. We all don’t like uncertainty, right?”
You can’t do things in cars
“Time is precious and the time spent in driving requires full concentration; however, taking public transport gives you the freedom to catch up on old friends in Facebook, or if you’re a workaholic, read up on a report. To me, anything that can save my time is a good thing.”
You won’t get high blood pressure
“I’ve driven before and within that short frame of time, I think my blood pressure increases by a tad. Driving in Singapore is like a test of your patience—if you’re driven, you’ll just relax and sit as the driver complains. So, why not?”
Public transport in Singapore is awesome
“Agree or not is hugely subjectively, but if you’ve been to many places, especially the sub-urban areas, you’ll know how good and efficient our system is, albeit the breakdowns.”