Fewer residents who drive to work; downtown, first work destination: Population census
SINGAPORE: Fewer residents have driven to work in the past decade and more have turned to public transport.
This was one of the conclusions of the Department of Statistics (DOS) when the publication Friday, June 18 of more details on the population census carried out once every 10 years.
READ: The Decade of Slowest Population Growth in Singapore Since Independence: 2020 Census
About a quarter of all residents drove a car to work in 2010. But a decade later, that group had fallen to about a fifth of respondents.
On the other hand, the proportion of those who used public transport such as public trains and buses to get to work increased from 54.6% in 2010 to 57.7% in 2020.
This corresponds to the expansion of rail networks, according to the census.
There was also a slight increase in the proportion of those who only used private rental cars or taxis. But other modes of transport such as charter buses, trucks, motorcycles saw a lower proportion of users.
The Population Census is the largest national survey undertaken in Singapore to collect statistics such as demographic, social and economic data.
It covered 150,000 homes last year. Respondents were asked questions based on their usual travel and work arrangements, with the exception of the COVID-19 pandemic.
About 63 percent of Toa Payoh’s residents traveled to work using combinations of trains or buses – the highest proportion among commuters in other housing estates.
This was followed closely by residents of Sembawang, Bukit Merah and Queenstown.
Meanwhile, the proportion of those who took only public buses to work was higher at Marine Parade and Bukit Merah.
In contrast, the proportion of those who traveled by car was higher in Tanglin and Bukit Timah.
MEDIAN TRAVEL TIME
The median commuting time was longer in 2020 than in 2010 for all forms of public transport.
This was likely due to the longer distances traveled via these modes of transport, the census noted.
READ: Satisfaction with public transport drops in 2020, MRT safety sees biggest improvement: Survey
But according to data from a decade ago, commutes via public buses in 2020 remained shorter than trains or a mix of public transport modes.
Home-to-work journeys on private modes of transport such as cars, trucks and motorcycles also remained shorter than those on public transport.
WHERE DO PEOPLE WORK?
Almost 13 percent of Singapore’s resident workforce – or 284,000 people aged 15 and over – worked in the city center.
The figure is more than double the next area listed, which is Queenstown, at 6 percent or 131,800 of those workers.
The data also showed that downtown workers were younger than other industries. About 66 percent of the workers there were under 45, compared to about 44 percent in Bedok, which had the lowest proportion of young workers.
The downtown area also had the most workers with a post-secondary education or more.
HOW FAR FROM WORK?
The city center was the main work destination in 2020 for residents of the five regions: Center, East, North, North-East and West.
It made up about 10 to 21 percent of the resident workforce in each of these regions – most of the workers coming from the central region.
The census also found that nearly 80% of the resident workforce worked in a different planning area than their home in 2020.
Only around 9% lived and worked in the same area, while around 3% said they worked from home.
READ: Commentary: When Singapore homes become workspaces – huge changes in the home and beyond
Speaking at a press conference, Ms. Indranee Rajah, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office who oversees the National Population and Talent Division, said such geographic data on where and how people work and live are useful in urban planning.
“(We hope) to enable more people to work, live and play close to where they live. We also had to think about working from home, ”she said.
“These data are useful to inform you in terms of geographical distribution, help you to plan things at all levels, for transport, for town planning, the master plan.”