- 450 BSEP buses on the road; 550 by year-end
- 144 out of 275 existing basic bus services improved, 31 new services rolled out
- Waiting times on popular services shortened by 3 to 7 minutes
- Persistently crowded services during peak hours reduced by 60%
- More bus service enhancements in July and September 2014
1. 450 new buses have been added on the road since the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP) was launched in September 2012; while another 100 buses will be added in the last quarter of the year. We are making good progress in BSEP which has improved one out of every two existing bus services (144), and will see 1,000 Government-funded buses on the road by 2017 to enhance connectivity and improve bus service levels.
2. The overall bus network capacity during peak periods has been improved, with the number of bus services with peak period crowding having fallen from 96 prior to BSEP to 38 in July 2014, or by 60%. For example, SMRT Bus Service 962 has seen peak hour crowding reduced by about 15%. With less crowding, commuters now benefit from more comfortable rides.
3. The additional buses also enable the bus services to operate at shorter intervals, with commuters benefitting from shorter waiting times. SMRT Service 966, for example, which loops between Woodlands and Marine Parade, now runs at an improved frequency of 4 to 8 minutes during the morning peak and 6 to 13 minutes during the evening peak periods. The service previously ran at a frequency of 6 to 10 minutes during the morning peak, and 9 to 16 minutes during the evening peak.
4. To improve bus connectivity, 31 new BSEP bus services were introduced over the last two years. Of these, 21 are operated by the Public Transport Operators (PTOs) and ten City Direct Services (CDS) are operated by Private Bus Operators (PBOs). The new bus services improve local connectivity to transport nodes and amenities and serve new housing developments, while the CDS provide a direct connection between residential estates and the city, as an alternative to trains during the peak periods.
5. To better serve the needs of commuters, five supplementary bus services operated by the PTOs have been introduced or enhanced to overlay on existing bus services in Bukit Merah, Jurong East, Sembawang, St Michael’s and Ubi. These supplementary services have also resulted in reduced waiting times and increased capacity for commuters travelling to and from nearby bus interchanges/MRT stations. Besides weekday periods, more trips have been injected on weekday off-peak periods and weekends.
6. Nine Peak Period Short Services (PPSS) operated by the PBOs have also been introduced to bring residents in Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Boon Lay, Pasir Ris, Tampines, Yew Tee and Woodlands to major transport nodes like bus interchanges or MRT stations.
More BSEP enhancements from July to September 2014
7. In the third quarter of 2014, additional buses were deployed to 43 bus services during morning and evening peak hours to reduce crowding and shorten waiting times. In all, 570 weekly peak-hour bus trips were added between July and September this year.
8. One such service is SBS Transit Service 372, which serves Sengkang. The service now runs at 5 to 7 minute intervals during the morning peak period, compared to the 8 to 11 minute intervals previously. Similarly, for the evening peak period, the service now runs at intervals of 6 to 7 minutes, an improvement from the 9 to 10 minute intervals previously.
9. Another example is SMRT Service 903 which serves Woodlands. This service now runs at 4 to 6 minute intervals during the morning peak period, compared to 5 to 9 minutes previously. For the evening peak period, the service now runs at intervals of 4 to 6 minutes, compared to 6 to 7 minutes previously.
10. Two new bus services – SBS Transit Services 324 and 386 – were also introduced in Hougang and Punggol in the third quarter of 2014 to connect commuters to local MRT stations/bus interchanges and amenities, and to meet increased local demand for public transport services.
11. Five more new services will be implemented in coming months to further improve connectivity in Bukit Batok, Changi, Jurong East, Kallang, and West Coast. Details of these new bus services are being worked out. We will provide more information closer to the implementation dates.
Improvements by Public Transport Operators (PTOs)
12. As part of the on-going quarterly bus service review process, the PTOs have also improved 17 bus services by deploying higher capacity buses and/or adding more bus trips along sectors that experience heavy ridership to better match demand along these sectors. Between July and September 2014, the PTOs had added 60 weekly trips during peak hours.