Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP)

The Bus Service Enhancement Programme, or BSEP for short, was launched on 7th March 2012. The Land Transport Authority (LTA), in partnership with Public Transport Operators (PTOs) SBS Transit and SMRT, rolled out new measures to significantly increase bus capacity and bus service levels. The BSEP is a continuation of the Quarterly Review of Bus Services which was initiated in June 2010.

The $1.1 billion scheme will cover the purchase of 1000 new buses and 80 new bus services to be progressively introduced over the next five years. The first phase of the BSEP (comprising of 550 new buses and 40 new services) has been brought forward to end 2014. In March 2014, an expansion of the BSEP was announced, introducing 450 more buses from 2015 to 2017. This will bring the total number of government-funded buses to 1,000, and increase available resources for a new total of 80 new services. Most of the 40 expanded BSEP bus routes will be feeder or short trunk services to serve new areas of developments such as Sengkang, Punggol, Yishun and Choa Chu Kang.

Since End December 2015, about 760 new buses have been pumped into service and 54 new bus services have been launched. With the full implementation of the expanded BSEP by 2017 and with help from private bus operators, the total capacity of the bus system will increase by about 35 per cent, or about 1,400 buses, in just five years since the start of BSEP in 2012.

Video Introduction to BSEP: BSEP Introduction BSEP 2 Years On

Introduction

In summary, the BSEP aims to cover a few areas to improve the bus system:

  • Better bus services for commuters
  • Better connectivity with new bus services
    Volvo B9TL purchased under BSEP, with Lush Red Livery.
    Volvo B9TL purchased under BSEP, with Lush Red Livery under the “Colour Your Buses” campaign.

1. Purchase of new buses

Under the revised BSEP, the Government will by providing funding for 550 new buses. Together with the 250 buses that the PTOs will add to their fleet at their cost, over the next 5 years, these 800 new buses will amount to a 20% increase in bus fleet. Out of 550 buses, 300 will be used to improve existing bus routes, and the remaining 250 used for operating new routes. The announcement of the expanded BSEP brought in 450 additional buses for a new total of 1,000 new buses. Buses purchased under the BSEP include Volvo B9TLs and Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaros for SBS Transit, as well as Alexander Dennis Enviro 500 and MAN NL323Fs for SMRT Buses.

2. Improvement of peak hour travel

Under the BSEP, 95% of feeder bus services will run at scheduled intervals of 10 minutes or less during the peak periods. The remaining 5% will be scheduled to run within 15 minute intervals. This will be sustained over 2 hours during both the morning and evening peak periods. Currently, only 9 in 10 (90%) of feeder bus services are required to operate at 10 minute scheduled intervals or better, and for only 1 hour during each peak period. The PTOs will also have to improve bus frequencies across the board, i.e. feeders and trunk routes, during the peak periods. Today, all services must operate within 30-minute scheduled intervals, of which 80% must be within 10-min scheduled intervals. Under the BSEP, all services must operate within 20-minute scheduled intervals, of which 80% must be within 10-minute intervals and another 10% within 12-minute intervals. By end 2014, commuters can expect about 10% more capacity on buses along crowded stretches of bus routes during peak hours, as the PTOs will be required to reduce the loading levels for all basic bus services to 85%, down from today’s 95% of their licensed capacity.

Summary:

Basic Bus Services:

  • Existing QoS: Loading levels within 95% of licensed capacity
  • By end 2014: Loading levels within 85% of licensed capacity
  • Existing QoS: 80% of all basic bus services to run at scheduled intervals of 10 minutes or less during peak periods
  • By end 2014: 90% of all basic bus services to run at scheduled intervals of 12 minutes or less during peak periods,

Feeder Bus Services:

  • Existing QoS: 90% of services to operate at scheduled intervals of 10 minutes or less during peak periods (currently over 1-hour period)
  • By end 2014: 95% of services to operate at scheduled intervals of 10 minutes or less over entire 2-hour peak-hour period

All Bus Services:

  • Existing QoS: maximum 30 minute scheduled intervals during peak hours
  • By end 2014: maximum 20 minute scheduled intervals during peak hours

3. Improvements to Existing Bus Services

The revised BSEP adds part of the 1000 new buses to existing bus services which are in need of capacity upgrades. Most bus routes receive between one and three additional buses. The existing bus services excludes bus services launched under BSEP.

