Commuters prize convenience, connectivity and speed most in land transport system

Two in three people prefer to walk, cycle or ride, according to surveys done for the Land Transport Master Plan 2040.
Two in three people prefer to walk, cycle or ride, according to surveys done for the Land Transport Master Plan 2040.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Commuters prize convenience the most in Singapore’s land transport system, followed by connectivity and fast travel time, according to surveys done on the 2040 Land Transport Master Plan.

Proximity to bus stops and MRT stations, as well as ease of transferring from one transport mode to another featured prominently in the feedback, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

Such feedback will have a direct impact on the plan, Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary told reporters on Sunday (Nov 25) at an event held at Waterway Point.

Dr Janil, who chairs the Land Transport Master Plan Advisory Panel, noted that two-thirds of people who have given feedback “have supported non-car-owning solutions, for example, walking, cycling, riding scooters, last-mile solutions, as well as using cars in a different way from point-to-point, like taking a shared or leased vehicle”.

The need for more gracious behaviour among commuters was another theme that emerged from most of the 5,000 responses received via various channels.

He said: “This feedback we’ve received about making the public transport system more usable - connected, convenient, fast - and having people’s mindsets change, will have a direct impact on our master plan.”

There will always be trade-offs, he said, adding: “If we make this bit easier, it means you make that bit a little slower.

"So, now that we know that more than two-thirds of Singaporeans support this idea of ‘walk, cycle, ride’ as a key component of land transport, and almost everybody supports the idea that behavioural change and being more gracious is an important part, we know where to make the trade-offs and invest our efforts."

The LTA said participants at the focus group discussions it held said they prefer to walk, cycle or ride to their destinations instead of driving, so long as the entire journey takes less than hour.

It also said more than two-thirds of respondents wanted to see more priority and space allocated to pedestrians, cyclists and users of personal mobility devices, instead of cars.

Dr Janil said another interesting finding was that people do not mind if their commute took a little bit longer - not a lot longer - provided it is convenient.

He said some have asked for Wi-Fi and a more comfortable environment for them to do things like listen to podcasts, chat with friends or clear e-mails.

“If it’s convenient and a nice experience, people don’t mind it taking a bit longer. It’s not just ‘it has to be fast and that’s all I want’”, he added.

LTA has been collecting feedback for the 2040 land transport master plan since August and the plan’s public consultation paper has three broad themes.

The first is about how walking, cycling and riding can be made the preferred ways to travel, the second is about making these modes of commuting easier and more inclusive, and the third looks at how a land transport system can improve the quality of life.

On Sunday, a booth was set up at Waterway Point to gather feedback on the master plan. This added to six other booths set up by LTA and Reach across Singapore over the last two months, at places including One Raffles Place and Nanyang Technological University. The LTA has also held focus group discussions on the three broad themes of the master plan.

The public can continue to provide feedback online through an electronic poll and the public consultation document on LTA’s website until Dec 31.

The 15-member advisory panel headed by Dr Janil will take in the views gathered before submitting a set of recommendations to the Government by early next year.