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    Apr 05, 2016

    Public transport gets higher marks for quality, affordability

    MORE commuters are giving Singapore's public transport system the thumbs up.

    Research released yesterday by government feedback unit Reach shows that commuters' perceptions towards the quality and affordability of the public transport system have improved since last year.

    In a telephone poll with 1,200 Singapore residents aged 15 and older, 80 per cent of respondents agreed that Singapore has a good public transport system, up from 74 per cent last year.

    About 66 per cent agreed that it is generally affordable, up from 63 per cent in 2015.

    Half of the respondents were also supportive of moving towards lower car ownership here.

    The poll was conducted from Feb 29 to March 4, and respondents were randomly selected.

    These findings come as the Government has pumped in billions to expand the bus fleet and ramped up a renewal plan for the North-South and East-West MRT lines, which are nearly 30 years old.

    Some 760 new buses were put on the roads at the end of last year and another 240 are to come by 2017 as part of the Bus Service Enhancement Programme. It was launched in 2012 to meet the needs of a growing population.

    Twelve new trains were added to the Circle Line at the end of last year to grow the fleet to 52. Four were added to the North-East Line's fleet of 25.

    The poll by Reach also showed that about six in 10 respondents were confident that the reliability of train services will improve.

    Currently, services at some stations on the East-West Line end up to half an hour earlier so that engineering work, such as sleeper replacement, can be carried out. SMRT intends to complete the work by 2017.

    About 1.26 million people took public transport to work last year, according to the latest General Household Survey released on March 9.

    One of them is hairdresser Lawrence Yeo, who takes the train to his workplace at City Hall six days a week.

    The 55-year-old Pasir Ris resident, who is a father of two, has never owned a car.

    Mr Yeo said: "The public transport system is convenient. I don't have to wait very long for the train - only around two minutes.

    "Even if I take a cab occasionally, it is still cheaper than owning a car.

    "It's presently crowded but bearable. I do hope that, one day, it works 24 hours - so even if you stay out late, you still have a reliable and affordable option to come home."