Next stop: Six direct buses services to city

SINGAPORE - Six new bus services that will take commuters from housing estates to the Central Business District during peak hours will be launched progressively from the first half of next year.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) confirmed on Saturday that it has awarded contracts for the City Direct services to five private bus operators. The total value of the contracts is about $7.16 million.

The six routes will serve residents in Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Batok/ Hillview, Jurong East, Sembawang, Sengkang and West Coast.

They will take commuters from these estates to the city via expressways during morning peak hours and back in the evening from Mondays to Fridays, excluding public holidays.

The morning peak hours for bus services are typically from around 6.30am to 8.30am. In the evening, they are between 5.30pm and 7.30pm.

The five operators are Ren Quan Transport, ComfortDelGro Bus, Loh Gim Chong, Transtar Travel and Woodlands Transport Service.

"With limited stops and the use of expressways, journey times will be comparable to that of taking a bus or LRT and transferring to the MRT into the city," said the LTA in a media release.

The City Direct services are part of the $1.1 billion Bus Service Enhancement Programme launched in September last year. The first City Direct service, operated by ComfortDelGro Bus, began in Jurong West on Sept 2.

Bukit Batok resident Melissa Lee said she is looking forward to the new bus service and may use it as an alternative way to get to work.

"When I take the train to work around 8.30am, it's pretty crowded," said the 28-year-old civil servant, who works at City Hall.

"I might try the bus service but it depends on whether there are traffic jams on the expressways."

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