Joint News Release by the Land Transport Authority, SBST & SMRT - Bus Service Enhancement Programme One-year Report

News Releases 02 Sep 2013 Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP)

• About half of 550 buses under BSEP added on the road
• 111 existing bus services improved
• Waiting times on popular services shortened by 3 to 5 minutes
• 40% reduction in number of bus services with persistent crowding during peak hours
• Improved connectivity with 14 new bus services

1. About 248 new buses under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP), nearly half of the 550 buses committed, have been added on the road in the first year of the programme, launched in September 2012.

2. In total, 111 existing bus services have been enhanced and 14 new bus services introduced. These improvements have enhanced the connectivity of the bus network, shortened waiting times by 3 to 5 minutes for some existing bus services, and reduced the number of bus services with persistent crowding during peak periods from 96 to 56, or by about 40%.

3. The bulk of the remaining BSEP buses will be rolled out by the end of 2014, instead of 2016. Indeed, by end 2014, another 200 buses will have been added to further improve existing services and for new services.

4. Mr Yeo Teck Guan, the Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) Group Director for Public Transport, said, “We have been monitoring the performance of the BSEP services closely. Commuters are already experiencing tangible and perceptible improvements in bus services and feedback has been positive. Some have cited shorter waiting times while others have experienced less crowded buses. This is a good thing. We are aware that there are still areas in our bus services that need improvement, we hope to further enhance connectivity and raise service levels as we roll out more BSEP buses in the upcoming quarters.”

5. SBS Transit CEO, Mr Gan Juay Kiat said, "Since September last year, we have introduced seven new bus services, extended one bus route and made improvements on 77 bus services. We have stepped up delivery of new buses and recruited more Bus Captains. We are heartened by the positive feedback from our commuters. We will continue to work at improving our services to better meet their needs."

6. Vice President of SMRT Buses Ltd, Mr Tan Kian Heong said, “Under the BSEP, SMRT has in the past year injected more than 75 new buses to expand our bus service network, reduce crowdedness and improve the frequencies of our bus services. These results are an encouraging testament to successful government and industry partnership. We look forward to rolling out more services in the years to come, to connect residents to key transport nodes and other destinations in the city areas.”

Existing bus services improved

7. Improvements in the form of additional buses and hence capacity were made to 1111 existing bus services with heavy ridership, or 2 in every 5 basic bus services2. These improvements benefit many commuters as the services are geographically spread island-wide.

8. BSEP also enabled these services to operate at shorter intervals and commuters now experience shorter waiting times. SBS Transit Service 335, for example, now runs at an improved frequency of 7 to 8 minutes during the morning peak and 7 to 9 minutes during the evening peak periods. The service previously ran at a frequency of 9 to 11 minutes during the morning peak, and about 10 to 13 minutes during the evening peak.

9. About 40 bus services are also now less crowded based on analysis of ticketing and GPS data. These include SMRT’s Service 106, which has seen peak hour crowding come down by about 15%.

Better connectivity with new bus services

10. 14 new BSEP bus services3 have been introduced to improve bus connectivity, with 13 operated by the public transport operators (PTOs), and one operated by a private bus operator (the Jurong West City Direct Bus Service 651 launched today).

11. Mr Willy Wong, 54, self-employed, is one of the commuters who have benefitted from the new bus services. Commenting on the new SBS Transit Service 50, he said: “The new service gives me an alternative bus route to travel from my house to Sengkang MRT station and Compass Point. It is more direct than the existing Service 163 so it brings more convenience to residents in the Fernvale area like me.”

12. SMRT’s parallel Service 850E that connects Yishun to the CBD has also been well received by commuters. The operator has doubled the number of morning trips to four to cater to the high ridership.

13. By the end of 2013, two more new services will be implemented to further improve connectivity in areas like Taman Jurong and Bukit Panjang. Details of these new bus services are being worked out. We will provide more information closer to the implementation dates.

14. Tapping further on private bus operators to augment the PTOs’ resources, 9 more new City Direct bus services will be progressively rolled out from January next year. Apart from these, LTA will also work with private bus operators to operate short services during peak hours, such as localised routes in estates that bring residents to a nearby transport node. These services will complement the existing feeder bus services operated by the PTOs. LTA will call tenders for these short services from the third quarter of this year for progressive implementation from 2014.

Please refer to the attached poster for more details.

Annex - BSEP Programme One-year Report

1 Services improved (Sep 12 – Jun 13): 2, 3, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 21, 22, 23, 25, 29, 31, 34, 43, 45, 48, 52, 53, 55, 57, 58, 60, 61, 63, 67, 70, 72, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 86, 87, 90, 98, 99, 100, 103, 106, 123, 139 , 147, 154, 155, 158,  159, 162, 168, 169, 175, 176, 178, 182, 183, 188, 190, 192, 196, 228, 229, 238, 243, 246, 251, 262, 265, 273, 275,  284, 285, 302, 315,  317, 325, 333, 335, 354, 359, 372, 410G, 700, 850E, 857, 858, 900, 901, 920, 922, 925, 960, 962, 963, 964, 965, 966, 969, 981 and 985.

Services improved in Q32013: 40, 52, 53, 67, 78, 87, 89, 98, 103, 161, 178, 183, 191, 192, 403, 806, 850E, 855, 857, 858, 860, 951E, 965, 966 and 980.

2 There are 261 existing basic bus services.

3 New BSEP services (Sep 12 – Sep 13): 4, 20, 50, 116, 119, 120, 141, 513, 651, 850E, 860, 951E, 904, 982E.

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