More than 300 government-funded buses added to network so far

More than 300 government-funded buses added to network so far

SINGAPORE - To combat crowds and reduce waiting times, the government has added more than 300 buses to the roads, and plans to introduce even more, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and bus operators said in a joint statement on Thursday.

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Here is the joint statement from SBS Transit, SMRT and the Land Transport Authority:

As of June 30, 2014, a total of 361 Government-funded buses have been added under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP) to introduce new bus routes and enhance existing bus services. This has helped reduce crowding, improve bus frequencies and provide better connectivity for commuters.

Better connectivity with new bus services

Between April and June this year, one existing route - Service 11 - was extended and three new City Direct Services (CDS) were introduced to enhance connectivity. This brings the total number of new or extended routes under BSEP to 29.

By September 2014, another two new routes in Hougang and Punggol will be introduced. Details of these new routes are currently being worked out.

Less crowding, shorter waiting time

To reduce crowding and shorten waiting time, additional buses were deployed to 17 bus services during morning and evening peak hours in the second quarter of 2014. In all, 240 weekly peak-hour bus trips were added in this period.

One such service is SBS Transit Service 84, which primarily serves Punggol residents. The service now runs at 9 to 10 minute intervals during the morning peak period, a significant reduction from 18 to 25 minute intervals previously. Similarly, for the evening peak period, the service now runs at intervals of 9 to 17 minutes, compared to 17 to 25 minutes previously.

Similarly, the SMRT-operated Service 975, which serves Bukit Panjang, now runs at 3 to 8 minute intervals during the morning peak period, compared to 6 to 8 minute previously.

To reduce waiting time for selected existing feeder bus services during peak periods, nine Peak Period Short Services (PPSS) were introduced to bring residents in Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Boon Lay, Choa Chu Kang, Pasir Ris, Tampines and Woodlands to bus interchanges or MRT stations.

A new supplementary service - Service 143M - overlaying existing Service 143 between Jurong East Bus Interchange and Teban/Pandan Gardens was also introduced in May.

Improvements by Public Transport Operators (PTOs)

Separately, as part of the on-going quarterly bus service review process, the PTOs have also improved 12 bus services by deploying higher capacity buses and/or adding more bus trips along sectors that experience heavy ridership to better match demand along these sectors. In total, the operators have added 70 weekly trips during peak hours for these services in the second quarter. This is in addition to the 240 additional weekly peak-hour bus trips added by the Government under the BSEP during the same period.

Expanded BSEP

As announced by the Minister for Transport during the 2014 Committee of Supply debate, another 450 Government-funded buses will be introduced under the expanded BSEP; most of which will be in service by end 2016. This will lead to further improvements in bus services for commuters.

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