Singapore

Better services overall with new bus model: LTA

Better services overall with new bus model: LTA
TODAY file photo
Published: 9:15 PM, March 3, 2017
Updated: 10:53 PM, March 3, 2017

SINGAPORE — All bus services now have scheduled intervals of no more than 15 minutes during the morning and evening peak periods, with half or more of them having scheduled intervals of no more than 10 minutes. 

Feeder services are running at even shorter intervals of six to eight minutes, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Friday (March 3).

With the completion of the transition to the new bus contracting model in September last year, about 60 per cent of bus services are less crowded, and the average additional wait time reduced by about 15 per cent for 108 services.

Instances of bus bunching have also decreased, the LTA noted. Of 16 bus services which are being assessed on their “on-time adherence”, seven have shown improvement in punctuality.

“Commuters are enjoying more comfortable rides,” it said in a media release, adding that they can expect further improvements to bus service reliability. 

The improvements to the bus services were made possible by the deployment of 86 additional buses to improve more than 100 services between September last year and January this year.

Since last September, four new services have also been added to the bus network. 

This month will see the introduction of two more services, while another eight services will ply the roads by the end of the year.

Together, these new bus services will enhance connectivity in areas such as Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bukit Panjang, Hougang, Punggol, Sembawang, Sengkang, Tuas and Whampoa.

“As our rail and bus networks expand and ridership patterns evolve, some bus routes may no longer be as heavily utilised while demands for new routes may emerge. We will continue to review and make adjustments to bus connectivity in order to appropriately balance the need to optimise resources with commuter needs,” the LTA said.

Under the new bus contracting model, the Government owns all fixed and operating assets and retains fare revenues. Bus companies earn a fee for running services.

The LTA determines the bus services to be provided and sets the service standards. This enables bus services to be more responsive to changes in ridership and commuter needs. 

The new bus model saw London-based Tower Transit winning the Bulim package in May 2015, and it now operates 26 services in the west of Singapore.

In November 2015, Go-Ahead Singapore bagged the second contract under the model to run 25 bus services in areas including Changi, Pasir Ris and Punggol. Go-Ahead is London’s largest bus operator.

The Seletar package — the third tender — is expected to be awarded by the end of this month.