On-Demand Public Bus

For individual On-Demand Public Bus trial regions, check out:

On Demand Public Bus MD-1
On Demand Public Bus MD-1

On-demand Bus Services are routes that have flexible routings based on real-time commuter demand, using a fleet of vehicles operating in shared-ride mode between pick-up and drop-off locations according to passengers needs.

On 15 August 2017, LTA called a tender (PT327 – Development and Trial for On-Demand Bus Services) to seek proposals from the industry for on-demand, dynamically-routed public bus services during off-peak periods in areas with low ridership.

Through a mobile application, commuters will be able to request pick-ups and drop-offs at any bus stop within a defined operating area. The objective is to deliver better and more customised bus services, with the possibility of a shorter wait time. Instead of being able to alight only at a bus stop along a pre-determined, fixed route, passengers can ask to alight at any bus stop in the operating area, making the commute more seamless and convenient than the fixed bus routes of today.

In addition to enhancing the commute, the trial will help LTA assess if such a form of public bus services could optimise resources (buses and bus captains) and operating cost in areas and periods with low ridership.

See More: LTA to trial on-demand bus services

First Phase

The First phase of the tender, required the successful firms to conduct modelling and simulation to test service quality and resource requirements, allowing the LTA to determine the parameters for the actual trial.

The companies would develop a dynamic matching and routing algorithm which will enable buses to be deployed according to real-time commuter demand, as well as pick-up and drop-off points. They will also conduct simulations to demonstrate and refine the service standards and resource requirements to enable LTA to determine the operational trial parameters, such as the trial area(s).

This tender was awarded to Via Transportation, Inc. (Via) and Ministry of Movement Pte. Ltd (SWAT) at a combined sum of S$466,194.50 in February 2018.

Second Phase

In the Second phase, public bus operators would test and calibrate software and hardware solutions provided by the successful firms before beginning trials of actual on-demand, dynamically routed bus services from December 2018.

The contractors would develop both software and hardware solutions for the ODPB system. These solutions comprise mobile apps for commuters and bus captains, back-end tools required to monitor services during the trial, as well as operational and maintenance support for the system. Additional simulations will also be conducted to fine-tune the operating parameters and geofence areas of the system. Bus captains and support staff would also be trained to operate the system.

The second phase of the tender was also awarded to Via and SWAT at a combined sum of S$2.26 million in August 2018.

Future Expansion

LTA also hopes to extend the on-demand bus service concept to night bus services, in place of existing night bus services with fixed timetables and routes.

On-Demand Public Bus (ODPB) Services

On Demand Public Bus - LTA Poster
On Demand Public Bus – LTA Poster

Seven bus services were identified for the trial back in August 2017. Services 84 and 382 were eventually excluded from the final trial, and NR7 was added.

ODPB Services will be operated using single deck Public Service Buses (for Marina – Downtown and Night Bus), as well as Double Decker buses (for Joo Koon) with the bus registration number and a unique service number provided to commuters who book an on-demand bus trip through a designated App. The services will bear a two-character prefix followed by an assigned number (e.g. JK-1, JK-2, MD-1, NB-1, etc.)

Trials will begin on 17 December 2018 for Joo Koon and Marina Bay / Downtown areas, and 4 January 2019 for the Night Bus route.

The ODPB trial will end on 15 June 2019.

Area / Mobile App Service Route
Joo Koon (BusGo) 253 Joo Koon Int ↺ Benoi Rd (Loop)
255 Joo Koon Int ↺ Gul Cres (Loop)
257 Joo Koon Int ↺ Pioneer Sector 2 (Loop)
Marina Bay / Downtown (BusNow) 400 Shenton Way Ter ↺ Marina Gardens Dr (Loop)
402 Shenton Way Ter ↺ Marina Coastal Dr (Loop)
CBD to Bedok & Tampines (BusNow) NR7 Marina Centre Ter → Loyang Avenue

Commuters using the service in Joo Koon will need to download the BusGo app by Via Transportation. For the Marina-Downtown and CBD-East areas, commuters will need the BusNow app by Ministry of Movement (Swat).

These apps can be downloaded through the following links:

The ODPB Trial operating hours are as follows:

Area / Service Operating Hours
Joo Koon From 17 Dec 2018
Weekdays except Public Holidays
1100hrs – 1500hrs &
2030hrs – 2330hrs
Marina Bay / Downtown From 17 Dec 2018
Weekdays except Public Holidays
1100hrs – 1500hrs &
2030hrs – 2345hrs
CBD to Bedok & Tampines From 4 Jan 2019
Fridays, Saturdays & Eve of Public Holidays
2330hrs – 0200hrs
ODPB Fares
EZ-Link Reader for On-Demand Public Bus
EZ-Link Reader for On-Demand Public Bus

Joo Koon & Marina – Downtown On-Demand Public Bus Service

During the ODPB Trial, a promotional flat distance fare for 3.2km regardless of distance travelled applies for all passengers. Distance-fare transfer rules apply.

  • Adult Card: $0.83
    Adult Cash: $1.50
    Senior Citizen / Persons with Disabilities Card: $0.55
    Senior Citizen / Persons With Disabilities Cash: $1.00
    Student Card: $0.38
    Student Cash: $0.65
    Workfare Transport Concession Scheme Card: $0.64
    Workfare Transport Concession Scheme Cash: $1.50

Night CBD to Bedok / Tampines On-Demand Public Bus Service

During the ODBP Trial, a promotional flat fare applies regardless of distance travelled for all passengers. The fare is similar to that for SMRT NightRider Services.

  • Card / Cash: $4.50

Service Disruption

On 20 February 2019, the On-Demand Public Bus Service for Marina-Downtown was disrupted during the AM Off Peak session (11.00am – 3.00pm) due to a technical issue with the BusNow Application. Commuters were informed through an app notification that the service was unavailable, while regular service (20 min frequency) was restored on Bus Services 400 & 402. The technical issue was resolved later at around 3.15pm.


See Also:

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