Singapore

3-door bus hits the road for six-month trial

A double-decker bus with three doors hit the road yesterday as part of a study by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to evaluate its suitability for Singapore's use.

The prototype will also have an additional staircase, reserved for commuters leaving the upper deck to exit from the third door.

The custom-made bus will have a six-month pilot on Tower Transit Singapore's service 143.

While the layout can help improve flow of commuters, the three-door bus is around 15 per cent more expensive than a two-door bus due to the complexity of the design, said the LTA, based on preliminary estimates.

It is designed by Singapore Technologies Kinetics using a chassis from Germany's MAN Truck and Bus.

A three-door single-deck bus will also be tested with operator SMRT from the second quarter of this year.

Features like USB charging ports on board are not the only things different about Tower Transit's new bus.

Signs in Singlish like "Here can charge phone!" are meant to "grab the passenger's attention, so he will read what is underneath", said the firm's group communications director, Mr Glenn Lim.

All notices have explanations in standard English.

The LTA said it will study how the three-door models might "reduce boarding and alighting time".

The new bus is also 0.8m longer, and the LTA will assess if this is suitable for the current infrastructure.

LTA group director of public transport Yeo Teck Guan said: "The review of public bus design is a key part of making public transport a choice mode of transport as we move towards a car-lite society."

The LTA said it would have a better idea of the eventual cost if a bulk purchase tender was called later.

FOR MORE, READ THE STRAITS TIMES TODAY

busTower Transit SingaporeLand Transport Authority