Commuters don't mind longer journeys if it means a better ride, feedback shows

Commuters don't mind longer journeys if it means a better ride, feedback shows

Bus Stop Clementi
File photo of buses. (Photo: Xabryna Kek)

SINGAPORE: The public’s proximity to bus stops and MRT stations, as well as the ease of making transfers, are the most important things to consider in planning the land transport system, commuters who took part in a feedback gathering exercise have said.

Singaporeans surveyed also want a land transport system that facilitates easy access to work, live and play.

These were among the public feedback the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has received on its master plan, which will shape the future of land transport to 2040.

LTA is canvassing feedback on three broad themes: How to make public transport (including active mobility and shared vehicles) the preferred way to travel, making public transportation more inclusive, and how land transport can improve commuters' quality of life.

LTA said it has received more than 5,000 responses since it started gathering feedback in August through online polls, booths set up in community hubs and focus group discussions.

COMMUTERS DO NOT MIND LONGER JOURNEYS

One finding that surprised the transport authorities is that respondents do not mind a longer journey if it means a better ride. 

"People brought up - can we have Wi-Fi, can we have a more comfortable commuting experience, so I can do something; I can listen to a podcast, I can clear my emails, I can chat with my friends," Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary said on Sunday (Nov 25) at a REACH "listening point" (feedback gathering booth) outside Waterway Point in Punggol. 

"So if it's convenient and it has a nice experience, people don't mind (their journeys) taking a little bit longer. 

"It's not just it has to be fast and that's all they want. That was unexpected but it came across quite clearly in our focus group discussions."

About six in 10 people said having different options to travel from one place to another is important to them, so they can make decisions based on the number of transfers and travelling time. 

MORE GRACIOUSNESS, PLEASE

Almost everyone who gave their feedback at the community hubs wanted to see more graciousness among fellow commuters.

They agreed that commuters themselves play a part in creating a better commuting culture.

Commuters also said there is a need to prioritise use of MRT station lifts for those who need them more, and suggested that public transport staff be better trained to help commuters with special needs.

To date, three focus group discussions involving a total of 145 participants have taken place. A fourth will take place in January.

The e-poll will close on Dec 31, following which recommendations on the master plan will be submitted to the government by early 2019.

Source: CNA/mn(ra)

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