Commuter satisfaction with public transport hit 9-year high in 2016: Poll

Commuters waiting for the train at Buona Vista MRT station.
Commuters waiting for the train at Buona Vista MRT station. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Commuters' satisfaction with public transport hit a nine-year high in 2016, according to an annual poll commissioned by the Public Transport Council (PTC).

The latest Public Transport Customer Satisfaction Survey revealed that the overall satisfaction level jumped 4.6 percentage points from last year to reach 96.4 per cent.

This was the third straight year of improvement in the satisfaction level, with survey respondents giving public transport a mean satisfaction score of 7.6 out of 10 - up from 7.2 the previous year.

According to the PTC, customer satisfaction improved across all service attributes for bus and MRT services.

Driven by higher ratings in areas such as customer service, service information and reliability, satisfaction with bus services rose to 96.7 per cent from 90.7 per cent.

"The improved results are likely attributable to several factors, including the transition to the Bus Contracting Model which has injected greater competition among the bus operators and hence motivated them to improve their services, and the adoption of performance standards for regularity of bus arrivals," said the PTC in its media release on Monday (Feb 6).

Overall MRT satisfaction also registered improvement, rising to 96 per cent from 93.2 per cent, thanks to improvements in the areas of comfort, travel time and waiting time.

Rail reliability also went up, recording a satisfaction level of 86.8 per cent versus the 83.7 per cent in 2015.

The PTC said the addition of new trains to the North-East and Circle Lines last year had eased crowding and improved wait and journey times, while the opening of the Downtown Line 2 in December 2015 had enhanced the convenience of public transport travel.

It also credited the Land Transport Authority and public transport operators' continued efforts in strengthening maintenance processes and increasing manpower, as well as asset renewals on the older North-South and East-West Lines.

The annual survey, which has been conducted since 2006, aims to understand commuters' expectations and needs as well as to identify areas for improvement.

For last year's survey, which was administered by the PTC for the first time, a total of 3,869 regular bus and MRT commuters aged 15 years and above were randomly selected and interviewed in October 2016 at bus interchanges, bus stops and MRT stations, both within and outside the CBD area, during both peak (7am-9am and 5pm-7pm) and off-peak periods.