LTA fires back at IKEA for mocking stolen bus stop bench saga

The Land Transport Authority of Singapore (LTA) has taken a shot at IKEA after the furniture giant mocked the cost of the benches after one of it got dismantled and stolen. IKEA took a swipe after news reports emerged that the stolen bench had cost SG$1,500, a revelation which got ridiculed by netizens.

In a social media post, although LTA acknowledged that IKEA’s “Industriell” bench was “nice”, it unfortunately could not use it. This was because LTA’s bus stop benches came in different hardy materials meant to last for more than 20 years. It then hashtagged #YouGetWhatYouPayFor, insinuating that the high cost of the benches were justified. Read the full post here:

In a statement, an LTA spokesperson said that the organisation regularly looks at ways to enhance commuters’ public transport journey experience, including its bus stops. It added that currently, there are around 5,000 bus stops in Singapore of various designs, depending on when they were constructed.

The benches are expected to last at least 20 years with minimum maintenance, costing between SG$500 and SG$1,500, excluding installation cost, depending on the materials and features of the benches. For the case of the stolen bus stop bench, it had cost around SG$1,300 with an installation cost of about SG$200.

IKEA’s post, which was posted earlier this month showcased a picture of IKEA’s “Industriell”  bench in light grey, priced at SG$159. This was coupled with the caption: “Bring home a way more affordable bench from our store (not the bus stop)”.

The post was met with positive response from netizens, most of whom praised the retailer’s marketing move. One of the netizens commented that IKEA could have named the bench “BASSTORP”, to which IKEA responded with a link to its other bench called “MOSTORP”.

IKEA was not the only brand to sit on the bench. Local budget airline Scoot also took the chance to sell its "Great Seats At A Steal" with the word “Benches” slashed and replaced with Seats.