Commuter satisfaction in public transport highest in more than a decade: PTC survey

Commuter satisfaction in public transport highest in more than a decade: PTC survey

bus mrt file Singapore
File photo: TODAY/Nuria Ling

SINGAPORE: Commuter satisfaction levels with public transport improved in 2018, according to the results of a survey released by the Public Transport Council (PTC) on Wednesday (Feb 13). 

The annual Public Transport Customer Satisfaction Survey (PTCSS), which was conducted in October last year, showed the mean satisfaction score rise to 7.9 out of 10 in 2018, the highest in more than a decade and up from 7.7 in 2017.

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said the results of the survey were "inspiring" for transport workers on the ground. 

"They work day and night, to regain public trust. Their efforts are showing results. But they are not complacent," he wrote in a Facebook post. 

He added that workers are aware that commuters have high expectations and that they would have to "work even harder and smarter to meet the demand". 

READ: 2018 a much better year for public transport: Khaw Boon Wan

READ: Higher rail reliability target for 2020 set, as improvements seen: Khaw Boon Wan 

Public transport mean satisfaction score
The mean satisfaction score for public transport rose from 7.7 in 2017 to 7.9 in 2018. (Graphic: PTC)

The percentage of respondents who were satisfied with public transport in 2018 also increased compared to the previous year.

Overall, satisfaction levels rose to 97.9 per cent from 94.5 per cent in 2017. 

Commuters satisfaction table
Table showing commuters' satisfaction with public transport, bus and MRT services over the past five years. (Table: PTC)

Satisfaction with MRT services improved, with the mean satisfaction score rising from 7.5 in 2017 to 7.9 in 2018, said the PTC. 

Service attributes such as waiting time and reliability saw the biggest improvements from 2017 to 2018, up from 7.0 to 7.6 and 6.7 to 7.6 respectively. 

"The uptick in commuter satisfaction is a reflection of overall improvements made in rail reliability," the PTC said. Commuters' mean satisfaction score for reliability rose from 6.7 in 2017 to 7.6 last year.   

PTC graph
Table showing public transport satisfaction from 2008 to 2016. (Graphic: PTC)

"This mirrors the significant improvement in the MRT network’s Mean Kilometres Between Failure (MKBF), from 181,000 train-km in 2017 to 690,000 train-km in 2018," said the PTC. 

MKBF calculates the mean distance travelled before a train fault lasting more than five minutes.

This improvement can be attributed to factors like intensified maintenance efforts and investments put in by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and public transport operators to improve rail reliability over the past three years, it added. 

The Downtown Line 3, which opened in October 2017, could also have contributed to the higher mean satisfaction scores for MRT across the board, said the council.

SATISFACTION WITH BUS SERVICES REMAIN HIGH

Satisfaction with bus services maintained at a mean score of 7.9, according to the survey.  

While the mean satisfaction scores improved for service attributes such as waiting time, travel time and reliability, scores for stop/station accessibility dipped in the year. 

The PTC said that since the implementation of the Bus Contracting Model in 2016, the overall satisfaction with bus services have continually improved with the mean score rising from 7.2 in 2015 to 7.9 in 2018. 

The PTC Satisfaction Survey has been conducted annually since 2006. For the latest survey, 5,000 bus and MRT commuters, aged 15 years and above, were randomly selected and interviewed during both peak (7am to 9am and 5pm to 7pm) and off-peak periods. 

Source: CNA/ad(mn)

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