More can be done even as customer satisfaction improves
The Council has just released the results of the 2016 Public Transport Customer Satisfaction Survey and I am pleasantly encouraged by the strong endorsement from our commuters.
The 2016 survey showed that 96.4% of commuters were satisfied with their public transport experience – an improvement from 91.8% in 2015! The mean satisfaction score also saw a significant rise, from 7.2 in 2015 to 7.6 in 2016.
What do the results of the survey mean?
It is a significant validation that our commuters recognise and appreciate the hard work that have gone into improving our public transport services. This serves as a tremendous encouragement to all transport workers who have laboured extremely hard over the past years to improve our public transport services.
Commuters we spoke to shared their own experiences and how they have personally felt the improvements. They have felt the benefits of the expanded network and improved service level, such as higher frequency of train arrival and better overall journey experience.
For example, the opening of Downtown Line 2 (DTL2) in 2015 shows how the aggressive expansion of our rail network has drawn more people to public transport – ridership on the Downtown Line has more than tripled since the opening of the new section of the line. Adding of new trains to existing lines has also eased crowding and improved commuter waiting time in 2016.
Members of academia whom we meet and discuss public transport matters on a regular basis were heartened with the results. They felt that Singapore as a whole has done well to cater to the demands placed on the public transport system, through investments by the Government to improve infrastructure and service levels, and the accompanying enhancements to improve customer service and comfort.
We can expect more down the road. Later this year, commuters can look forward to the introduction of the Tuas West Extension which will extend the East-West Line from Joo Koon MRT station to the Tuas industrial district, benefiting the many workers there. The DTL3 will also open by the end of the year, which marks the completion of our fifth MRT line, further improving connectivity between businesses in town, Ubi and Expo with the heartlands in Tampines and Bedok. In addition, with the roll-out of a new signalling system for the North-South Line in the coming months, commuters can expect faster journeys.
On the bus side of the house, commuters have benefited from the higher service levels for buses under the Bus Contracting Model. In addition, the adoption of performance standards for regularity and punctuality of bus arrivals has also contributed to the improvements in customer satisfaction.
We have indeed made good progress. The work certainly does not stop here. Our commuters shared that they trust the Government to continue improving public transport. We will need to continue to work hard and make further improvements to deliver better services for commuters. I am confident that in the years to come, our public transport system will continue to improve and provide better rides for commuters.
Let me take this opportunity to wish all commuters a Happy Lunar New Year!