Singapore

More reliable bus services after new contracting model

The shift to a new bus contracting model since September last year has led to more reliable and less crowded bus services, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a statement yesterday.

About 60 per cent of bus services have become less crowded during peak hours between then and January this year, compared with the same period a year earlier, as 86 more buses have been deployed to improve more than 100 services.

All bus services now have scheduled intervals of no more than 15 minutes during peak hours. At least half of them have scheduled intervals of no more than 10 minutes.

Feeder services are also running at shorter intervals of six to eight minutes.

Under the bus contracting model, the Government will own all operating assets, such as buses and infrastructure, and bear the revenue risks.

Bus routes will be split into packages and tendered out to operators to run for a fee.

Tower Transit Singapore and Go-Ahead Singapore are the first two foreign bus companies to join the industry, which also includes SBS Transit and SMRT Buses, under this model.

Tower Transit runs routes in the western region, while Go-Ahead runs routes in Pasir Ris and Punggol.

The Bus Service Reliability Framework, which rewards operators with incentives if service reliability is improved, has also been implemented for 108 services.

This has resulted in a 15 per cent reduction in average additional wait times from last September to January this year.

SBS Transit has earned $2.04 million for improvements to 25 bus services, while SMRT Buses received just over $1.4 million for improvements to 20 services.

Seven out of 16 bus services from all four operators assessed on the "On Time Adherence" standard have also shown improvement in punctuality.

It measures the proportion of times that a bus service arrives less than two minutes earlier - or five minutes later - than its scheduled timing.

LTA said: "As the remaining services are gradually being included into the framework, commuters can expect further improvements to bus service reliability."

Housewife Mariana Idris, 33, said that service 43M, which travels between Punggol and Serangoon, has been arriving at shorter intervals since Go-Ahead took over the service from SBS Transit in September.

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