COS 2021: Commuter-centric Public Transport

Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song (Aljunied): Efficient and convenient public transport is vital to achieving many of our national priorities. It allows HDB to build more flats away from the city. It enables workers to travel to further out workplaces and it helps us to reach our climate change goals.

I sold my car five years ago and now make most of my trips by bus and MRT. I have not regretted this decision and I highly recommend it to others who can afford not to drive.

Improving the commuter experience can convince more people to take public transport, reducing both traffic congestion and carbon emissions. How can we nudge much more people towards going car light? I have a few suggestions.

First, reduce the amount of walking needed during the journey. Singapore’s tropical weather is not conducive for walking outdoors for long distances while dressed up for work. Transport planners should keep this in mind when planning the location of bus stops and routes for feeder bus services. For example, some of my HDB and condominium residents living along Bedok Reservoir Road do not have a direct feeder bus to the nearby Bedok North MRT and have a rather long walk to and from the station.

Second, construct more cupboard linkways from from housing estates including private condominiums to transport nodes. Covered linkways can influence the commuters decision whether to brave the elements or to take private transport.

Third, reduce crowding on trains and buses so that commuters can have a more comfortable ride with better safe distancing. I hope MRT operators will also stop removing seats from their train cars because we commuters like sitting during our rides.

Forth, continue to make our roads and public transport more accessible for people with disabilities. I earlier suggested that how we should use tactile signals to enable visually impaired commuters to cross roads late at night. I look forward to that being implemented.

Ministry of Transport
5 March 2021

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