SINGAPORE - The Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP) will be expanded with the addition of another 450 buses to the original 550 first introduced under this government-funded programme. Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew announced this during the 2014 Committee of Supply debate on March 11.
The Land Transport Authority will partner public transport operators (PTOs) SBS Transit and SMRT Buses to add the 450 buses from 2015 to 2017.
The BSEP began in September 2012 to expand public bus capacity and improve bus service levels over five years. Under the $1.1 billion programme, the Government will add 550 buses to the existing bus fleet while the PTOs will pay for another 250 buses.
As at end February 2014, about 320 of the 550 BSEP buses funded by the Government have entered service, with the remaining 230 buses to be on the road by end-2014, two years ahead of schedule.
"In addition to the government-funded buses, the PTOs have contributed about 100 more buses under BSEP to meet additional ridership, out of the 250 to which they had earlier committed," said Mr Lui.
Together with the additional 450 buses - which will also be paid for by the $1.1 billion Bus Service Enhancement Fund - the total bus fleet available for public bus services will increase by 35 per cent to about 5,400 buses.
For rail services, 83 new trains are to be injected into the system. This means fleet sizes on the various MRT lines will be pumped up by between 30 and 70 per cent. This will increase trips during rush hours and shorten the wait during off-peak periods.
Larger fleets will also allow the public transport operators SMRT and SBS Transit to intensify their maintenance work and upgrading of older trains.
The boost in rail capacity outlined by Mr Lui has already kicked off, with 13 new trains earmarked this year for the North-South and East-West lines (NSEWL). Four have already been put into service and, from 2016, another fleet of 28 will be added to the NSEWL.
From 2015, a total of 42 new trains will join the North East Line and Circle Line to boost their fleets by 70 per cent and 60 per cent, respectively.
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