More Journeys are Made on Both Private and Public Transport

News Releases
26 Oct 2009

Findings from Household Interview Travel Survey 2008

1. Singapore residents are travelling more. They are also more likely to take public transport if they live close to an MRT station. These were just some key findings from the Household Interview Travel Survey (HITS) 2008.

2. The findings from HITS 2008 sets the baseline for LTA to track the impact of the various initiatives under the Land Transport Masterplan, announced in January 2008, as it delivers them.

Highlights of Survey Results

3. In 2008, Singapore saw a 24% jump in daily average travel journeys, up from 8.9 million journeys made in 2004 to 11 million journeys in 2008. While the increase can partly be attributed to population growth over the past four years, which grew at an average of 2% yearly, the survey also shows that Singaporeans are travelling more, with the average journeys made per person per day increasing from 1.92 to 2.12. More details can be found in Table 1 (Annex A).

4. In terms of transport modal share, the public transport mode share during the morning peak hours has declined from 63% in 2004 to 59% in 2008. This could be attributed to a lack of major infrastructural improvements in the public transport system between 2004 and 2008, while the population of vehicles and people continued to grow.

Changes in Vehicle Ownership and Private Car Use

5. More Singaporeans are making more trips by private vehicles over the period surveyed, up from 3.4 million trips in 2004 to 4.3 million trips in 2008. This is a result of a marked increase in car population over the period surveyed. More details can be found in Table 2 (Annex A).

6. However, unlike the findings in HITS 2004, where a 10% increase in car population from 1997 to 2004 triggered a 23% increase in car journeys, the 32% increase in car population from 2004 to 2008 has resulted in a 31% increase in car journeys. This shows that the growth in car journeys in comparison to car population growth have been slower as compared to the period between 1997 and 2004. This can be attributed to a lower rate of use of cars as a result of more off-peak cars being registered and the increase in households with more than one car. More details can be found in Table 3 (Annex A)

7. In terms of congestion management, the survey reaffirms that the ERP scheme has been effective in managing congestion, especially in the city area. Traffic speeds within the CBD was restored to the optimal range of 20 to 30 km per hour from as low as 18km per hour. The survey also found that while peak hour traffic volumes grew by 25% island wide, there was only a corresponding increase of 15% in traffic volumes in the Central Business District (CBD) during the same period.

Changes in Public Transport Travel Patterns

8. Daily public transport trips have also seen an increase. Compared to 2004, there is an increase of 16% to 5.6 million daily public transport trips in 2008.

9. Demand for MRT continues to grow over the years - with daily MRT trips increasing from 1.3 million trips to 1.7 million trips. Daily bus trips also grew from 2.6 million trips in 2004 to 3.1 million trips in 2008.

10. Singaporeans are also more likely to use public transport if they live nearer to a MRT station. Among those who reside within 200 m of a station, about 72% would take public transport as their primary commuting option, compared to 52% for those staying about 800m from an MRT station. Singaporeans are also more willing to take public transport if it is less than a 10- minute walk to a MRT station. More details can be found in Table 4 (Annex A).

11. "As we begin this challenging journey of bringing the Land Transport Masterplan to fruition, the HITS indicators reassure us that we are on the right track. These findings have also reaffirmed that we need to make a decisive shift towards the use of public transport, and at the same time reduce the overall growth rate of vehicle population, so that Singaporeans can continue to enjoy a quality living environment in the years to come," said Mr Yam Ah Mee, LTA Chief Executive.

Moving Forward

12. The opening of the Circle Line (CCL) Stage 3 on 28 May 2009 and the progressive opening of the CCL from 2010 onwards will add more capacity to the MRT system. Under the Masterplan, the rail network will double by 2020, which would bring even greater accessibility to a MRT station for Singaporeans in the coming years.

13. The LTA will also continue to work towards improving bus services. This year, the LTA has completed the expansion of the bus lane scheme and will be expanding the Mandatory Give-Way to Buses scheme to selected bus stops on an island-wide basis over the next two years. From next year, the LTA will also take over the role as the Bus Network Planner to further improve the overall connectivity of the bus network.

14. To better manage the overall vehicle population growth and taking into account the rate of road growth, LTA has also lowered the vehicle growth rate from 3% per annum to 1.5% per annum from May 2009.

15. "Looking back at the initiatives undertaken in the 18 months since we announced the Masterplan, we have achieved some improvements. But it will be a constant challenge to move more Singaporeans to public transport. We will work even harder to stay the course and achieve the challenging goals we have set out in the Masterplan," added Mr Yam Ah Mee, LTA Chief Executive.

About HITS

16 Conducted every four to five years, the comprehensive survey provides the Land Transport Authority (LTA) with relevant indicators on household travel patterns, and helps LTA to shape and refine its transport policies and plans. About 10,500 households participated in HITS 2008 over a nine-month period in 2008.