We thank Mr Desmond Teo for his letter “Renewal of bus services needed too” (2 January 2019).
All public buses on our roads must meet noise and exhaust emission standards stipulated in the Environmental Protection and Management (Vehicular Emissions) Regulations, which are enforced through the Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) stringent procurement specifications for bus vendors. LTA also has in place strict maintenance requirements and statutory 6-monthly inspections to ensure that our buses are roadworthy and safe for commuters. In addition, when buses are halfway through their 17-year statutory lifespan, they undergo refurbishment to ensure the interior and exterior are refreshed aesthetically. Critical components, such as door system and drivelines, are also regularly checked and overhauled, if needed, to ensure safe and reliable operations.
Besides maintenance, our bus fleet has seen significant renewal and upgrading. More than 2,000 new buses (inclusive of Bus Service Enhancement Programme buses) were purchased over the past five years, and 80% of the fleet is less than halfway through their lifespan. Additionally, all buses purchased since 1 January 2018 meet the Euro VI emission standard, the strictest emission standard currently used worldwide. LTA is also testing diesel hybrid and electric buses, which are quieter and cleaner, to assess their feasibility for wider deployment.
Under the bus contracting model, LTA owns the buses, determines the services to be provided and sets service standards, while the bus operators operate the services, as well as manage and maintain the buses owned by LTA. Feedback from commuters, including those on specific buses with problems, will be taken seriously and looked into jointly between LTA and the operators to ensure an optimal bus fleet.
GOH Puay San (Ms)
Director, Bus Infrastructure & Assets
Land Transport Authority