LTA receives numerous requests for public bus services, which it has to assess and prioritise. Bus routes that have low demand can only be provided through cross-subsidy by other fare-paying commuters, or by taxpayers. More importantly, LTA must also consider if the provision of such services comes at the expense of other bus routes that serve more commuters.
On the suggestion for public bus connections to the Kranji countryside, the weekday demand has been consistently low, much more so than other areas for which LTA has also received requests for bus services. On Sundays and Public Holidays, however, ridership picks up and SMRT operates a special Bus Service 925C to cater to this.
The suggested public bus service from Tampines St 32 to Tampines Round Market and Tampines Changkat Community Club is also likely to have a low ridership as alternative bus services are available to serve the needs of residents. For instance, residents living along Tampines St 32 can take SBST Bus Service 28 and alight along Tampines Ave 2 to walk five minutes from the bus stop in front of Block 101 to the market. Residents staying closer to Tampines Ave 2 can take any of the seven SBST Bus Services available i.e. Services 8, 17, 18, 28, 34, 39 and 59, and transfer to SBST Bus Service 292 along Tampines Ave 2 at the bus stop outside Block 285 to reach the community club.
The shuttle bus service recently introduced by Tampines CCC is a private bus service operated on purely commercial considerations. They charge higher fares than public bus services to make the service financially viable. A trip on the shuttle costs about 30% more than an equivalent trip on a public bus service paid by fare-card.
Indeed, for communities who wish to enjoy dedicated bus services which would not likely meet a reasonable threshold of ridership to merit the Government providing subsidised public bus services, they can arrange for private bus operators to provide the service.
Helen Lim (Ms)
Director, Media Relations & Public Education
Land Transport Authority