SINGAPORE – Residents in Singapore are very satisfied with the public transport system, which is among the best in the world, based on a report from consultancy firm McKinsey.
The June report, Elements of Success: Urban Transportation Systems or 24 Global Cities, also praised the affordability and efficiency of the transport system.
It reported a satisfaction rate of 86 percent among those surveyed with the overall situation of public transportation in Singapore.
"The residents appreciate their transport system enormously and how it has developed over the last (couple) years – they are most satisfied with 13 of the 14 analyzed aspects," the report said, adding that electronic services such as travel planners are what residents are Singapore enjoy the most.
The 24 major cities studied are Shanghai, London, Seoul and New York, and were selected on the basis of size, level of economic development, characteristics of transport systems and availability of data.
Four of them – Berlin, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore – were chosen because their transport systems are considered exceptional by external institutions such as the TomTom Traffic Index.
The five measurement units that were used to measure the transport systems were: availability of transport, affordability, efficiency, convenience and sustainability.
Based on this, the public transport system of Singapore was ranked among the top 10 in the world. It was at the top of the field of affordability and ticketing.
The report said: "If we were to derive the formula for an ideal transport system, it would be available just as in Paris, as affordable as in Singapore (where public transport is very affordable despite high barriers for car use), as efficiently as in Seoul, as convenient as in Toronto, and just as safe and sustainable as in Hong Kong. "
It pointed to the tariff review and new measures that were introduced in Singapore in 2013 as an important step towards affordability.
The measures include a 15 percent discount on adult rate for low wage workers, free travel for children and seven other concessions – in favor of more than one million passengers, the report said.
It also noted the ease and flexibility of the card system as another "open function", and referred to the ez-link card.
The study examined 400 people in each of the 24 cities, with respondents corresponding to the age-gender ratio of the cities. It asked them how satisfied they were with their transportation system now, and with the changes they have seen in the past three to five years.
In addition to Singapore, other Asian cities were among the top 10 public transport rankings in Hong Kong, Seoul and Beijing.
In Hong Kong, 83 percent of the residents surveyed were satisfied with the general situation of public transport.
The report reports that the system has one of the best coverage areas for public transport in the world, with 75 percent of the population and 94 percent of the workplaces less than 1km from a metro station.
The city's ticket system, the Octopus chip card, was also number 1 next to the ez-link map of Singapore and it was emphasized that the Octopus card is used by 99 percent of the residents, not only for payments, but also for non-payment purposes such as access to an office building.
Together with Singapore and Paris, the safety of public transport in Hong Kong was also praised in the report, with the three cities having much lower rates for the number of fatalities of public transport per million inhabitants compared to other cities.
The use of apps by Hong Kong in the public transport system was another advantage: one of the apps can even help visually impaired people, for example Google Maps.
Seoul is in the top three for its efficiency in public transportation, with McKinsey saying that "Seoul and Singapore are distinctive in terms of average waiting time and a proportion of dedicated lanes".
The report said about Seoul: "Such progress is driven by the optimization of bus routes and the construction of exclusive median bus lanes that increased the bus speed by an average of 30%."
It also pointed to an intelligent bus management system that helps buses stay on schedule.
Just like Hong Kong, the city was also marked because of the coverage of the train and bus network. The city achieved satisfaction of 84 percent for the overall public transport situation, and the report stated that residents can use transport apps and have access to Wi-Fi in buses and in metro and bus stations.
Beijing was characterized by its comfortable transport system, with the report that it has one of the most modern transport fleets. It also surpassed Singapore in its railway infrastructure ranking, coming in 10th for the 12th place in Singapore.