Friday 11 March 2016

Public Transport Customer Satisfaction Survey 2015

Commuters happier with bus, train services: Survey
By Christopher Tan, Senior Transport Correspondent, The Straits Times, 10 Mar 2016

Commuters were more satisfied with bus and train services last year than they have ever been since 2011, when massive rail breakdowns weighed on sentiment.

According to the latest annual Public Transport Customer Satisfaction Survey, the satisfaction level inched upwards by 0.5 point to reach 91.8 per cent - the highest since 2010's 92.2 per cent.

It was the second consecutive improvement since the Government pumped in billions to expand the bus fleet, and ramped up a renewal plan for the North-South and East-West MRT lines.

The satisfaction level for bus services improved for the third consecutive year, rising to 90.7 per cent, from 90.2 per cent in 2014.

The most significant improvement was in waiting time, with the satisfaction level rising to 72.4 per cent from 61.8 per cent in 2014. Despite that, waiting time remained the lowest-scoring component of all the bus service attributes. Bus reliability showed the second biggest improvement.

The satisfaction level for the MRT also rose, despite an unprecedented breakdown in July that affected nearly half a million people.

Service information also showed a big improvement.

However, the MRT scored somewhat poorly in absolute terms for crucial components such as reliability and comfort. They stood at 83.7 per cent and 78.9 per cent, respectively. In comparison, buses scored 87.8 per cent for comfort.

Overall, public transport commuters were most satisfied with accessibility to bus stops, stations and interchanges. Next came safety and security. A total of 3,843 regular bus and MRT commuters aged 15 years and above were interviewed from Oct 5 to 9 at bus interchanges, bus stops and MRT stations, in and outside the Central Business District. Among them, 67 per cent felt public transport improved last year - up from 60.8 per cent who felt this way in 2014.

Since the first survey in 2006, public transport chalked up its best overall scores in 2009 with 93.8 per cent of the commuters indicating they were satisfied.

The worst year was 2013, when the score dipped to 88.5 per cent.

Bukit Timah resident Anthony Ng, 66, said he notices a "slight" improvement in service standards.

"It is more discernible for buses," the retiree said.

"Service intervals are shorter. But I must say bunching still occurs, and the arrival info is not always accurate."

The chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport, Mr Sitoh Yih Pin, said: "I take public transport from time to time, and I think it's quite apparent that it has improved, both in terms of comfort and availability."

As we continue to work towards improving our public transport system, we are encouraged by the findings of sustained...
Posted by Land Transport Authority – We Keep Your World Moving on Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Bus and train ridership hits new high
LRT patronage up 10.9% and MRT up 4.2%; bus passenger trips rise 3.7%; cab trips down
By Christopher Tan, Senior Transport Correspondent, The Straits Times, 10 Mar 2016

Bus and rail ridership rose by 4.1 per cent last year to hit a daily average of 6.9 million, a new record and the 11th consecutive annual rise since 2005.

According to statistics from the Land Transport Authority (LTA), LRT patronage led the growth, increasing by 10.9 per cent to 152,000 passenger trips per day. This was followed by MRT trips, which climbed 4.2 per cent to 2.9 million.

Together, rail ridership grew 4.6 per cent to cross the three million mark for the first time - more than double the ridership a decade ago.

Bus passenger trips grew by 3.7 per cent to 3.9 million.

The public transport ridership growth has come on the back of a growing population and more prohibitive car prices.

It has also been driven by more buses, trains and to a smaller extent, the opening of Downtown Line 2 in late December.

The chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport, Mr Sitoh Yih Pin, said: "I'm not surprised by the increase. I think it's quite apparent that there's been an increase in supply of buses and trains."

As at the end of last year, more than three quarters of a planned tax-funded fleet of 1,000 public buses have been put on the road.

Rolled out in 2012, the Bus Service Enhancement Programme was a response to burgeoning demand from a population spike that the two publicly listed transport companies, SBS Transit and SMRT, were not able to cope with on their own.

On the rail side, 12 new trains were injected into the Circle Line to grow the fleet to 52. Four were added to the North East Line's fleet of 25. More new trains are on the way for the various MRT lines.

Meanwhile, taxis, which are sometimes viewed as a cross between private and public transport, suffered a dip in ridership last year. According to the LTA, average daily cab trips fell by 1 per cent to 1.01 million.

ComfortDelGro spokesman Tammy Tan said: "As the rail network expands, it is not surprising that overall taxi ridership will dip."

But veteran cabby Tony Pang, 66, said: "It's more like a 30 per cent drop if you look at the period from last September till now."

Mr Pang blamed the situation on "third party apps" such as Uber and Grab. These companies have been tying up with rental car operators and suppliers to put out thousands of private cars catering to on-call taxi services.

According to LTA statistics, the rental car population grew by more than 50 per cent to 29,369 last year, which industry watchers attribute largely to the growing popularity of such services.

On that score, people are hailing more cabs - just not necessarily from the traditional operators, nor on the street.

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