Singapore gears up for faster, car-lite transport by 2040

Land Transport Master Plan panel to submit recommendations to Govt by mid-February

Singapore's transport revolution is getting into high gear with predictions that 90 per cent of peak-hour journeys will be made either on foot, by bicycle or other car-lite means by 2040.

And if that isn't radical enough, it is estimated that 90 per cent of those trips will take 45 minutes or less to complete.

This vision was outlined by the Land Transport Master Plan (LTMP) advisory panel at a focus group session yesterday. The session - the fourth of its kind - involved around 50 people discussing the future of Singapore's land transport system.

Around 7,000 members of the public and industry stakeholders have already given their views through LTA-organised focus group sessions, electronic polls and listening points since last August.

Some of the issues raised yesterday included striking a balance between faster journeys, greater convenience and inclusivity, prioritising different modes of transport and finding a balance between safety and speed.

The panel will consider feedback gathered and formulate recommendations to be submitted to the Government by mid-February.

The recommendations up to now fall under three main themes.

Under the 20-minute town and 45-minute city vision, the panel sees a future where 90 per cent of peak-hour trips made by walking, cycling and riding shared transport will be no longer than 45 minutes.

It also envisages 90 per cent of residents should be able to get to their nearest neighbourhood centre by such means in 20 minutes or less. This will require measures such as more bus and cycling lanes and an expansion of the rail network.

Student Roderick Foo, a 13-year-old participant in yesterday's session, said: "It's a relief to know that in the future we'll have this scheme so that we can travel faster."

A second theme centres on creating a more inclusive transport system supported by a caring and gracious commuting culture.

The third touches on safer and healthier journeys - not just in terms of personal health, but environmental impact as well. This demands a shift to cleaner transport solutions and more pedestrian-friendly and active mobility town centres.

LTMP advisory panel member Janil Puthucheary, who is also Senior Minister of State for Transport, said that if work starts now, these recommendations could become reality by 2040.

Correction note: The article has been updated to reflect the fact that it was the Land Transport Master Plan advisory panel which shared the car-lite vision at the focus group discussion. We are sorry for the error.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 13, 2019, with the headline Singapore gears up for faster, car-lite transport by 2040. Subscribe