Improvements to more than 50 bus services,
better connectivity with five new bus services by end 2012
1. As announced by the Minister for Transport, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will partner the bus operators, SBS Transit Ltd and SMRT Buses Ltd, to roll out the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP) from the third quarter of 2012.
Better bus services
2. More than 50 bus services will be improved and 5 new bus services will be introduced by the end of this year through the introduction of more than 90 new BSEP buses. The improved bus services will benefit many residents as they are geographically spread across the island.
3. From 17 September, new BSEP buses will be introduced to 26 bus services1 with heavy ridership during the morning and evening peak periods. Commuters on these services can expect more frequent, more reliable and less crowded buses. (Please refer to Annex A for list of these bus services). New BSEP buses will be added to another 25 bus services in the 4th quarter.
4. Mr Chew Hock Yong, LTA’s Chief Executive said, “Under the BSEP, the Government will partner the PTOs to add a total of 800 buses to the existing bus fleet. This is a significant increase in bus capacity and will allow the PTOs to bring about meaningful enhancements to bus service levels and bus network connectivity for commuters’ benefit. We will continue to work closely with the bus operators to ramp up bus capacity progressively over the next 5 years.”
Better connectivity with new bus services
5. As part of the BSEP, commuters can also expect better connectivity with five new bus services to be rolled out in the fourth quarter of 2012. Two of the five new bus services – new Service 860 and an extension of the bus route for Service 119 - will start as early as 21 October 2012.
6. “Over the past months, LTA has engaged Members of Parliament and grassroots leaders to understand the different needs of the community. We have taken these feedback into account as we plan the implementation of the Bus Service Enhancement Programme. Over the next few years, we will carefully distribute the available resources where the need is greatest to achieve the maximum benefit to the community,” added Mr Chew.
7. New Service 860, operated by SMRT Buses, will improve local connectivity for commuters along Yishun Ring Road. The new bus route will provide residents such as those staying in the new HDB flats along Yishun Ring Road with a faster connection to Khatib MRT. It will also enhance the connectivity to key transport nodes at Yishun Bus Interchange and MRT, where they can transfer to other bus services to reach their destination. In addition, Service 860 will improve the local links within Yishun Town by enhancing connections to amenities such as Nee Soon East Community Centre Yishun Swimming Complex and schools. (Please refer to Annex B for the route map of Service 860)
8. SBS Transit will extend the current route of its Service 119 from Sengkang Bus Interchange to Punggol Bus Interchange. With the extension, the service will provide new housing areas along Punggol Field and Punggol Way with a bus connection to the nearest MRT and bus interchange at Punggol. In addition, residents in Sengkang and Hougang will also enjoy enhanced inter-town connectivity to amenities and attractions in Punggol such as Punggol Waterway. (Please refer to Annex C for the route map of Service 119)
9. The remaining three bus services will be progressively introduced in November and December this year. The three new routes will improve the connectivity in Punggol, Sengkang, Hougang, Serangoon, Ang Mo Kio, Bishan and Tampines. Details of these new routes are being worked out and the PTOs will provide more information closer to implementation dates.
10. SBS Transit CEO, Mr Gan Juay Kiat said, “SBS Transit is committed to enhancing our bus services to provide greater travelling comfort and convenience for our commuters. We will continue to work closely with the LTA under the BSEP to develop and improve our service network to ensure better rides for all.”
11. SMRT’s Executive Director and Interim CEO Mr Tan Ek Kia said: “Over the years, SMRT has put in much effort and resources in our commitment to serve the growing needs of our passengers and enhance their travel experience. We support the government’s call to improve the capacity of our bus services, and have been progressively growing our bus fleet and rolling out service improvements. We will continue to work closely with the authorities through the Bus Service Enhancement Programme to offer a better travel experience to commuters.”
12. Under the BSEP, the Government will partner the bus operators to significantly ramp up bus capacity and current bus service levels by providing funding for 550 buses. Over the next 5 years, the buses funded with Government assistance will be deployed to reduce crowding and improve bus frequencies of existing basic bus services, and run about 40 new bus routes.
13. In addition, as part of the on-going quarterly bus service review process, PTOs have also improved bus services2 by deploying higher capacity buses and/or adding more bus trips along sectors that experience consistent heavy ridership to better match demand and to increase frequency/capacity along these sectors. Together, the two operators have added a total of 190 more weekly trips during peak hours for these 30 services.
14. With the additional capacity, commuters can expect better service levels. By end 2014, the PTOs will be required to reduce the loading levels for all basic bus services to 85%, down from today’s 95% of their licensed capacity.
15. Peak hour frequencies for feeder and trunk bus services, will also be improved. Today, under the existing quality of service standards, all services have to operate within 30-minute scheduled intervals, of which 80% must be within 10-min scheduled intervals. Under the BSEP, all services will operate within 20-minute scheduled intervals, with another 10% of services having intervals brought down even further to within 12-minutes.
1Bus services enhanced under BSEP:
SBS Transit bus services:43, 55, 58, 70, 72, 78, 98, 159, 183, 192, 265, 285, 359, 372 and 410G
SMRT bus services:61, 106, 176, 700, 858, 920, 922, 960, 964, 966 and 985
2SBS Transit bus services improved between July and September 2012 under the quarterly bus service review process: 2, 7, 12, 15, 22, 39, 43, 52, 70, 72, 79, 86, 139, 163, 182, 243W, 285, 293, 506 and 518.
SMRT bus services improved between July and September 2012 under the quarterly bus service review process: 169, 171, 184, 190, 858, 945, 965, 969, 971E and 975.