Psychology Volunteers on Bikes core group Mishka Watin, Edna Lee and Monica Manluluyo went to Singapore last June 23-30, 2014 to learn about the sustainable practices of Singapore and the growth of sustainable development in the country.
The Land Transport Authority was established in 1995 and formed due to the merging of the Registry of Vehicles, Mass Rapid Transit Corporation, Roads & Transportation Division of the Public Works Department and Land Transportation Division of the former Ministry of Communications.
The government is aiming to make public transport the key to achieving a sustainable solution to Singapore’s long-term land transport needs. They are doing this through the development of the rapid transit system and the expansion of the rail and bus networks.
There are currently 142 stations across the island with an average passenger count of 2 million, and the LTA is targeting the doubling of the rail network from 178km today to 360km by 2030.
Public buses complement Singapore’s MRT system, and the LTA, as a central bus network planner, is working with the Public Transport Operators to provide seamless transfers through improved waiting time for bus services. Between 2012 and 2016, there is an expected addition of 800 buses and 40 new bus routes under the Bus Service Enhancement Program of the LTA.
To ensure a smoother and faster journey, buses have been made a priority on roads. Since 2008, bus lanes have been extended from 120km to 150km. All motorists have to give way to buses at bus bays and the average speed of buses has been increased from 16-19km/h to 20-25km/h.
More than 3 million bus trips are taken on average each day, and to further ensure that everybody gets a safe and comfortable ride, wheelchair-accessible buses have been in service since 2006. As of the end of March 2012, 49.1% of the bus fleet are wheelchair-accessible, and by 2020, the LTA aims to have new and ramp-fitted buses.
The third type of Singapore’s public transport is the taxis. The LTA uses the Quality of Service to monitor the service and safety performance of taxi drivers and operators. They oversee the performance of all taxi operators through the taxi booking service, safety and taxi drivers’ conduct. Since January 2013, the performance of each operator for the Taxi Availability (TA) standards has been measured on a monthly basis. The TA standards is a way to ensure that taxis are better utilized and are more available on the roads to serve the commuters.To collect feedback directly from the people who use the taxi service, the LTA also conducts the following monthly audits: 1) public opinion surveys to rank various taxi companies; 2) mystery customer audits to monitor service levels and rank various taxi companies through driver service and ride experience; and 3) waiting time at taxi stands to find out the average waiting time at taxi stands from 5pm to 12am.
To support other forms of green transportation, 2,400 bicycle racks have been installed in 20 MRT stations as of 2013, and foldable bicycles are allowed on trains and buses during off-peak hours. The LTA also encourages people to walk, and to contribute further to environmental protection, they have partnered with the Building & Construction Authority to ensure that their road and construction projects stay environment-friendly.