By 2040, 90% of peak-hour trips in Singapore should take 45 mins or less, a government-appointed panel says

Commuters during the peak hour period at Raffles Place MRT station.
The Straits Times

In 20 years’ time, peak-hour transport should be so efficient that nine in 10 trips made during the rush hours are completed in 45mins or less, an advisory panel for Singapore’s Land Transport Master Plan (LTMP) 2040 has recommended.

The panel received more than 7,400 responses from members of the public in an engagement exercise, in which commuters said they wanted a land transport system that is convenient, well-connected and fast. They also said they wanted a commuter experience that is both gracious and inclusive, and which contributes to better health and safer journeys for all, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) revealed on Friday (Feb 15).

Dr Janil Puthucheary, the chair of the LTMP Advisory Panel said Singapore’s land transport system “needs to transform to continue to support Singapore’s growth, and meet the evolving needs of our commuters”.

Dr Puthucheary, who is also Senior Minister of State for Transport & Communications and Information, added that the system will in future face challenges such as technological disruptions to the industry, demographic changes and land constraints.

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According to a statement published by the LTA, the panel outlined three key targets for the LTMP: 20-min towns and a 45-min city, transport for all, and healthier lives and safer journeys.

Here’s what achieving these targets will mean for the future of land transport in Singapore.

20min towns and a 45min city

The panel said that the land transport system in 2040 should be so convenient that public, active and shared transport modes account for nine in 10 of all peak-period journeys.

These transport modes should be connected seamlessly, and supported by continued investment in the bus, rail and the active mobility network, as well as innovative point-to-point mobility services, it said.

“All journeys to the nearest neighbourhood centre will be completed in less than 20 minutes, and nine in 10 of all peak-period journeys will be completed in less than 45 minutes, saving the average peak-period commuter about 15 minutes every weekday,” it added.

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Transport for all

Among the suggestions heard by the panel, many were for a more inclusive transport system that takes into account the needs of elderly people, persons with disabilities and families with young children.

“This must be a collective effort between commuters, transport operators and the Government,” the statement said, adding that commuters should “play their part in fostering a gracious and caring commuting culture that makes journeys more pleasant and enjoyable for everyone”.

Additionally, journeys to public sector infrastructure and public housing estates should be barrier-free by the year 2040, the panel said. Transport operators should also ensure public transport workers are able to meet the diverse needs of commuters with special and invisible needs.

Healthy lives, safer journeys

In its recommendations, the panel also said that the transport system should help to improve Singaporeans’ quality of life and create a more liveable Singapore.

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To this end, it has recommended providing more community spaces for walking, cycling and public transport.

It also urged for a “Vision Zero” environment with fewer land transport-related fatalities.

But that’s not all. The panel is also mooting the use of cleaner energy sources for all shared fleet vehicles, starting with public buses. “This will help reduce air and noise pollution, and contribute to longer-term improvements in environmental sustainability and public health,” the statement said.

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