New Bus Service 117 introduced in December 2015.
New Bus Service 117 introduced in December 2015.

4. New Bus Services

While the focus in the initial years will be to improve bus service levels for existing bus services, commuters can also expect better connectivity in the bus network with around 80 new bus routes introduced progressively over the next 5 years. This is a 30% increase, up from the 261 basic bus routes today.

Out of the 80 new bus routes, about 14 will be parallel bus routes that connect major HDB towns to the city area, making use of the expressways. The new parallel bus routes will be progressively introduced from the third quarter of 2012 to provide more options to commuters using stretches of the existing rail lines that experience persistent high ridership, while the ongoing rail enhancement measures are being implemented. LTA will monitor the performance of these parallel bus services closely and make adjustments where required.

Besides improvements to public bus operators, the scheme also extends to private bus operators, in the hope of augmenting the resources of PTOs. City Direct Services and Peak Period Short Services (PPSS) are among such initiatives, and are explained in detail in the relevant articles.


5. BSEP Buses

Mercedes-Benz Citaro purchased under BSEP. Painted in Lush Green livery for the "Color Your Buses" campaign.
Mercedes-Benz Citaro purchased under BSEP. Painted in Lush Green livery for the “Color Your Buses” campaign.

Buses acquired under the BSEP scheme have special registration numbers to separate them from the non-BSEP buses of similar models. They have similar specifications, however BSEP buses come equipped with passenger counters among other equipment, and can be directly monitored by LTA.

In preparation for the transition to the Government Contracting Model (GCM), from late 2015 onwards, most BSEP Buses have been registered under the “SG” prefix. This is due to the GCM also comprising of BSEP buses.


6. Timeline of BSEP introduction (sorted by date):

  • 07 Mar 2012: The BSEP scheme is announced
  • Jul – Sep 2012: PTOs add 190 more weekly trips for 30 services during peak hours
  • 21 Nov 2012: LTA calls for tender for private bus operators to run a City Direct service between Jurong West and the CBD
  • 13 Jun 2013: LTA calls for tender for private bus operators to operate nine new City Direct services from Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bukit Batok, Eunos, Hougang, Jurong East, Sembawang, Sengkang and West Coast
  • 30 Sep 2013: LTA calls for tender for private bus operators to operate five new Peak Period Short Services (PPSS) within Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Boon Lay and Woodlands
  • 09 Nov 2013: LTA awards contracts for six new City Direct services
  • 23 Dec 2013: LTA calls for tender for private bus operators to run five additional Peak Period Short Services (PPSS) within Tampines, Choa Chu Kang and Pasir Ris
  • 21 Jan 2014: LTA awards contracts for four new Peak Period Short Services (‪‎PPSS‬) services to complement existing feeder bus services 222, 268, 240 and 912
  • 25 Feb 2014: LTA calls for tender for six new Peak Period Short Services (‪‎PPSS‬) services to complement existing feeder bus services 265, 285, 811, 812, 903 and 913.
  • 14 Oct 2014: LTA awards contracts for five new Peak Period Short Services (‪‎PPSS‬) services to complement existing feeder bus services 265, 285, 811, 812 and 903

7. Chronology of BSEP introduction:

Do note that new bus services (including City Direct services) and route extension to existing bus services count as BSEP services. Services not under the BSEP tally are supplementary services, such as Peak Period Short Services and others which duplicate sections of trunk routes.

