Public transport satisfaction dips in 2020, MRT safety scores largest improvement: Survey

SINGAPORE: Overall satisfaction with public transport dipped in 2020, with MRT safety and security scoring the largest increase, the Public Transport Council (PTC) said on Friday (Feb 7).

The percentage of people who said they were satisfied with public transport was 97.6 per cent, lower than the high of 99.4 per cent in 2019.

According to PTC, percentage satisfaction levels are measured based on the proportion of respondents whose overall satisfaction rating for public transport services was 6 and above on a 10-point scale.

Satisfaction with public transport, bus, and MRT services over the past 5 years. (Graphic: Public Transport Council

While the proportion of satisfied commuters dropped in 2020, the mean satisfaction score remained at 7.8 for the second consecutive year, due to the higher ratings given by commuters for individual service attributes.

According to the annual Public Transport Customer Satisfaction Survey commissioned by the PTC, the mean satisfaction score was 7.9 in 2018 and 7.8 in 2019.

The service attributes are safety and security, waiting time, reliability, service information, bus interchange or bus stop or MRT station accessibility, comfort, travel time and customer service.


While overall satisfaction for MRT services dipped from 99.5 per cent in 2019 to 97.9 per cent in 2020, commuters’ satisfaction with the safety and security of MRT services saw an increase – at 96.3 per cent, up from 96 per cent the year before.

The mean score for MRT safety and security jumped from 7.7 in 2019 to 8.3 in 2020.

“One possible factor could be the deployment of public transport workers and transport ambassadors to guide and assist commuters to ensure orderliness and safety,” said the PTC.

Other attributes also saw marked improvements in their mean scores – service information rose from 7.4 to 7.8, and travel time from 7.5 to 7.8.

This contributed to commuters’ mean satisfaction score increasing from 7.7 in 2019 to 7.9 in 2020.

Mean satisfaction score for MRT. (Image: Public Transport Council)


Bus services saw a slight drop in mean score from 7.9 in 2019 to 7.8 on 2020.

Mean satisfaction score for bus services. (Image: Public Transport Council)

This is mainly due to a fall in the mean score for waiting time – one of the most important service attributes – from 8.0 in 2019 to 7.0 in 2020.

“The drop could be because of the adjustments to bus services to match lower commuter demand due to COVID-19. Some of these adjustments were restored subsequently,” said PTC.

The satisfaction survey was carried out by Nexus Link, an independent market research consultant, between early October and late November 2020.

A total of 4,110 commuters participated in the self-administered survey online, using QR codes placed at MRT stations, bus interchanges and bus stops.

The annual survey has been conducted since 2006 and it seeks to understand commuters’ expectations and needs, as well as to identify areas for improvement.