LTMP’s Public Transport Focus Right on Track
1. Over the past four years, more people have opted for public transport instead of private vehicles for their daily commute, and more so if they stay near an MRT station. These are some key findings according to the latest Household Interview Travel Survey (HITS) 2012 conducted by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) between June 2012 and May 2013.
2. Conducted every four to five years, HITS 2012 is a comprehensive survey that provides the LTA with relevant indicators on household travel patterns, and helps to shape and refine transport policies and plans. A total of about 10,000 households participated in the survey.
Key Changes in Travel Patterns
3. Comparing the results of HITS 2012 with HITS 2008, there has been a 13% increase in daily journeys, from 11 million journeys made in 2008 to 12.5 million in 2012.
4. Public transport peak period mode share also increased from 59% in 2008 to 63% in 2012, reversing the downward trend since the survey was first conducted in 1997. More details can be found in Figures 1 and 2 (Annex A).
Changes in Public Transport Travel Patterns
5. There is a 14% increase in trips made on public transport as a whole, with strong growth in train trips of 35% – from 1.7 million daily train trips in 2008 to 2.3 million in 2012. Daily bus trips also grew, from 3.1 million trips in 2008 to 3.2 million in 2012.
6. Singapore commuters are also more likely to use public transport if they live nearer to a MRT station. Among those who live within 400m of a station, about 71% would take public transport as their primary commuting option. This compares with 67% for those staying about 800m from an MRT station and 55% for those staying more than 2km away. As our rail network expands, more Singaporeans will be living nearer to an MRT station and using public transport instead of cars.
7. In addition, a denser and more connected rail system has a network effect that will increase the convenience and attractiveness of using public transport, resulting in higher usage rates. For example, within those already living close to an MRT station, we see an increase in the rate of public transport usage, from 65% in 2008 to 71% in 2012. This period coincided with the addition of 40km of rail lines over the last four years, in particular, the opening of the Circle Line, as well as the Circle Line Extension and Boon Lay Extension. As we continue to expand the rail network, the combined effect of having more households within easy access to an MRT station and an increasing likelihood of using public transport given a denser and more connected rail network, would help us to achieve our public transport mode share targets.
8. Public transport journeys less than 20km that are completed within 60 minutes have, however fallen by 3%, with 76% of such journeys completed within an hour, as compared to 79% in 2008. This is largely due to slower bus speeds on our roads. We will therefore step up efforts to give buses more priority on our roads, as well as facilitate more efficient bus-rail transfers such as better feeder services, and together with an expanding rail network, aim to gradually raise this to the long-term target of 85%.
Changes in Private Car Ownership Patterns
9. The growth in private vehicle trips slowed down significantly to 9% from 2008 to 2012, compared to 29% from 2004 to 2008. This was partly a result of a slower increase in car population. However, during this period, our car population was still growing faster than the resident population, resulting in more households owning cars now than before. In 2012, 46% of households owned cars, compared to 40% in 2008, and 38% in 2004.
10. However, car ownership for households near MRT stations is observed to be lower. For households that are within 400m of a MRT station, only 39% own cars, as compared to 55% for households that are more than 1.8km from an MRT station. As we expand our train network with more rail lines and more stations and increase the coverage of households within walking distance to MRT stations, we should aim to reduce reliance on cars.
Moving Forward with LTMP 2013
11. “The findings of the latest survey reaffirms that our policies under the inaugural Land Transport Master Plan in 2008 are on the right track. To meet the challenges arising from land space constraints, we have to continue to make our public transport system more attractive to commuters. To do this, we are committed to improving our transport network with more connections, and to improve commuters’ travelling experience. Through these improvements, we hope that more will turn to public transport as a choice mode to reach their destinations more quickly and conveniently,” said Mr Chew Hock Yong, LTA Chief Executive.
12. As charted in the LTMP 2013, LTA will continue to create more connections by expanding the rail network from the existing 178km to 360km by 2030. This will be through the construction of five new MRT lines. Besides the long term rail expansion, LTA is also looking at adding new trains and improving the signaling system to ease crowding on trains.
13. LTA will also continue to improve bus services under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP) and will add some 800 buses to the existing bus fleet and introduce 40 new bus services so that commuters can enjoy shorter waiting times and more space on board. The bulk of these improvements will be made by 2014.
14. To improve the overall experience of commuters, especially in the first and last legs of their journeys, LTA will undertake a $330 million programme to build more than 200km of sheltered walkways. More lifts will also be built at overhead bridges to help the less mobile and elderly. A more extensive cycling path network will also be constructed to facilitate intra-town travel on bicycles and improve the journey between homes and MRT stations.
15. For more details on the LTMP 2013, please refer to www.lta.gov.sg.