What Singapore Does Well in Urban Mobility
Singapore's public transit system is world class, with a diverse selection of modes, affordable fares, fast commute times, and stations within easy walking distance for its residents. A strong public transit network gives Singapore the number three ranking in the public transit sub-index. The city-state aims to further improve accessibility to stations with an expanded rail network that would connect 80% of households to within 10 minutes of a station by 2030 as part of its “45-minute city” plan.
With a relatively low car ownership rate among residents and a leading traffic management approach, Singapore enjoys comparatively low congestion. Low car ownership rates are in part due to the $76,000 license residents must purchase before they are permitted to buy a vehicle.
Urban Mobility Readiness Index, Sustainable Mobility and Public Transit scores
Challenges and Opportunities for Singapore’s Transportation System
Similar to many cities in the region, Singapore is lagging in electric vehicle (EV) charging station density and subsequent EV market share in sales. Over the last few years, the city-state has taken measures to improve its EV infrastructure, such as deploying more than 600 public charging points in 2022, with plans to build another 2,000 by the end of 2023. Singapore is also offering discounted car ownership permits for EV purchases as part of a plan to phase out sales of combustion engine vehicles by 2030.
Few residents opt for walking or biking in their day-to-day transit, and the city-state remains wary about e-scooters which have been restricted to cycling paths since late 2019. However, Singapore’s “Friendly Streets” initiative aims to repurpose some roads to accommodate more cyclists and pedestrians.
Dimensions of the Urban Mobility Readiness Index score
How Singapore Can Improve Its Public Transportation and Sustainable Mobility
While Singapore has a strong public transit ridership and low car ownership, it has yet to embrace cycling like many of its peers. To close the gap, the city can focus on improving its cycling infrastructure by building dedicated and connected bike lanes on popular roadways. Previously mentioned plans to build more cycling infrastructure show progress, but further efforts would increase cycling’s appeal. In addition, supporting bike-sharing companies (such as Anywheel or HelloRide) by investing in more stations, bikes, and electric bikes, helps remove the barrier of bike ownership. Providing electric bike subsidies can help limit geographic barriers and increase cycling. Previously mentioned plans to build more cycling infrastructure demonstrate acknowledgement and progress in promoting safety and accessibility for cyclists.
Singapore's EV charging network is still developing. Its previously mentioned efforts to expand charging infrastructure by the end of 2023 demonstrate progress. To increase its offering to become a regional leader, it would need to accelerate the deployment of charging stations to multiply its charging station density by a factor of 14. The city should increase government-backed investments in public charging stations and subsidizing at home station implementation.