Public Transportation

Public Transportation
In Singapore, there are three main modes of public transportation: bus, rail and taxi. In this lesson, we shall analyse how the government has enhanced public transportation as an alternative form of transport.


- Expand rail network
Our Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system started off with two MRT lines (NSL, EWL). Today, there are four lines which are the North South Line, East West Line, North East Line. In the near future, the government has planned to build new MRT lines including the Downtown Line, Thomson Line and the Eastern Region Line. By 2020, the government hopes to double the rail network from 148 km to 278 km.


- Distance-based through-fares
From the 3rd of July 2010, this distance-based fare system replaced the previous system, in which commuters had to pay a boarding charge each time one made a transfer. In the distance-based fare system, commuters pay for how far they have traveled for the journey, regardless of the number of transfers during the journey.


- Expand rail network
By expanding the rail network, the government aims to encourage the usage of public transportation instead of private transportation by bringing more convenience to commuters. More MRT stations and lines means more accessibility to different places, and this brings about convenience.

- Distance-based through-fares
Under this new system, LTA foresees that 2 in 3 passengers will pay less for their journey when taking the bus or a train. On the other hand, 1 out of 3 passengers who take a single bus/MRT trip will pay up to 40% more of what they had paid under the previous system. Overall, Singaporeans are estimated to spend 63% less on fares, and transport operators will earn S$88 million less a year.


Public transport is a shared transport service used by the public. By encouraging public transport as an alternative mode of transportation, more people will choose to take bus or train, and we are saving Singapore's precious land space. This is due to the fact that the ratio of commuters per vehicle for public transport is much less than that of private transport. Thus, the government can build and maintain less roads and expressways, which currently take up to 13% of our land space, and instead focus on developing the public transport infrastructure, which uses land more efficiently.


- Distance-Based Fare System
Based on data collected from 24 million public transport journeys over a one-week period in July, the Public Transport Council (PTC), confirmed that overall, commuters spend 68% less on public transport fares, 5% more than what was expected.

Principles of Governance

- Anticipate Change and Stay Relevant
Due to Singapore's limited land space, the government understood that we could not continue to build more roads and expressways on our precious land space, and instead turned to public transportation which utilises land more effectively as early as 1967. The government had planned to implement a public transport system since our independence, which have reduced the necessity of constructing more roads and expressways.

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