FUTURE OF SINGAPORE TRANSPORTATION
In this series of city blog, earlier we have shared various aspects of Singapore and its transportation system. Singapore has one of the best transportation infrastructure in the world. In this last blog we will discuss the future development that the Government of Singapore and Land Transport Authority (LTA) has planned for Singaporeans.
Singapore is a small state with a land area approximately 700 square kilometers and accommodating more than five million people. This statistics makes Singapore second most densely populated city in the world. And this exactly is the challenge that LTA and the Singapore government will face in future.
The government of Singapore has already begun taking actions by investing and improving existing public transit for the future population demand. As per the Master plan 2008, Singapore governments’ first target is making public transport as a mode of choice. Presently close to 60% of Singaporeans use public transit, which Singapore government targets to increase to 70% by 2020. Increased capacity of transportation modes and multimodal developments can be seen as the objectives in the coming years. LTA is investing heavily (S$50 billion) in rail improvements and expansion. Current rail coverage will be doubled by 2030 creating a rail network of 360 km. This involves expanding three existing rail lines and developing two new rail lines. LTA target is bringing 8 in 10 households to be within 10-minute walk of a rail station by 2030. Development of integrated transport hubs, which allows transfer from bus to train (light rail) or vice versa possible in the same facility, is considered one of the key issues so that travel demand can be minimized. Transport hubs are bustling with the shopping malls, and other recreational facilities. In our previous blogs we discussed about actions taken by LTA to increase first and last mile connectivity by introducing light rail. Recently LTA announced improving the connectivity for active transporters by creating sheds to the connecting passages to the rail stations and promoting “walk2ride” as a good and safe experience.
Another important target that LTA has set up in coming years in managing land use. Vehicle population growth is controlled in Singapore through vehicle quota system certificate of entitlement and other taxes. Some other taxes include road taxes in terms of electronic road pricing. Technological advancement are making pricing more convenient and efficient over the years. LTA is planning to bring pricing on the basis of vehicle miles travelled, along with the time and location of the travel. Restricted land area, which limits the road capacity, justifies these bold actions taken by the Singapore government.
Singapore runs one of the best public transport systems in Asia and shows compatibility in infrastructure with the developed cities in the world. In the coming years it will be interesting to observe the implementation of various transport policies by the Singapore government to satisfying increasing transport demands by growing population, which can serve as a role model to the emerging developing nations worldwide.