In every major city around the world, having a good transportation system is probably one of the top priority. An efficient transport facilitates the mobility of people, goods, and information. For a small country like Singapore, having a well-developed transportation network will give her a competitive edge. Today, Singapore’s arsenal of transportation consists of an extensive network of buses, MRT and cab services. According to Philemon (2017), “Singapore has been ranked eighth in a 2017 index of the urban transport systems of 100 cities around the world.”, and also “the third Asian city in the top 10”. Indeed, Singapore can claim that it has one of the best transport systems in the world.
Firstly, the convenience and efficiency that Singapore’s transport system brings to the commuter’s. Ho (2015) stated that dating back to the past, there was a hot debate on whether having rail or buses are more important. Even when the government agreed, it was meant to have only one MRT line which is the North-South Line accompanied with the high-performance bus system, to ease the traffic congestion that Singapore has experienced. Having one MRT line is definitely not a great idea in the current state of Singapore, hence it is a great vision for Singapore to expand its MRT lines, to accommodate to the commuters, travelling to different parts of Singapore.
According to Cambridge Dictionary (2018), efficiency is defined as “the condition or fact of producing the results you want without waste, or a particular way in which this is done”, while convenience is defined as “the fact that something is suitable for your purposes and causes no difficulty for your schedule or plans”. Currently, we have an extensive line of bus system and MRT lines, 157 stations running on 5 MRT and 3 LRT lines. In this way, commuters have an alternate way to get to their destination, either an easier or quicker way. The idea of having travel card like Ez-link card have brought us much convenience too. In the past, buses were slow because bus tickets were bought from the bus conductors, hence slowing down the process of boarding the bus. Now with Ez-link cards, commuters only need to tap their card to get on bus and to top up their card at one go and need not pay in cash each and every time they board the bus. Hence it is definitely convenient to the commuters and also increase the efficiency of the buses, not needing to hire an extra person to sell the tickets on the bus.
Next, is the affordability of the transport system in Singapore. Singapore is 18th in place when compared between 60 countries, found in a survey updated in 2013, by travel search website GoEuro. In Wade (2017) findings, Singapore rail and light rail cost is in between US$0.58 to US$1.58, where the highest cost is Venice, Italy’s water bus at US$7.87 and the lowest being Cairo, Egypt (metro) US$0.06. Hence, Singapore can be seen affordable, through out the years, being consistent in the affordability in the prices.
Moreover, Singapore have concession passes that can further cut down on the cost of what the commuters will be paying. Stated by LTA (2015), Adults, Children, Students, Senior Citizens, National Servicemen, Persons with Disabilities and Workfare Income Supplement recipients are able to get special concession. Hence, this enables people from different walk of life to be able to afford the transportation fees. The increase in number of bike sharing services like Obike or OFO, or the car pooling services like Grab or Uber, or private companies bidding for the management of the buses in Singapore, enables the prices to remain competitive and hence affordable for Singaporeans.
In addition, it is the comfort that Singapore transport system provide that makes us one of the best transport in the world. On buses, the seats are cushioned and it is also air conditioned. Places are also allocated for bulky items on the bus for passengers. On buses and trains, there are also places allocated for the wheelchair-bounded people or baby prams to park in, and on buses they also have a special platform that they can bring down to allow the wheelchair to get up the bus easily. There are also special seats that are allocated for the people who are in need of it, like the pregnant, elderly and the young. This definitely brings comfort to the Passengers. Rules like no food and drinks, or no durian, ensures the cleanliness of the carriage or the bus. In the current new buses there are also USB ports that allow commuters to charge their electronic gadgets on the go. These are definitely a contributing factor to Singapore transport system.
It is true that these are the things that make up to Singapore being the best transport in the world but no one can deny that there are also negative points about Singapore’s transport system. An example is the temporary plan for MRT disruption. Currently, MRT breakdowns are occurring so frequently, it is not a new thing. Often the resolution to this is only having special shuttle buses that will drive according to the MRT station lines. Due to the traffic conditions, it will often slow down the whole journey compared to taking the train. This causes wastage of time and money to plan and get onto another mode of transportation for commuters rushing to their destination, causing disruption to their schedule. Even though this show the imperfection in the system, but it is considerably quite efficient, in trying to solve the problem in the most suitable solution.
In conclusion, these are the factors that contribute to being one of the best transport in the world. However, there are still areas that can make Singapore transport system even better, which can be improve with the current advance technology, cutting down the unnecessary disruption, for a better ride than before.