The Straits Times says

Fresh ideas to drive public transport

The National Taxi Association and the National Private Hire Vehicles Association have made several interesting suggestions regarding the Land Transport Master Plan 2040. On the demand side, the most exciting of the recommendations is an integrated transport app to help commuters work out the best travel option for each trip, covering all modes of public transport, including taxis and private-hire services. Commuters should be able to buy packages allowing them to use the different transport options. Also, among other suggestions, making smoother transfers possible by changing current bus lanes or bus stops into mobility lanes and mobility stops for cabbies or private-hire drivers to pick up or drop off passengers.

On the supply side, taxi and private-hire drivers should not be restricted to any specific operator or ride-hailing to get bookings. Instead, they could subscribe to just one single app allowing them to get jobs from any operator. Also, taxi drivers and private-hire drivers should be allowed to perform delivery services. The upgrading of Singapore's public transport cannot be divorced from the need to ensure the livelihood of those who provide it. While it might not be feasible for the Government to incorporate all such suggestions into the masterplan, they provide evidence of the need for professional bodies and others to be involved in coming up with recommendations to improve the public transport infrastructure.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 22, 2018, with the headline 'Fresh ideas to drive public transport'. Print Edition | Subscribe