Kishore Mahbubani Calls for Public Transport Board

Professor Kishore Mahbubani has reiterated his calls for a national transport agency, saying it can help Singapore develop the best “ecosystem” of public transport.

At yesterday's (18 Nov) Future Mobility symposium, the dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy said, “Singapore's public sector is world class. But its private sector is not. So if the country wants the best public transport system in the world, shouldn't the public sector be in the driver's seat?”

He suggested the creation of a new agency called the “Public Transport Board”, which would merge “all the trains, buses, taxis and shared vehicles in Singapore, including bicycles and scooters for hire.” In this "ecosystem", there would be "zero car ownership", and the percentage of land space devoted to roads would be halved from 12 to 6 per cent. Instead, there would be jogging and cycling tracks, and "air-conditioned walkways”.

Prof Mahbubani said that by 2050 a smartphone app created by the new "Public Transport Board" would "tell me the cheapest and fastest way to get to work". Trips would be made predominantly by trains, and the app would be able to arrange for autonomous pods to make the first and last miles.

He said Singapore should not "remain a prisoner of old economic ideas", such as the notion that public transport should be privatised.

What are your views on having a “Public Transport Board” to look after this wider “ecosystem” of public transport? Share your thoughts with us!

Source: “Kishore Mahbubani calls for national transport agency in Singapore” (The Straits Times, 19 Nov 2015)

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