Committee of Supply Debate 2019: Public Transport Offerings

Bus Industry

On-Demand Public Bus

Responding to a request for an update on the ongoing On-Demand Public Bus (ODPB) trial by Mr Melvin Yong, Dr Janil mentioned that operated mileage has been reduced in some areas by more than 25%, while allowing most ODPB commuters to enjoy journey times comparable to regular bus services. Commuter feedback would be monitored to assess how and if the trial can be expanded to include peak hours and weekends, while also exploring virtual bus stops in time to come.

Cleaner Energy Buses by 2040

All diesel-fueled public buses will use cleaner energy sources by 2040, to contribute to a cleaner environment.

Currently, 50 Volvo B5L Hybrid Buses purchased by LTA have been put into operation since December 2018. 60 Electric Buses from 3 suppliers are also scheduled to be delivered in 2019 – 2020.

New Bus Services in Bukit Gombak

As a reply to South West Mayor Low Yen Ling’s (Chua Chu Kang GRC) question on additional new Bus Services in the Bukit Gombak area, Dr Janil mentioned that new bus services there will “depend on the pace of developments and ridership growth in the area.”

The new Build-to-Order Estates near Bukit Gombak are currently served by the extended feeder Bus Service 941 (since July 2018), new feeder Bus Service 944 (since August 2017) and new Bus Service 991 (since July 2018). Service 991 was also extended to Choa Chu Kang via Bukit Gombak MRT Station since 30 September 2018.

All Public Buses to be Wheelchair-Accessible by 2020

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Baey Yam Keng reaffirmed the commitment for a 100% wheelchair-accessible public bus fleet by 2020.

Currently, several non-wheelchair accessible public bus models have lifespan expiry dates between 2020 to 2022. These buses are expected to be retired early by 2020. These bus models are the Volvo B10BLE, Volvo B10TL, and Mercedes-Benz O405G.

More Accessible Information to Commuters with Special Needs

Main Article: LTA trials Assistive Passenger Information System

Mr Baey shared that in January 2019, LTA started a trial for Mobility Assistance for the Visually Impaired and Special users (MAVIS) mobile application which provides audio announcements both in the bus and at the bus stops to help bus commuters with special needs. 3 Buses for the trial are deployed on Bus Service 139 (serving the Enabling Village), before being redeployed to Bus Service 141 (serving the Singapore Association Of The Visually Handicapped (SAVH)) from May 2019.

The trial will help LTA to study the feasibility of using such assistive technologies on more public bus services.

Stroller Restraint System for All Public Buses by 2020

Mr Baey also shared that in June 2017, LTA started a 1 year trial on the Stroller Restraint System on Service 69. With positive feedback received, all public buses will have the system installed by 2020.

For the Stroller Restraint System trial, the system was installed on SBS7600Z.

See Also: Stroller Restraint System Trial on Service 69

New and Upgraded Bus Depots and Interchanges

One of the ways mentioned in the COS 2019 by Mr Baey to improve working conditions for Transport Workers was the new and upgraded bus depots and interchanges with more comfortable staff canteens and lounges.

Some of the upgrades include:

  • Upgrading the toilets at existing bus interchanges and terminals
  • Air-conditioning several NTWU Canteens at existing bus interchange and terminals, such as that at Shenton Way & Kampong Bahru
Enhanced Safety Management Systems

Dr Janil shared the Bus Safety record for 2018, in which the accident rate was 0.11 accidents per 100,000 bus service kilometres in 2018, which was a third lower than 0.15 in 2017.

One of the measures shared to reduce land transport related fatalities is enhanced safety management systems, such as anti-fatigue, collision warning and blindspot warning systems to aid our bus captains. These will provide audio cues or vibrations to keep the driver alert, and are already standard requirements for new public buses procured.

Some of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) already installed on public buses includes

Main Article: Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) for Buses

Transit Priority Corridors

Currently, Regional Centres are in Tampines, Woodlands and Jurong East that are well connected to nearby amenities and jobs.

Dr Janil mentioned that the MOT and LTA are collaborating with other agencies on upcoming key developments, including the Jurong Lake District, Jurong Innovation District, Woodlands North Coast, and the Punggol Digital District. These will be well connected by Transit Priority Corridors.

Transit Priority Corridors will have features such as dedicated turns and lanes for public and private buses, as well as other types of connectivity apart from the Transit Priority Corridors to link these new developments, such as the new rail projects that were already announced – the Thomson East Coast Line, the North East Line extension.

Autonomous Vehicles

Dr Janil also mentioned that ST Engineering Land Systems is conducting a trial of autonomous buses and partnering with SBS Transit to deploy a few of its best bus captains as safety operators.

Autonomous Buses with ST Engineering Land Systems currently include:

See Also:

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One thought on “Committee of Supply Debate 2019: Public Transport Offerings

  • 9 February 2021 at 4:16 PM

    Why couldn’t they build Bukit Brown MRT, Sungei Kadut MRT, Hume MRT and a NE2 station first, then close it until demand is needed then open them?


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