Transport is an integral part of modern city life. The main purpose of any urban transport system is to make travel easier, quicker, comfortable, economical, inclusive, and safer for commuters. Singapore ranks as one of the world's most sustainable cities and provides a well-managed public transport infrastructure. With scarce land resources and a relatively large population, the government and industry players need to make the transportation system even more sustainable to reduce the impact on the environment. So here is how Singapore is planning and building a sustainable and comprehensive public transport network to meet the growing demand for mobility.

1. LTA is expanding the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) network to serve heavy transit corridors and Light Rapid Transit (LRT) systems to serve the medium traffic corridors. Bus frequency and taxi services have been improved.

2. Under the Singapore Green Plan 2030 (SGP30), the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has built a comprehensive electric vehicle (EV) roadmap to increase EV adoption. LTA has set a target of 60,000 EV charging points by 2030. 

3. The Singapore government has committed S$300 million to EV initiatives in Budget 2021, including enhancing charging networks and revising road taxes.

4. The government has launched Autonomous Vehicle (AV) technology to open up new mobility options for commuters. Through on-demand and dynamically routed autonomous bus and shuttle services, the first-and-last mile (FLM) connectivity in Singapore can be enhanced. 

5. Public transport operator, SMRT Corporation, has established SMRT Group Sustainability Bond Framework to invest in initiatives and businesses to bring sustainability in transportation. Commenting on SMRT’s sustainability efforts, SMRT CEO, Neo Kian Hong, said: “Sustainability is a key aspect of our growth strategy. In line with the Singapore Green Plan 2030, our Roads Group, through its Strides Mobility brand, is committed to providing best-in-class mobility solutions with the lowest carbon footprint. Through both Mobility-as-a-Service and Electrification-as-a-Service, we intend to bring charging infrastructure and a diverse fleet of electric taxis, cars, vans, limousines, motorcycles, and buses to meet the evolving needs of a diverse local and regional market.”

6. Public transport operators in Singapore, such as SMRT, have also adopted a sustainable operational model by introducing efficient waste management, solar-powered train depots, water recycling systems, electric taxis, and lower paper consumption.

7. The government implemented ‘CAR-LITE’ which is a 15-year plan to reduce reliance on petrol-fuelled cars. There is now 460km long cycling path in Singapore, and LTA will expand the cycling path network to 800km by 2023.

8. LTA is also working on a range of projects to improve connections between homes and public transport options. It is adding and upgrading walking infrastructure by adding Silver Zones and Walk2Ride for greater safety, comfort, and convenience.

9. More companies in Singapore have started offering Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) solutions that bring together public transport with private sector offerings. For instance, mobilityX, a seed start-up funded by SMRT Corp., provides a MaaS solution. The solution integrates train and bus networks with next-generation transport modes, such as autonomous vehicles, bicycle-sharing systems, and personal mobility devices.

Conclusion

Rail networks, roads and MaaS solutions now define the structure of many cities. A sustainable transportation revolution is underway in Singapore. The government and transport operators like SMRT have increased emphasis on sustainability with EV initiatives, MRT expansion, MaaS and EaaS services, “car-lite” plan, and cycling and walking infrastructure development.

About the Author

Chloe Tay

Chloe is an enthusiast of sustainable initiatives. She always works with companies that have adopted sustainable operations. She loves to share her views on sustainable projects that lower the impact on the environment.