Curb the Kerbs


Photo | BIG_MOUSE | Chevron markings have taken over the traditional kerbs

Photo | BIG_MOUSE | Chevron markings have taken over the traditional kerbs at Bus stops

In the quest for efficiency, the traditional, raised, black-and-white kerbs in front of our bus stops are progressively being replaced with white lines drawn directly on the road. When I noticed the start of this ‘initiative’ by dunnoe-who, there wasn’t any official announcement about this (correct me if I’m wrong).

The only reason, I can think of now, for authorities to remove the kerbs, is to to allow a smoother flow of buses at busy bus stops (which happens at almost all the bus stops in Singapore). Without these kerbs, buses need not exit the bus bay in the same order they arrived in.

Eg: The 1st bus in the bay is already overloaded, and the bus captain is still trying to squeeze in more passengers (a usual sight during peak hours even though the companies involved are not really willing to acknowledge this problem). The 2nd bus arrives, after alighting and accepting new passengers, can leave immediately without waiting for the 1st bus to finish the packed-like-sardine routine. With the kerb there, the 2nd bus would have been stuck there for a good more-than-a-few minutes (some ‘smart’ drivers will reverse, dangerously, to try to get out of the mess).

So, instead of improving the frequency of services (more expensive maybe), they decided to remove the kerbs (cheaper solution maybe). They removed the very kerbs that I used to like standing on when I was less mature. 🙂

One more feature of Singapore sacrificed for efficiency. Maybe Nat Geo or Discovery can do an episode on our disappearing bus stop kerbs. 🙂 Kerb, bye bye.

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