Bus Service Reliability

Media Replies 28 May 2016

We refer to the recent letters ‘Do more to improve bus reliability’ (ST Online, 16 May) and ‘Bus service reliability shouldn't come from rewards’ (ST, 17 May).

The Bus Service Reliability Framework (BSRF) is an incentive-penalty framework designed to incentivise bus operators to ensure that buses arrive at regular intervals at bus stops. The main objective is to reduce bus bunching and prolonged wait times for commuters at bus stops. Between June to November 2015, 27 of the 34 services on the trial saw improvements in commuter wait times.

Today, the performance of bus services is measured simply based on whether buses leave interchanges and depots according to their scheduled times. The BSRF takes this one step further by nudging bus operators to actively manage real-time bus movements throughout the entire journey such that irregular bus arrivals and bus bunching can be minimised.  To achieve this outcome, additional resources such as hiring more back-end service controllers to monitor bus movement and setting aside standby buses and drivers are required. The BSRF provides the additional resources for bus operators to cope with the higher standards under the trial, without passing on the costs to the commuters.

A similar incentive-penalty scheme has been successful in London. With the success of the BSRF trial, we will incorporate the framework in our contracts with the new and existing operators. As is the case in London, the baselines for measuring bus reliability will be raised over time to encourage operators to continually improve their service standards.

Helen Lim (Ms)
Group Director, Corporate Communications Group
Land Transport Authority

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