Land Transport Masterplan - Service Quality Is Key Feature

Media Replies 12 Oct 2013

We refer to Christopher Tan’s commentary “Transport Plan Needs More than just Hardware” (The Straits Times, 8 October 2013).

Contrary to the commentary, improving service quality is a key feature of the refreshed Land Transport Master Plan, and in this regard, new hardware and infrastructure are necessary. By adding more than 100 trains to the rail network to boost capacity, we will reduce commuter crowding. We are also upgrading the MRT signalling system so that trains can run more frequently and commuters will have a shorter wait. In addition, the Master Plan aims to further raise Operating Performance Standards for rail operators to, amongst others, ensure good standards for air-conditioning on trains and MRT stations, and reduce off-peak waiting times to not more than five minutes.

LTA has also been working with the rail operators to focus on preventive maintenance, including minimising water seepage. As a result, train service reliability is improving. Train delays of more than five minutes have fallen, from 1.75 incidents per 100,000 km of trains run in 2011, to 1.24 incidents in 2013.

Likewise, bus service levels will improve with the bulk of the Bus Service Enhancement Programme rolled out by the end of next year. Almost half of the 550 buses promised are now on the road. 14 new bus services have been introduced and 111 existing bus services improved. Commuters are seeing shorter waiting times and about a 40 percent reduction in the number of bus services that experience persistent crowding. Under the Master Plan, bus operators will be incentivised to make en-route interventions to improve bus regularity through a new Quality Incentive Framework. We will implement more bus lanes and extend the Mandatory Give-Way to Buses Scheme so that commuters will enjoy faster and more reliable bus journeys.

Similar to major cities like New York, London or Paris, Singapore will have to continually raise the quality of public transport to shift commuters away from private transport and improve the overall quality of life. A larger car population and more roads mean more air and noise pollution and less land for other needs such as housing and green space. Already, 12 percent of our limited land is used for roads. We cannot afford to have continued, unbridled growth in the amount of land we use for transport infrastructure. A high quality public transport system, which is more space-efficient and sustainable than a car-centric model, is therefore central to our land transport strategy.

The LTMP sets out how we intend to achieve this quality public transport system, with an extended network, increased capacity and higher service standards. When the key pieces of the Master Plan are in place, we are confident that we will be able to meet the service expectations of commuters.

Helen Lim (Ms)
Director, Media Relations
Land Transport Authority

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