Forum: Public transport infrastructure design continually being refined

I agree with Mr Gurmit Singh Kullar's view that public transport infrastructure design ought to be human-centred, and it generally is so (Details matter when designing public transport infrastructure, Jan 2).

This is in spite of the land constraints that transport planners have to work around.

With an advanced economy and ageing population, the design of such facilities in Singapore is a process that considers public consultations and feedback to accommodate the needs of the public, and which is refined along the way.

Notwithstanding the general wear and tear of public transport infrastructure, commuter satisfaction has been consistently high.

Findings from the Public Transport Customer Satisfaction Survey in the years 2018 and 2019 showed the score for comfort and safety/security to be above seven out of 10. Regular maintenance of such facilities leading to greater commuter inconvenience could have dented the score.

Singapore's transport system has also been ranked above those of other countries with an advanced transportation network (Singapore's public transport system ranked tops by US travel site, Oct 6, 2020).

As a country with one of the highest population densities, Singapore has to constantly manage competing land uses.

It is a balancing act to design user-friendly public transport facilities while setting aside reserve land for future development.

Faced with an ageing population, such facilities have to be redesigned and the process requires time for study and implementation.

While expectations of their design do fall short occasionally, this can be attributed to the complexity of using land that may fall under the purview of several public agencies.

To increase commuter satisfaction, efforts have been made to refine public transport infrastructure.

The Public Transport Council has regular public consultations to obtain information on the travelling experiences of different segments of society.

The Commuters At The Heart Of Singapore's Public Transport System report in 2016 and the Family-Friendly Transport Advisory Panel report in 2018 recommended that the Ministry of Transport improve access to public transport facilities and provide better information on them.

One public transport operator has also introduced several initiatives to improve the travel experience, such as installing four-sided panels showing information across its stations (SMRT improves app, stations in effort to help commuters, Feb 5, 2018).

Timothy Toh Hong Ern

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