To see through the eyes of the commuting public, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) made a bold decision to engage them directly at a more personable and intimate level. Hence when the Minister of Transport launched the Land Transport Master Plan (LTMP) in March 2008, the Community Partnership (CPN) Division was featured as a means to engage the community directly through face-to-face interactions. This served to uphold the LTA’s and the LTMP’s vision of creating ‘A People-Centred Land Transport System’.
The CPN Division was set up to connect, partner and network with the public and establish a healthy long-term relationship with community leaders and Advisers. (Members of Parliament are generally referred to as 'Advisers' to the grassroots of their constituencies.) Each CPN officer serves as a single point-of-contact for the LTA. They help gather feedback through regular meetings with grassroots organisations.
CPN officers are expected to explain and clarify transport related matters. To ensure proper resolution of issues, CPN officers will make certain that each feedback is carefully assessed, outcome conveyed, and implementation monitored. By forging a close partnership with the Advisers and the grassroots, CPN officers can help community leaders become knowledgeable ’LTA spoke-persons’ to the public through regular briefing.
To better understand the increasingly diverse needs of the community, it is essential for CPN officers to widen their network. They accompany community leaders and Advisers on their ‘house visits’, block and garden parties, community forums, town hall meetings, project commissioning events and panel discussions. These direct and personable interactions have helped LTA build rapport with the community and opened opportunities for the public to provide valuable feedback. They have also led to better and deeper understanding of the ground sentiments, as well as the underlying challenges faced by the community. Very often the resolution of issues requires balancing the diverse needs of the community.
The community at large benefits from this personalised touch-point provided by CPN. Since its inauguration, CPN has touched over 260,000 residents and 32,000 grassroots leaders and other government agencies representatives. The public sector has also benefited from the positive account of responsiveness, active involvement, and sincerity to listen to public feedback displayed by the CPN division. In fact, this better engagement with local communities has made CPN a role model for other government agencies to set up a similar division—within their organisation.
To monitor the needs of the community, CPN Division introduced a tracking system designed to document and monitor the progress of a problem from the time it was raised to resolution, and to keep the community updated in a timely manner. The CPN division utilises the system to collate monthly reports, and to perform analysis so as to better understand the concerns affecting fellow citizens and the unique needs of the different segments of community.
Additionally, CPN conducts annual customer surveys with the grassroots and advisers. Over the past years, these customer surveys show more than 90% have rated CPN services as highly satisfactory.
With CPN’s active community engagement and well-established network of grassroots leaders and government agency partners, the rise in the number of issues received over the years is testament to the invaluable service provided (See table 1).
Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Issues received 4,260 4,405 4,306 6,825 >8,000(Expected)
Source: CPN Annual Reports
Table 1: Number of issues handled by CPN