More Commuters Satisfied with Public Transport in 2014, but More Needs to be Done

News Releases 11 Mar 2015 Public Transport Customer Satisfaction Survey (PTCSS) Committee of Supply (COS)

Rail satisfaction up after four-year decline;
bus satisfaction up for second consecutive year

1.Public satisfaction with public transport improved in 2014. The 2014 Public Transport Customer Satisfaction Survey (PTCSS)1 showed that satisfaction levels improved by close to three percentage points to 91.3%, from 88.5% in 2013. Please refer to Figure 1 below for the satisfaction levels recorded in the past several years.

Highlights of survey findings

2. Satisfaction with MRT services improved for the first time in four years, rising by almost 4 percentage points to 92.8%, from 88.9% in 2013. All eight service attributes registered higher satisfaction levels. The top three most improved attributes were:

a. Wait time (by 8.6 percentage points, compared to 2013);
b. Customer service (by 6.7 percentage points);
c. Reliability (by 4.2 percentage points).

3. The higher satisfaction ratings could be due to the addition of 13 new trains for the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL), as well as about 400 more weekly train trips each for the North East Line (NEL) and Circle Line (CCL) in 2014. The efforts of the Joint Teams of LTA and the rail operators to strengthen the reliability of our rail network could also have contributed, as seen in the continued reduction in service delays and train withdrawals in 2014.

4. However, as the incidents since the beginning of this year show, there remains room for improvement in train reliability, and there is much more work to be done by LTA and the rail operators.

5. Satisfaction with bus services improved for the second consecutive year, with satisfaction levels increasing by about 2 percentage points to 90.2%, from 88.3% in 2013. Customer service saw the biggest improvement (by 3.5 percentage points). Most other service attributes, including service information, reliability and comfort, also registered higher satisfaction levels. This could be due to the 550 additional buses that we have injected into the public bus network since the start of the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP), to introduce new services and improve existing services.

More work remains to be done to further improve public transport

6. Nevertheless, there remain areas which we need to further improve. For one, we will continue to invest effort and resources in adding train capacity. From now until 2019, 99 additional trains will be added to the NSEWL, NEL and CCL, increasing the overall fleet by 50%. With these new trains and the completion of the upgrading of the signalling system for the North-South Line and the East-West Line by 2016 and 2018 respectively, commuters will see further improvements in train wait times and comfort.

7. LTA and the rail operators will continue to improve the reliability of the rail network. These include carrying out upgrading programmes for the older NSEWL trains and for the tracks, such as the third rail replacement. LTA will also study the operators’ response to recent incidents, and work closely with them to improve incident management measures, such as through better information dissemination on bus bridging services and alternative transport options, as well as better crowd management. These response plans will also be validated and fine-tuned during LTA’s ground deployment exercises.

8. LTA will also continue working with the public transport operators to further improve bus capacity and wait times. LTA will inject another 450 Government-funded buses under the BSEP. Upon its completion in early 2017, we would have increased the bus fleet by 35% compared to September 2012 when the BSEP was introduced. From now until then, connectivity and service levels will be further enhanced with the introduction of an additional 40 new bus routes and improvements to existing services during peak hours, and with feeder services expected to run at even shorter intervals of six to eight minutes during peak hours.

9. With the progressive transition to the Government Contracting Model from the second half of 2016, commuters will also benefit from higher service levels, beyond BSEP service levels. All bus services will have scheduled intervals of no more than 15 minutes during the morning and evening peak periods, with at least half of these having shorter scheduled intervals of no more than 10 minutes.

10. To encourage bus operators to focus on enhancing bus reliability, LTA introduced a two-year trial of the Bus Service Reliability Framework, which is an incentive-penalty scheme, for 22 services last year. The BSRF trial results have been encouraging so far and LTA will provide detailed information in time.

11. With the various upcoming initiatives and improvements in MRT and bus services, commuters can look forward to even shorter waits, better service levels and more comfortable journeys. 

Annex A: Details of PTCSS 2014

1 The survey was conducted by SIM University. The survey is usually conducted around October each year and aims to understand commuters’ expectations and needs, as well as identify areas for improvement.

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