LTA seeks ideas to realise Singapore's car-lite dream

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong greeting a passer-by near Little India MRT station yesterday. A 150m linkway connecting the station to Tekka Market is the latest covered walkway finished under LTA's Walk2Ride scheme.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong greeting a passer-by near Little India MRT station yesterday. A 150m linkway connecting the station to Tekka Market is the latest covered walkway finished under LTA's Walk2Ride scheme.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Public urged to give their feedback on strategies for next land transport masterplan

The answer is clear: Singapore wants to go car-lite.

But the question is how to coax more Singaporeans to make walking, cycling or taking public transport their preferred choice for commuting.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA), which is working on the next transport masterplan, wants people to give their ideas on what can work.

Some strategies LTA has suggested include developing more road corridors with dedicated bus lanes and cycling paths, and having more direct travel options such as on-demand bus services.

The feedback will go towards drawing up the Land Transport Master Plan (LTMP) 2040.

To help steer the discussion, a 13-page public consultation document on the LTMP 2040 was launched yesterday by Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary at LTA's Hampshire Road headquarters.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the guest of honour at the event, opened the SG Mobility Gallery, a 1,000 sq m showcase offering visitors a glimpse into the future of Singapore's land transport system.

Mr Lee also walked from the LTA premises to the nearby Tekka Centre, where a ceremony was held to mark the completion of LTA's $300 million Walk2Ride initiative, which started in 2013.

The 150m linkway connecting Little India MRT station and Tekka Market is the latest covered walkway to be finished under Walk2Ride. It is also the last stretch to be completed in the programme to build new covered pathways totalling 200km, set out in the previous masterplan.

The public consultation paper for LTA's 2040 masterplan has three broad themes.

 
 
 
 

The first is about how walking, cycling and riding can be made the preferred ways to travel, the second is on 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.

Eight strategies have been spelt out, which include developing regional centres so that jobs and amenities are closer to home, and transforming towns to be more car-lite, safer and more walkable.

Dr Janil said there are trade-offs to consider. "If we are assigning a little bit more land towards walking, cycling and riding in all of its forms, that has an impact on what we can do with roads."

LTA has appointed an advisory panel, chaired by Dr Janil and comprising 14 other members. The panel will consider public views and give recommendations early next year.

LTA will also hold focus group discussions from next month to January next year. One area raised by panel member and veteran unionist K. Thanaletchmi is how to cut down on commuting time.

"We receive a lot of feedback that travelling (often) becomes a one-hour journey in small Singapore. And (that means) less time spent with the family... We have got to engage the people... understand their problems and find plausible solutions," she added.

• Read more about the masterplan at www.lta.gov.sg/ltmp2040 and share your views at bit.ly/LTMP2040PCD

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 20, 2018, with the headline 'LTA seeks ideas to realise Singapore's car-lite dream'. Print Edition | Subscribe