Singapore’s Land Transport ITM outlines vision for a technology-enabled land transport system

Singapore’s Land Transport ITM outlines vision for a technology-enabled land transport system

According to a press release by the Land Transport
Authority (LTA), Co-ordinating Minister for
Infrastructure and Minister for Transport, Mr Khaw Boon Wan, launched the
Industry Transformation Map (ITM) on Feb 12.

Under the latest ITM, up to 8,000 new public transport jobs
will be created by 2030. LTA will set aside S$25 million over 5 years for the
Land Transport Innovation Fund for mobility-related research and technology

The Land Transport ITM was developed by the
LTA in close consultation with union and industry partners, with the
overarching vision for a people-centred land transport system by 2030 with more
connections and better service for all.

Credit: Land Transport Authority, Singapore

Initiatives outlines in the Land Transport
ITM leverage emerging technologies to make the land transport system smarter,
drive productivity growth and deliver better services to commuters, as well as
to future-proof the workforce through comprehensive programmes for up-skilling
and re-skilling.

better jobs for a future proof workforce

The land transport industry currently has a
workforce of about 123,000 people, which includes bus captains, bus mechanics,
customer service officers, railway engineers, station managers, as well as taxi
and private hire car drivers. More than 21,000 of them are employed by the rail
and public bus sectors to support the 5 million daily commuter journeys on
public transport.

With the expansion of public bus and rail
networks, Singapore expect to create up to 8,000 new public transport jobs by
2030 to support its needs.

LTA works closely with union and industry
partners on initiatives that support the growth in public transport jobs. Such
initiatives include manpower planning, industry partnerships to grow the talent
pool, as well as upskilling of the workforce.

LTA will conduct industry manpower planning
to identify employment opportunities and formulate targeted workforce interventions.
The Public Transport Skills Framework
(PTSF) is jointly developed by the LTA, SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and the
industry to identify current and emerging skillsets, and map these against
possible career pathways. The framework will help identify training gaps as
well as guide the development of programmes to professionalise public transport
workers and help them meet the changing demands of the workforce.

It will also partner with the industry and
the union to provide more enhanced and structured internships for students from
Institutes of Higher Learning, in order to attract, identify and manage the
growing pipeline of talent.

Meanwhile, it will also continue to develop
the capabilities of the workforce, particularly through up-skilling and
re-skilling of public transport workers, to ensure that workers can keep pace
with industry developments.

For example, the Singapore Bus Academy and
Singapore Rail Academy will offer new specialised programmes mapped against the
soon-to-be-launched PTSF for continuous learning and mastery. In addition, more
Professional Conversion Programmes will be developed to equip mid-career
switchers with the relevant competencies to pursue a successful career in the
land transport industry.

Growing an innovative and future-ready land
transport industry

The Land Transport ITM
also serves as the blueprint for growing and transforming the land transport
industry into one that is enabled by technology and a highly competent

Other than helping the land transport
industry and its workers continue to stay relevant, it also responds to
disruptive technologies.

Some of these disruptive technologies include
autonomous vehicles (AVs), big data, and artificial intelligence (AI). Harnessing
their transformative potentials will give the industry new opportunities to
enhance the land transport system and create better jobs for the industry.

It is expected that continuous adoption of
technology and innovative solutions will play an integral part in the land
transport industry’s development. As such, LTA will set aside S$25 million over
five years for the Land Transport Innovation Fund to spur innovation and
collaborative projects with industry partners.

“With the Land Transport Innovation Fund, I
hope to see even more innovative solutions emerge to shape the transport of
tomorrow,” Chief Executive of LTA Mr Ngien Hoon Ping said.

Through the Land Transport ITM, LTA will
harness technology and innovation to improve productivity for the land
transport industry and deliver a transport system that is safe, efficient,
reliable and comfortable for commuters.  

To build up a critical mass of research capabilities and
provide a platform to facilitate collaborative research, LTA has established a number
of Transport Research Centres (TRCs). with Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). In addition, to develop local Small and Medium
Enterprise (SME) capabilities, LTA will encourage SME participation in Government
projects through the Government-Partnership for Capability Transformation (GovPACT)

LTA is planning for the Land Transport
Network (PLANET). It is a data warehouse developed by LTA to carry out
advanced data analytics on travel patterns by car, bus and train. PLANET will enable
more accurate prediction of commuter travel patterns, which supports the
development and fine-tuning of land transport models so that transport planners
can develop better transport policies.

Another technology-related initiative is the
use of smart sensors and data analytics to monitor the status of railway
systems for predictive maintenance. This will enable railway engineers to be more
productive in their work, which translates into a smoother and more reliable
ride for commuters. A Rail Enterprise Asset Management System (REAMS) will consolidate and integrate information collected from all trains
to better assess and predict the condition of the entire network and its components, while a Common Fleet Management System (CFMS) will allow bus operators track bus
fleets in real-time. Moreover, a next-generation ERP system will push real-time, targeted
traffic updates  to vehicles’ on-board units, recommending alternative
routes that are less congested in order to optimise road usage.

LTA is also actively exploring how the use of
automation and AVs can be applied in land transport system to improve
efficiency, reduce human error and deliver better services.

For example, the introduction of robots and
drones to inspect MRT and road tunnels will reduce the need for tedious manual
inspections and free engineers to focus on analysing the data captured. Last year, LTA issued a Request for Information (RFI) to seek the industry’s participation in the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and Unmanned Vehicle (UV) technology for MRT and road tunnel inspections.

Autonomous buses and dynamically-routed,
on-demand shuttles can also be deployed to enhance public transport by
providing more responsive, efficient and convenient transport modes for
commuters. The Ministry of Transport (MOT) and LTA announced in November last year that autonomous scheduled buses and autonomous on-demand shuttles will serve commuters in Punggol, Tengah and the Jurong Innovation District (JID) in Singapore from 2022.