Land Transport Masterplan: Service quality is key feature

Land Transport Masterplan: Service quality is key feature
The peak-hour crowd at Bishan MRT station. To make public transport a choice mode – rather than a mode of no choice – the Land Transport Masterplan needs to look at issues such as how crowded trains can get.

Contrary to senior transport correspondent Christopher Tan's commentary ("Transport plan needs more than just hardware"; Tuesday), improving service quality is a key feature of the refreshed land transport masterplan. And in this regard, new hardware and infrastructure are necessary.

By adding more than 100 trains to the rail network to boost capacity, we will reduce commuter crowding. We are also upgrading the MRT signalling system so that trains can run more frequently and commuters will have a shorter wait.

In addition, the masterplan aims to further raise operating performance standards for rail operators to, among other things, ensure good standards for air-conditioning on trains and MRT stations, and reduce off-peak waiting times to not more than five minutes.

The Land Transport Authority has also been working with the rail operators to focus on preventive maintenance, including minimising water seepage.

As a result, train service reliability is improving. Train delays of more than five minutes have fallen, from 1.75 incidents per 100,000km of trains run in 2011, to 1.24 incidents this year.

Likewise, bus service levels will improve with the bulk of the Bus Service Enhancement Programme rolled out by the end of next year. Almost half of the 550 buses promised are now on the road. Fourteen new bus services have been introduced and 111 existing bus services improved.

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