To enhance the Land Transport Authority (LTA)’s pro-enterprise regulatory efforts, LTA has partnered the industry to streamline processes, build capabilities in the industry, and co-create more pro-enterprise solutions.
2 In March this year, Senior Minister of State for Transport Chee Hong Tat announced the formation of the Transport Infrastructure Collaboration Panel (TICP) during the Committee of Supply for Transport 2021. A key focus area of the Panel is to simplify the application and approval processes for building and construction of transport infrastructure, while ensuring that LTA’s technical and regulatory needs are met, and users’ connectivity and convenience are maximised.
3 To reduce processing time, LTA will be streamlining processes where possible. Currently, LTA allows some types of development plans to be submitted via a lodgement scheme, an in-principle approval granted based on the Qualified Persons’ (QPs) declaration of compliance with requirements. This comprises about 10 per cent of plans received by LTA today. Moving forward, LTA will also look into expanding the lodgement scheme to include more categories of submissions, to reduce the turnaround time for applicants.
4 One common challenge faced by the industry is the relative unfamiliarity of developers with the technical and regulatory requirements for submissions on development plans involving transport infrastructure or traffic flows. LTA is working closely with the industry associations to upskill industry professionals and familiarise them with LTA’s requirements, which will reduce the time taken for the submissions and improves submission standards.
Quick Guide Series for Development-Related Proposals
5 LTA will co-develop with the industry solutions and best practices, based on the “Quick Guide Series for Development-Related Proposals” that was first launched in 2020. The series, currently has four quick guides that focus on street works, vehicle parking, rail and road structural proposals, and these are available on LTA’s website.
Webinars for QPs and professionals
6 Since 2020, LTA has conducted two webinars for QPs and professionals. The first webinar held in November 2020 was on submissions for commuter facilities. The second webinar held in August 2021 was on the Amendments to Rapid Transit Systems Regulations. These webinars provided detailed explanations of the principles of road and commuter infrastructure design, industry best practices, common errors to avoid, as well as the latest amendments that professionals should be aware of, and the requirements for submissions to LTA.
7 Each webinar reached out to over 1,000 QPs and professionals, and was well received. More webinars, including one on Transport Impact Assessment in December 2021, are being planned for. Registration details will be made available closer to the webinar date.
Induction Course for Industry Professionals
8 To complement existing educational resources, LTA is working with the TICP to launch an induction course to familiarise industry professionals with LTA’s regulations. The course would be open to new industry entrants, fresh graduates and QPs who specialise in other areas but would like to better understand LTA’s submission requirements. This would greatly reduce the time spent on preparing the submissions while enabling developers to focus on the key deliverables necessary for such requirements.
Co-creation Series by LTA-Singapore Institute of Architects/The Institution of Engineers, Singapore
9 The TICP has kickstarted the LTA-Singapore Institute of Architects/Institution of Engineers, Singapore (LTA-SIA/IES) co-creation series. This is a ground-up working group to jointly identify areas for improvement and co-create solutions with a focus on technical and design aspects. Four workgroups were formed between the TICP members to look into matters involving Active Mobility, Railway & Infrastructure, Roads & Parking, and Traffic Impact Assessment. The workgroups have identified several problem statements in their respective areas and are exploring possible solutions to increase process efficiency to these four areas. The first of the series of solutions, the Quick Guide on Designing Delivery Spaces in Mixed Developments, co-created with the SIA was launched today. The outcomes of the other workgroups will be ready next year.
10 In addition to the above initiatives, platforms such as the TICP Forum which first met on 5 May 2021, help to facilitate closer engagement with the industry. Through such quarterly platforms, any changes to regulatory requirements can be more effectively communicated to the industry, who in turn can provide their views on prevailing technical requirements and processes. Frequent cross-sharing of views will also contribute to more innovative solutions and place LTA in a better position to support new ideas and business models amidst the changing land transport and built-environment trends.
11 LTA Chief Executive Ng Lang said: “The issues we face currently are long processing time for submissions, high number of iterations during submissions and unfamiliarity with regulatory requirements. They are not insurmountable. It requires collaboration between industry and regulator to understand each other’s requirements better. With the TICP, we have taken concrete action on many fronts, big and small, to improve the experience not just for the industry, but also for LTA as the regulator.