Controversy over Downtown Line 2 Bus Rationalisation

Continued from Page 2:
  • Our thoughts on each route amendment
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of each move

Post-Rationalisation Changes to Bukit Panjang Bus Services (April 2022)

On 14 March 2022, Member of Parliament (MP) for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC (Zhenghua), Mr Edward Chia Bing Hui, made a Facebook post announcing the opening of Senja Close and conversion of Senja Link to one-way traffic, affecting the routes of various bus routes in Senja from Sunday, 3 April 2022.

At the same time, it was also announced that the route of Service 972M will be extended to serve Pending Rd, Petir Rd and Dairy Farm Rd. This latest change was seen as an indirect backtracking by the LTA in restoring a full day connecting bus service between Petir Rd and the City area of Orchard Road, previously offered by the defunct Service 700/700A.

As a result of the route extension for Service 972M, peak hour Service 971, which was previously converted from Express Service 971E and extended to serve Pending Rd, Petir Rd, Dairy Farm Rd, will be discontinued from Monday, 4 April 2022. However, the Facebook post by the MP also indicated the introduction of a “new Express service option provided by a private operator”, which will likely take over the role of Service 971.


  • 2020 (3 Aug): Withdrawal of Service 700/700A and amendment to Service 171 and 972 published. Members of Parliament react negatively to the news.
  • 2020 (4 Aug): LTA explains that the withdrawal of Service 700/700A was undertaken out of financial consideration
  • 2020 (7 Aug): Chee Hong Tat explains LTA’s stance, held meeting with Members of Parliament the following day
  • 2020 (13 Aug): Announcement of amended plans
  • 2022 (14 Mar): Withdrawal of Service 971 and further amendment to Service 972M to serve Pending Rd and Petir Rd published.

See Also

27 thoughts on “Controversy over Downtown Line 2 Bus Rationalisation

  • 21 December 2021 at 8:56 AM

    171 could have terminated at Gali batu Ter (or in tis case Bt Panjang temp bus park. Or so, just make bus 171 skip bt panjang entirely and have this instead: Yishun -> Ang Mo Kio -> Toa Payoh -> Orchard -> Marina Centre. That way 171 doesn’t duplicate the DTL

    • 5 June 2022 at 2:28 PM

      >doesn’t duplicate the DTL
      It’s gonna be the NSL, then.

  • 10 May 2021 at 8:59 PM

    Not really unfeasible the express service from Bukit Panjang to Bedok, will help cut travel times for servicemen booking out from army Campos nearby (stagmont, kranji and sungei gedong), can really help in getting them home faster

  • 15 August 2020 at 2:55 PM

    The fleet of 700 will be spread to 971,972M and aditional of buses for 973.
    Might as well retained 700 as a peak hour service 0630-0830 & 1730-1930 rather than wasting more resources.What is LTA scholars thinking?700 can renumbered as 977.

  • 14 August 2020 at 11:13 AM

    972M should be renumbered to 977 or 978 and extend to Shenton Way and go via Petir Road instead of just being a route variant of 972. If 976 or 978 can become a reality, during off peak hours, reduce the frequency so no wastage of resources.
    971E can just remain as it is.
    171 can merge with 180 to become a Yishun to Boon Lay service via Bt Panjang & Bukit Batok Road. Can deploy full double decks and increase the frequency. Alternatively, if merging is a bad idea, extend 171 to loop at CCK instead of just looping at Bt Panjang.
    Introduce a service from Bt Panjang to Changi Business Park or Upper East Coast or Changi Airport via East Coast and Bedok

    • 14 August 2020 at 10:33 PM

      To your suggestions:

      – 971, 972M: Not feasible. The main reason why 700/A was cut but 971 was not, was because the demand to Shenton Way is strictly during peak hours. Outside that there’s 162/167 and MRT. No reason for 972M to be underutilized during off-peak

      – 171 merge/extend: 180 operates as high frequency with full DD fleet. No way is it compatible with 171 BPJ-Yishun section. Extension to CCK unlikely given already large number of services plying BPJ-CCK. CCK-Mandai served by 927. CCK-Yishun served by MRT.

      – Service to east side: what for? Long routes such as suggested will definitely be prone to traffic delay and bunching. If run express, there won’t be enough demand to justify it. You already have DTL+EWL which do the job well enough. If you want exclusive services, get Grab.

      Better think twice before you make such infeasible suggestions


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