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Commuter satisfaction in public transport at 9-year high: PTC survey

Commuters’ satisfaction levels with public transport rose to 96.4 per cent last year, up from 91.8 per cent in 2015, according to a survey conducted by the Public Transport Council. 

SINGAPORE: Commuters’ satisfaction levels with public transport rose to 96.4 per cent last year - the highest in nine years and up from 91.8 per cent in 2015, according to the results of a survey released by the Public Transport Council (PTC) on Monday (Feb 6).

In terms of mean satisfaction score, respondents gave public transport 7.6 out of 10, up from 7.2 in 2015. There was improvement in commuter satisfaction across all service attributes for both bus and MRT services.

Source: Public Transport Council 

Satisfaction with MRT services was at 96 per cent, up from 93.2 per cent a year ago. The mean satisfaction score also rose to 7.6, up from 7.3 in 2015. The rise was largely driven by improvements in comfort, travel time and waiting time, the survey found.

“In particular, the addition of new trains to the North East and Circle Lines in 2016 had eased crowding and improved wait times and journey times. The opening of the Downtown Line 2 in December 2015 has enhanced the convenience of public transport travel for more commuters,” the PTC said.

Source: Public Transport Council

Rail reliability has also improved due to the Land Transport Authority’s and train operators’ efforts at improving maintenance and increasing manpower, as well as asset renewals on the North-South and East-West Lines, it added.

As a result, the mean distance travelled between delays of more than five minutes across the network increased by 30 per cent, from 133,000 train-km in 2015 to 174,000 train-km in 2016.

“While the number of service delays of more than 30 minutes increased by one incident in 2016, measures to improve incident management and minimise the inconvenience to commuters, such as clearer communication of information on bus bridging services and alternative routes of travel, may have mitigated a little of the impact of these major disruptions on satisfaction levels,” the council said.

Satisfaction with bus services also rose to 96.7 per cent, up from 90.7 per cent a year ago. The mean satisfaction score was 7.6, up from 7.2 in 2015. The improvement was largely driven by higher ratings in areas such as customer service, service information and reliability.

Source: Public Transport Council

“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,” the PTC said.

“Improvements felt by commuters can also be attributed to service excellence initiatives put in place by the operators to give recognition to frontline staff who go the extra mile for commuters,” it added.

The Public Transport Customer Satisfaction Survey has been conducted annually since 2006. For the latest survey, 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, during both peak (7am to 9am and 5pm to 7pm) and off-peak periods.