For individual On-Demand Public Bus trial regions, check out:
- On-Demand Public Bus (Joo Koon Area)
- On-Demand Public Bus (Marina – Downtown Area)
- On-Demand Public Bus (Night Bus – CBD to Bedok / Tampines)
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
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$466.2 million in February 2018.
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.
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
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
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
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.
External Links & References:
- Hail a Public Bus with Your App! – LTA
- LTA Awards First Phase of Tender for On-Demand Bus Services Trial – LTA
- LTA Awards Second Phase of Contract for On-Demand Public Buses Trial For More Seamless And Convenient Bus Journeys – LTA
- Trial of on-demand public bus services to start in December – The New Paper
- Six-Month Trial for On-Demand Public Buses to Start on 17 December 2018 – LTA
- Coming soon: Buses on demand in Marina-Downtown, Joo Koon, and from CBD to the east – Today Online