S/N Date Service
 1 21 Oct 2012 SMRT Bus Service 860
 2 21 Oct 2012 SBS Transit Bus Service 119 (Route Extension)
 3 18 Nov 2012 SBS Transit Bus Service 116
 4 16 Dec 2012 SBS Transit Bus Service 50
 5 17 Dec 2012 SBS Transit Express Service 513
 6 18 Feb 2013 SMRT Express Service 850E
 7 17 Mar 2013 SBS Transit Bus Service 4
 8 18 Mar 2013 SMRT Express Service 982E
 9 21 Apr 2013 SBS Transit Bus Service 120
 10 09 Jun 2013 SBS Transit Bus Service 20
 11 09 Jun 2013 SBS Transit Bus Service 141
 12 17 Jun 2013 SMRT Express Service 951E
 13 18 Aug 2013 SMRT Feeder Service 904
 14 02 Sep 2013 City Direct Service 651
 15 15 Nov 2013 SMRT Bus Service 972
 16 14 Dec 2013 SBS Transit Bus Service 49
 17 06 Jan 2014 City Direct Service 652
 18 13 Jan 2014 City Direct Service 653
 19 19 Jan 2014 SBS Transit Feeder 371
 20 20 Jan 2014 City Direct Service 654
 21 16 Feb 2014 SMRT Feeder Service 803
 22 17 Feb 2014 City Direct Service 655
 23 17 Feb 2014 City Direct Service 656
 24 24 Feb 2014 City Direct Service 657
 25 16 Mar 2014 SBS Transit Service 121
14 Apr 2014 Peak Period Short Service 912P
22 Apr 2014 Peak Period Short Service 240P
29 Apr 2014 Peak Period Short Service 222P
06 May 2014 Peak Period Short Service 268P
18 May 2014 SBS Transit Bus Service 143M
26 19 May 2014 City Direct Service 658
27 08 Jun 2014 SBS Transit Bus Service 11 (Route Extension)
28 09 Jun 2014 City Direct Service 659
10 Jun 2014 Peak Period Short Service 358P
10 Jun 2014 Peak Period Short Service 359P
29 23 Jun 2014 City Direct Service 660
24 Jun 2014 Peak Period Short Service 291P
24 Jun 2014 Peak Period Short Service 293P
30 Jun 2014 Peak Period Short Service 307P
13 Jul 2014 SBS Transit Bus Service 63M (Extension of Ops Hours)
30 17 Aug 2014 SBS Transit Bus Service 386
17 Aug 2014 SMRT Bus Service 859A/B (Supplementary Routes)
24 Aug 2014 SBS Transit Bus Service 123M (Route Extension)
31 12 Sep 2014 SBS Transit Bus Service 324
12 Sep 2014 SBS Transit Bus Service 139M (Supplementary Route)
09 Nov 2014 SBS Transit Service 49 (3 Additional Bus Stops)
 32 15 Nov 2014 SMRT Bus Service 990
16 Nov 2014 SBS Transit Bus Service 17A (Extension of Ops Hours)
16 Nov 2014 SBS Transit Bus Service 43M (Supplementary Route)
 33 23 Nov 2014 SBS Transit Bus Service 201
 34 14 Dec 2014 SBS Transit Bus Service 41
 35 14 Dec 2014 SBS Transit Bus Service 140
 36 15 Dec 2014 SBS Transit Bus Service 35 (Route Extension)
 –  30 Dec 2014 Peak Period Short Service 285P
 –  06 Jan 2015 Peak Period Short Service 265P
 –  13 Jan 2015 Peak Period Short Service 903P
 –  20 Jan 2015 Peak Period Short Service 811P
 –  20 Jan 2015 Peak Period Short Service 812P
 37  14 Feb 2015 SBS Transit Feeder 386 (Route Extension)
 38  15 Mar 2015 SBS Transit Bus Service 122
 39  25 Apr 2015 SMRT Feeder Bus Service 301
 40  25 Apr 2015 SMRT Bus Service 983
 –  27 Apr 2015 SMRT Express Service 982E (Route Extension)
 41 14 Jun 2015 SBS Transit Service 103 (Route Extension)
 – 14 Jun 2015 SMRT Bus Service 972 (Route Amendment)
