SBS to complete fleet renewal by 2017

SBS to complete fleet renewal by 2017

SBS TRANSIT, Singapore's dominant bus operator, expects to complete renewing its fleet under a billion-dollar programme by 2017.

The publicly listed company, a subsidiary of transport giant ComfortDelGro Corp, announced yesterday that it has ordered 665 new buses for a total of $311 million.

It will have about 3,800 buses in three years' time, up from nearly 3,400 today and 2,800 in 2006.

Chief executive Gan Juay Kiat said: "We have committed around $1.3 billion to purchase more than 3,000 buses since our fleet renewal programme began in 2006.

"By 2017, we will have replaced almost the entire fleet."

SBS Transit's latest purchase comprises 250 single-deck Mercedes- Benz Citaro buses and 415 double-deck Volvo B9TL Wright buses. Of these, 296 will be funded by the Government's Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP). All are wheelchair-accessible. The company noted that almost all its buses will be wheelchair- accessible in three years' time. All public buses must be wheelchair-accessible by 2020.

The latest tranche of 665 buses - which will comply with the stringent Euro 5 emission standard - will be delivered from the middle of next year.

In April, rival SMRT said that it was buying 573 new buses - its biggest order yet - over the next two years.

They comprise 332 regular 12m buses, 40 "Bendy" buses and, in a first for SMRT, 201 double- deckers. Of these, 218 will be funded by the BSEP.

The move will boost SMRT's fleet by 45 per cent to 1,836. In March, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew told Parliament that the BSEP will fund 450 more buses from next year, with the bulk expected to be on the road by the end of 2016.

These come on top of 550 state-funded buses to be rolled out by the end of this year, bringing the total BSEP fleet to 1,000.

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