The various benches at about 5,000 public bus stops across Singapore cost between $500 and $1,500 each, excluding installation cost, with the price of each bench dependant on its materials and features, according to the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
“For example, some older benches are made from concrete and stainless steel, while new ones are aluminium and come with arm rests that enable elderly commuters to get up from their seats more easily,” said an LTA spokesperson.
Replying to Yahoo News Singapore’s queries on whether public tenders are called for bus stop benches or for bus stops, the LTA spokesperson said, “Open tenders are called for the upgrading of existing bus stops, including the construction and replacement of benches. These benches are expected to last at least 20 years with minimum maintenance.”
The cost of public bus stop benches came into the spotlight last week when it was revealed in a courtroom that one such bench cost $1,500.
Singaporean Tan Ke Wei, 22, was sentenced to a seven-day short detention order last Tuesday (9 October) for unscrewing a metal bench from a bus stop along Braddell Road and bringing it home in June 2017 because he wanted to design his flat based on a bus stop concept.
With the unusual case making headlines, furniture giants Ikea and Courts, and budget airline Scoot – known for their cheeky digital ads – made use of the marketing opportunity to reference the cost of home benches and airplane seats in their parody advertisements.
Ikea’s ad caption for a bench read: “Comes flat-packed. No dismantling required.” Scoot’s caption for an ad showing a man running with an airplane seat with a $1,500 tag read: “Great
benches seats at a steal”.
Asked about the bench that was stolen, the LTA spokesperson said it was a powder-coated aluminium bench. It was removed by Tan “after LTA’s contractor had tightened the bench with nuts and bolts using a spanner wrench, (but) two days before the finishing works to encase the fastened anchor bolts with concrete were planned to be carried out”.
Each bench at that bus stop in Braddell Road costs about $1,300, with installation cost of about $200, the spokesperson added.
– additional reporting by Wan Ting Koh
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