 – 16 Aug 2015 SBS Transit Bus Service 53M (Supplementary Route)
 – 17 Aug 2015 Peak Period Short Service 291P (Change In Ops Hours)
 – 17 Aug 2015 Peak Period Short Service 293P (Change In Ops Hours)
 42 20 Sep 2015 SBS Transit Service 102
 43 22 Sep 2015 City Direct Service 661
 44 22 Sep 2015 City Direct Service 662
  – 28 Sep 2015 SMRT Express Service 850E (Route Amendment)
 45 28 Sep 2015 City Direct Service 663
 46 06 Oct 2015 City Direct Service 664
 – 12 Oct 2015 SMRT Express Service 951E (Route Amendment)
 47 12 Oct 2015 City Direct Service 665
 48 21 Nov 2015 SBS Transit Service 258
 49 22 Nov 2015 SBS Transit Service 49 (Route Extension)
 50 20 Dec 2015 SBS Transit Service 47
 51 20 Dec 2015 SBS Transit Service 117
 52 20 Dec 2015 SBS Transit Service 118
 53 27 Dec 2015 SMRT Bus Service 979
 54 27 Dec 2015 SMRT Bus Service 983 (Route Extension)
 55 03 Jan 2016 SBS Transit Service 382G/W
 – 03 Jan 2016 SMRT Feeder Bus Service 301 (2 Additional Bus Stops)
 – 18 Jan 2016 Peak Period Short Service 222P (Change In Ops Hours)
 56 14 Feb 2016 SMRT Feeder Bus Service 805
 57 29 Feb 2016 City Direct Service 666
 58 08 Mar 2016 City Direct Service 667
 59 15 Mar 2016 City Direct Service 668
 60 20 Mar 2016 SBS Transit Service 134
 61 20 Mar 2016 SBS Transit Service 150
 62 22 Mar 2016 City Direct Service 669
 63 29 Mar 2016 City Direct Service 670
 – 24 Apr 2016 SBS Transit Bus Service 117 (Route Amendment)
 – 24 Apr 2016 SBS Transit Bus Service 386 (Route Extension)
 – 24 Apr 2016 SMRT Bus Service 979M (Temporary Supplementary Route)
 64 15 May 2016 SMRT Feeder Bus Service 308
 65 12 Jun 2016 SBS Transit Bus Service 46
 66 17 Oct 2016 City Direct Service 671
 67 23 Oct 2016 SMRT Bus Service 883
 68 07 Nov 2016 City Direct Service 672
 69 18 Dec 2016 SBS Transit Bus Service 127
 70 18 Dec 2016 SBS Transit Bus Service 129
 71 12 Mar 2017 SBS Transit Bus Service 374
 72 12 Mar 2017 Go-Ahead Feeder Bus Service 381
 73 18 Jun 2017 SBS Transit Bus Service 247
 74 18 Jun 2017 SBS Transit Bus Service 248

8. BSEP Bus Hangers:

To promote new bus services, services with operation hours extension or route extensions to commuters, the Land Transport Authority prints BSEP Bus Hangers and distributes them to various bus on bus services around the area benefited by the new BSEP Bus Service.

The first BSEP Bus hanger printed was for the route extension of Service 119, which was the first bus service to be improved under the BSEP scheme in Oct 2012, to Punggol and was released 3 days before the actual extension. However, the Service 119 BSEP Hangers were only placed in Service 119 buses then. Subsequently, the second BSEP Bus Hanger was released for the then new Service 860. Since then, the printing of BSEP Bus Hangers for every new service under BSEP (Except City Direct & Peak Period Short Services) have been consistent.

Promotional BSEP Hanger for Service 119
Promotional BSEP Hanger for Service 119

9. Gallery:

SMRT’s three BSEP Express Routes

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