Joint News Release by the Land Transport Authority, SBS Transit & SMRT

News Releases 09 Apr 2015 Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP) Bus Service Reliability Framework (BSRF)

Bus Service Enhancement Programme
(Update for January - March 2015)

Bus Service Reliability Framework
(Update for first Assessment Period)

40 More New BSEP Buses Rolled Out in 1Q2015
Bring Better Connectivity, Less Crowding, Shorter Wait Times

        Under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP), 1,000 Government-funded buses will be injected into the public bus network by 2017 to expand the fleet by some 35%[1]. In 1Q2015, 40 new buses were rolled out, bringing the total number of BSEP buses rolled out to 590. This, together with the Bus Service Reliability Framework (BSRF) trial which began in February 2014, has resulted in new services, less crowded buses and more frequent and regular bus arrivals, especially during peak periods.

38 new or amended bus services since start of BSEP

2.      Between January and March 2015, one new service was introduced - SBS Transit service 122, and one existing service was extended - SBS Transit service 386. This brings the total number of new or amended services under BSEP to 38.

3.      By June 2015, another three new routes in Choa Chu Kang and Yishun will be introduced. Details of these new routes are currently being worked out.

360 weekly bus trips added in 1Q2015 under BSEP

4.      To reduce crowding and shorten wait times, 33 additional buses were deployed to 21 services during morning and evening peak hours in the first quarter of 2015. In total, 360 weekly peak-hour bus trips were added in this period.

5.      One such bus service is SBS Transit service 359 which serves Pasir Ris residents. This feeder service now runs at seven-minute intervals during the morning peak period, an improvement from nine to 10 minute intervals previously. Similarly, for the evening peak period, the service now runs at intervals of four to seven minutes, compared to six to 11 minutes previously.

6.      SMRT service 860 which operates within Yishun, now runs at five-minute intervals during the morning peak period, compared to nine to 10 minutes previously. Similarly, for the evening peak period, the service now runs at intervals of four to seven minutes, compared to nine to 10 minutes previously.

7.      In addition, to reduce wait times for selected existing feeder services during peak periods, four Peak Period Short Services (PPSS) were introduced in January 2015 to bring residents in Ang Mo Kio, Woodlands and Yishun to bus interchanges or MRT stations. This brings the total number of PPSS to 14[2].

17 bus services separately improved by Public Transport Operators (PTOs)

8.      Separately, as part of the on-going quarterly bus service review process, the two PTOs have also improved 17[3] bus services by deploying higher capacity buses and/or adding more bus trips along sectors that experience heavy ridership. In total, the operators have added 15 weekly trips during peak hours for these services in the first quarter. This is in addition to the 360 additional weekly peak-hour bus trips added by the Government under the BSEP during the same period.

Reliability of 20 out of 22 bus services improved under the Bus Service Reliability Framework (BSRF) trial

9.      The BSRF seeks to improve the regularity of bus arrivals by reducing the instances of bus bunching. Each bus service is measured against a unique baseline[4] across six-month assessment periods and bus operators are rewarded with incentives if they improve service reliability and penalised if there is deterioration in reliability.

10.     After a four-month phase-in period, on 1 June 2014, the incentives and penalties came into effect. The first assessment period of June to November 2014 has yielded encouraging results with 20 out of the 22 services[5] on trial showing improvements in their reliability, and of which 18 services earned incentives. The remaining four services had performances in the neutral zone and neither earned any incentive nor incurred any penalty[6]. These improvements mean that commuters on average have experienced more regular wait times and greater ease in boarding as the passenger load is spread more evenly across the various bus trips.

* These services remained in the neutral zone and did not qualify for any incentive or penalty.

11.     Incentives and penalties are determined based on the six-month average performance of each service. For every 0.1 minute improvement or deterioration in EWT performance when compared to the baseline, the following monthly incentives and penalties apply.


Fleet Size Category

(< 10 buses)

(10 to <20 buses)

(20 buses)

Incentive Amount
per 0.1 minute improvement per month

$ 2,000

$ 4,000

$ 6,000

Penalty Amount
per 0.1 minute deterioration per month

$ 1,300

$ 2,600

$ 4,000

12.     Based on its performance, SBST earned $710,285.71 for reliability improvements to 11 services and SMRT earned $345,714.29 for improvements to seven services. There were no penalties deducted from both operators for this assessment period as none of their services had deteriorated more than 0.1 minutes to fall into the penalty zone. The incentives will help to offset the costs incurred by the PTOs to hire the additional service controllers to support the BSRF.

13.     As announced by Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew at the Committee of Supply debate last month, more services will be added to the BSRF trial in the second half of this year. Further details will be announced at a later date.

Annex A : Enhancements to existing bus services (Jan - Mar 2015)
Annex B : Map of BSEP improvements

[1] This 35% includes the buses injected by the PTOs themselves and the use of private bus operators to provide additional capacity through the City Direct Services and the Peak Period Short Services.

[2] The 14 PPSS are: services 222P, 240P, 265P, 268P, 285P, 291P, 293P, 307P, 358P, 359P, 811P, 812P, 903P and 912P.

[3] These 17 services are SBS Transit services 2, 161, 168, 174, 251, 334, 506, 518, and SMRT services 67, 187, 190, 811, 960, 964, 966, 969, 972.

[4] Each bus service has its own existing baseline, derived from the historical performance.

[5] Services that have improved under BSRF: SBST services 3, 17, 39, 51, 52, 154, 228, 241, 242, 292, 325, 354, and SMRT services 176, 184, 188, 189, 853, 858, 901 and 962.

[6] A neutral zone with no incentive or penalty was established for performance within 0.1 minute of the ‘excess wait time’ from the service’s unique baseline.


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