Singapore’s leading university, Singapore Management University (SMU), yesterday (Sep 26) published a fake news survey claiming that commuters are now more satisfied of bus commute over train because of government funding.
In the “Customer Satisfaction Index” survey reported by propaganda state media Straits Times, SMU found that public buses scored 65.6/100, while train commute scored 63.6 points. SMU then came to the conclusion that Singaporeans now prefer buses because of the S$1.1 billion Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP) launched in 2012.
This is however untrue as it was the persistent train breakdowns that tumbled commuters’ satisfaction level. According to SMU’s own report published in 2017, the train commute scored 64.8 points, which was also lower than 2016’s 66.4 points. Straits Times and SMU nonetheless made no mention about the failing train reliability and continued ahead with their fake news about bus services making leap improvements.
The 2012 BSEP was a bailout of the duopoly public transport operators SBS Transit and SMRT, which were facing profits pressure from vehicle maintenance. The government spent S$1.1 billion to buy over the loss-incurring assets and guarantee the two companies profits through a bus contracting model. All service maintenance, purchases of new buses and hefty spending on the upkeep of the physical assets are now funded by the people’s taxes.