RT9 – Dr Evan Gwee – Managing on-road transit research in Singapore

RT9 – Dr Evan Gwee – Managing on-road transit research in Singapore

Researching Transit – Episode 9

Published: July 2020

Keywords: public transport, Singapore, bus transit, MRT, research collaboration, prototyping, hydrogen fuel cell, land transport authority, LTA

In this episode of Researching Transit, Professor Graham Currie chats to Dr Evan Gwee, who has 25 years’ experience working in the Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore.  Dr. Gwee currently oversees the Transport Research Division in the LTA. Government’s role in overseeing and stewarding research is one of the key factors contributing to Singapore’s excellent reputation in transit research and collaboration.

LTA’s approach to encouraging research involves maintaining close relationships with Universities, such as Nanyang Technological University, as the incubator of ideas. In addition, LTA funds research that is aligned with LTA’s interest. They are prepared to facilitate trials so that new mobility concepts useful to Singapore can be tested on actual grounds .

“We call ourselves a living lab. You can come and trial something in Singapore…We are prepared to facilitate it from a Government perspective if it is useful to Singapore”

In a small but densely populated country, Evan highlights the importance of finding new solutions to today’s problems. “We are trying to stay ahead of the curve”. Among Singapore’s research priorities are harnessing new technologies so that mobility solutions meet the needs of both an ageing population and workforce. LTA has identified automation as playing a key role in meeting future mobility needs.

Evan highlights the importance of both involving the public as new solutions are developed, but also in managing their expectations, lest they take too much of a liking to a prototype (such as the ideas in the Smart public bus that was showcased).

Dr Gwee provides some useful insight into LTA’s criteria for new research endeavours: attractive projects are those that are aligned with LTA’s interest, can be delivered in a timely fashion, and which are scalable in terms of cost.

To learn more about public transport in Singapore, visit the LTA’s website: https://www.lta.gov.sg/content/ltagov/en/upcoming_projects.html#technologies_innovations

Read about the LTA-NTU collaboration for automation visit CETRAN Centre of excellence for testing and research of AVs; http://erian.ntu.edu.sg/Programmes/IRP/FMSs/Pages/Centre-of-Excellence-for-Testing-Research-of-AVs-NTU-CETRAN.aspx

Music from this episode is from https://www.purple-planet.com

  • Date July 19, 2020
  • Tags Alternative Fuels, Automatic Vehicle Monitoring, Bus, Bus/Tram Lane, Bus/Tram Priority, Environmental Impact, Equity, Equity, Planning, Podcast, Service Improvement, Service Quality, Singapore, Sustainable, Transportation Research Board