Marking the start of a new year, let’s check out what 2023 has in store for public transport!
New trains & stations
The Alstom Movia R151 is expected to commence passenger service this year. A total of 106 trains were ordered as one-for-one replacements for C151, C651 and C751B trains, with delivery and commissioning of these trains ongoing.
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the opening of Punggol Coast MRT Station along the North East Line, and the Thomson-East Coast Line (Stage 4) from Tanjong Rhu to Bayshore have both been delayed from 2023 to 2024. In addition, the Bukit Panjang LRT Renewal was delayed until 2026, and no further announcements have been made regarding the launch of the Alstom Innovia APM 300R (C801B) trains.
Finally, the LTA will award a tender for new Cross Island Line trains this year under Contract CR151.
Integrated Train Testing Centre
The first phase of the Integrated Train Testing Centre (ITTC) is targeted for completion by 2023, although full completion is only expected by 2025. The 50-ha site is situated at the former site of the Raffles Country Club and enables the testing and commissioning of rolling stock and rail subsystems for both new and existing rail lines. Alstom Metropolis C851E trains for Circle Line 6 will be tested here.
New Electric Buses
Several new electric demonstrator bus models are expected to commence revenue service trials in 2023, as more eBus manufacturers aim to capture a piece of the Singapore market in line with Singapore’s aggressive bus electrification rollout.
Half of all public buses will be electric by 2030, which is about 3,000 buses.
Some of these demonstrator buses are:
- LexSWITCH E12 SD
- Volvo BZL – SC Neustar City
- Zhongtong LCK6126EVG
- FTBCI 3-door Electric Bus for Singapore
- MAN 3-door Electric Bus for Singapore
It is not yet known if the BYD B12 will be offered for revenue service trials. One unit built to LTA specifications was showcased at SITCE 2022.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is also expected to launch tenders for bulk electric bus procurement as early as this year to meet its 2030 electrification targets, and to replace Scania K230UB buses due for retirement from late 2024 onwards.
Volvo B9TL (CDGE) buses operated by SBS Transit will reach the end of their statutory lifespan in September 2023. These were Singapore’s first wheelchair-accessible buses with 200 units procured; however, most of these buses were retired early in 2022, and only 22 units remain on the roads.
New Bus Interchanges and Terminals
Jurong Town Hall Bus Interchange is on track to open in 2023. This new interchange at Venture Drive will complement the existing Jurong East Bus Interchange.
The long-delayed Bidadari Bus Interchange is nearing completion, but no firm opening date has been set for this interchange.
The LTA called a tender for the Bukit Merah and Jurong West Bus Packages last year, and is expected to be awarded later this year.
The Jurong West Bus Package is the sixth contract to be launched for competitive tendering under the Bus Contracting Model, while the Bukit Merah Bus Package is currently up for its second tendered term.
In 2017, Punggol, Tengah and Jurong Innovation District were identified as areas where residents and workers can turn to self-driving buses and shuttles for their first- and last-mile commutes from 2022; but no further updates have been provided on their rollout. In these three new towns, it is envisioned that robot buses will run scheduled services during off-peak periods to complement human-driven ones, while driverless shuttles can be summoned on demand by commuters.
All information in this article is based on previously-announced information. These scheduled completion/delivery dates are subjected to delays, in view of construction and shipping delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.