SINGAPORE (Feb 8): Peak traffic congestion, unreliable bus timings and packed trains, and picky taxi drivers are the common bane of city dwellers.

So, when ride-sharing companies Uber and Grab launched services in Singapore, with rides that cost less than what taxis charged, commuters believed they were an answer to their transport woes.

But after five years of price warfare and regulatory adjustments, gone were the days of affordable rides. Commuters are now back to square one, with tricky to get rides, and expensive peak hour fares, as well as the occasional bad accidents.

If ride-sharing apps are not quite delivering the revolution in mobility as promised, and futuristic solutions such as “flying taxis” and calling up self-driving vehicles have yet to materialise, what can commuters look forward to?

Singapore may boast a comparatively efficient and extensive public transport system, with a train and complementary bus network that serves 7.2 million commuters daily. 

But as the population increased and hardware aged, problems started emerging. Lapses in maintenance has caused severe disruptions to train services, while many complained about the poor frequencies and overcrowding in buses.

Since then, significant upgrading works have been carried out and three new train lines are being built.

So, is public transport the answer to commuters’ woes? If not, what is?

Find out more in this week’s The Edge Singapore (Issue 868, week of Feb 11), on sale now at newsstands. Subscribers can log in and read the story or click here to subscribe.