Parliament: Significant resources needed for a world-class public transport system: PM Lee

In a bid to improve the public transport system, the Government will continue to subsidise and invest resources in it, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 
In a bid to improve the public transport system, the Government will continue to subsidise and invest resources in it, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 

SINGAPORE - In a bid to improve the public transport system, the Government will continue to subsidise and invest resources in it, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

However, commuters must also be prepared to pay their share, he added.

"We have to find right balance in cost-sharing between Government, private sector and commuters", said Mr Lee in Parliament on Wednesday.

Public transport issues have been a bugbear of late, with several MPs commenting that it is an area the Government needs to work on.

"Our aim is not just to have more buses and trains running, but to build a first-class public transport system," said PM Lee.

He added that Singapore can learn from cities with good public transport systems, such as London which runs a hybrid system with both government and private sector participation.

"The fares are not cheap...but even then, it doesn't cover all the costs and (the Government) subsidises the service heavily with taxpayers' dollars," said Mr Lee.

In his speech, he also said that the Government "has made steady progress in the past three years".

The Bus Service Enhancement Programme has also been rolled out, while train service providers have also been working to reduce disruptions and spread out peak hour traffic.

The Government has also taken steps to manage the inflow and profile of foreign workers here, while strengthening social safety nets and balancing growth with social priorities, said Mr Lee.

In housing, authorities have stabilised the housing market and cleared the queue of first-timers applying for Housing Development Board flats, he said.