Drop in public transport share in Singapore: survey
26 October 2009 1458 hrs (SST)
SINGAPORE: A transport survey in Singapore has shown that the public transport share has shrunk.
The survey of some 10,500 households revealed that despite efforts by the authorities to get more people on buses and trains, challenges still remain.
Singapore aims to boost the usage of public transport among its population to 70 per cent by 2020. But the Household Interview Travel Survey showed that the target is now harder to achieve.
The survey found that 59 per cent of respondents used public transport last year, down from 63 per cent in 2004.
During the same period, the number of daily public transport journeys went up by 16 per cent as Singapore's population grew. The number of car journeys increased by 31 per cent as the car population also grew.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) explained that this behaviour could be due to a lack of major infrastructural improvements in public transport during that period.
Speaking at the Second World Roads Conference on Monday, Transport Minister Raymond Lim said that there are some positive signs.
He said: "Between 2004 and 2008, the number of train trips made each day rose 30 per cent, from 1.3 million to 1.7 million. Even though the public transport mode share island-wide has fallen, the mode share in the North-East corridor, served by the Northeast Line (NEL) which opened in 2003, has bucked the trend and shown significant improvement."
LTA said it will continue to make bus services more efficient and will be expanding the Mandatory Give-Way to Buses scheme in the next two years.
LTA said the expansion of normal bus lanes and full-day bus lanes have already improved bus speeds for services using the routes by between eight per cent and 13 per cent respectively.
From next year, LTA will also take over as the Bus Network Planner to further improve the overall connectivity of the bus network here.
An expert said reliability is key when convincing people to use public transport.
Professor Brian Collins, chief scientific advisor from UK's Department of Transport, said: "Making buses punctual, making trains punctual, and making them more frequent - refining that predictability of travel time is one of the issues that people really like. They will like to know when they are going to arrive, arrive safely and in comfort."
LTA said it will push through two key strategies under its Masterplan to make public transport more convenient. The strategies are to reduce the growth of vehicles on the road and double the existing rail network by 2020.
For now, the introduction of Electronic Road Pricing to more roads last year has improved the traffic conditions of affected roads.
LTA said there has been marked improvement in traffic speeds within the CBD, especially during evening peak hours. Traffic speeds there have been restored to the optimal range of 20-30 kilometres per hour, from 18 kilometres per hour previously.
Our Gahment is just ignoring the root cause and just want to make money. Period!
To ease traffic and to boost public transport rider-ship, they go for the simplest and best solution for themselves – RAISE THE ERP COST. Mind you, next they will raise the parking fee then the COE and then the road tax…. Win – win for them and too bad for you.
It’s easy to encourage public transport usage, just like Professor Brian Said, you just have to HAVE A EFFICIENT PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM.
More frequent buses and train, more punctual trains and I bet if you slash the fare by 50% your rider-ship will shoot up immediately.
I will suggest doing away with those bloody surcharges on taxi as well. Taxi driver here in Singapore are just too spoilt. I think we are the only countries in the world with such a complex taxi fares structure and ironically I feel our taxi services are one of the worst.
I also question the survey accuracy. Out of the 10000 households interviewed, how many are Foreigner? I doubt so as they most probably are renting room or stay in hostel. You may say less Singaporean are taking pubic transports but I can assure you that trains and buses are packed these days due to new immigrants and FT. Rider-ship is no where low my friend.
And did they question WHY less people are taking public transport now?
I can tell you, the only reason why will I consider getting my own ride is: THE PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM SUCKS.
2) Expensive (Not value for money to be more correct)
3) Erratic timing
4) Long waiting time.
5) Stupid people eats and blast their f**K phone in there.