Photo of Khaw Boon Wan from Facebook video

In a media interview over the state of transport in Singapore, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said that he needs at least 14 years to achieve a reliable public transport system and make Singapore “car-lite”.

“Going car-lite depended on three factors: To have reliable public transport with the train system as the backbone, hassle-free connecting journeys (first- and last-mile connectivity) to nearby train stations and bus interchanges, and a strong shared system comprising taxis, private-hire cars and car-sharing. This is all “doable” by 2030.”

Minister Khaw said that by 2030, there will be 360km of train lines and 80% of the residential homes will be located within a 10-minute walk from a train station. The Transport Minister also painted an unrealistically futuristic view about “air-conditioned pods shuttling within neighbourhoods providing first- and last-mile connectivity.” There is no details on the “air-conditioned pods” he mentioned.

The Transport Minister reiterated his old speeches saying that his aim is to make car ownership and private-car usage unnecessary. However, Singapore’s public transport is still far from being a viable alternative because of overcrowding and train breakdowns as frequent as once every fortnight.

Minister Khaw also claimed that city planners overseas relies on “heavy congestion” to discourage people from using private transport, and that he is not going to “frustrate” private vehicle owners to achieve that.

“City planners have concluded that the traditional car-centric city model is not sustainable, he said, and while the majority of cities still rely on heavy congestion to discourage driving, this and other measures that frustrate motorists affect quality of life and would create friction in society.”