The Big Story: Public transport ridership in S'pore rises but numbers still far from pre-pandemic levels

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Public transport ridership recovered in 2021 on the back of relaxed Covid-19 restrictions, but the numbers are still the second lowest since 2010.

Bus and train rides averaged 5.259 million a day in 2021 - 4.3 per cent higher than in 2020, based on figures released by the Land Transport Authority on Monday (Feb 21).

Buses posted a bigger improvement, with ridership rising by 4.5 per cent to more than three million, while MRT and LRT rides rose by 4.1 per cent to 2.251 million a day.

Meanwhile, taxi and private-hire car rides also improved last year. An average of 553,000 trips a day were made by these two point-to-point modes - a 7.2 per cent increase from 2020.

Private-hire cars chalked up an 8 per cent growth to 321,000 trips, while taxis posted a 5.9 per cent improvement to 232,000 trips a day.

Senior transport correspondent Christopher Tan discusses these findings.

Separately, construction of the third and final leg of the Cross Island Line could wrap up at the end of 2033, The Straits Times has learnt.

This is the first time an indicative date for the completion of Singapore's eighth MRT line has been made known publicly, and the third phase will give commuters in the west another option to travel by rail and connect to other lines.

Overseas, United States President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have agreed in principle to a summit over Ukraine, the office of French President Emmanuel Macron said, provided Russia does not invade its neighbour.

In a statement released early on Monday, the Elysee Palace said Mr Macron had pitched to both leaders on a summit over "security and strategic stability in Europe".

And don't miss this week's Smart Parenting segment. Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng, chief executive of Science Centre Board, talks about the advantages of playing with physical toys over digital ones. He also shares tips on how parents can encourage their kids to play with physical toys.

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