Electric buses will be deployed on campus shuttle bus routes at National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) starting later this year (2022).
Local private bus operator ComfortDelGro Bus secured multi-year operating contracts from both NUS and NTU earlier in 2021/22. The operator will deploy a full fleet of electric buses at both universities. Currently, around 50 diesel buses are deployed across NUS and NTU.
The push for new electric buses on campus comes amid efforts from NUS and NTU to achieve their sustainability goals. Another localised shuttle bus network, the Sentosa Internal Shuttle Bus, has also opted for a ComfortDelGro-led fleetwide electrification slated for 2025.
ComfortDelGro Bus has also announced that it plans to only operate electric buses by 2030, making it Singapore’s largest electrified private bus fleet.
ComfortDelGro Bus is the current transport provider at NUS. Over the years, it has brought in city buses specifically for NUS operations, most recently the Volvo B9L. It currently owns 32 of these buses dedicated to campus shuttle services.
Electric buses are expected to join the campus bus fleet in the third quarter of 2022. While a rollout timeline has not been provided, all buses currently serving the campus will eventually be replaced with electric ones.
The new fleet of electric buses will be wheelchair accessible and equipped with a telematics system, an anti-fatigue system, as well as a forward collision and side collision warning system. Many of these features are already standard on public buses procured by the Land Transport Authority.
Earlier in July 2021, an electric BYD C9 coach commenced its trial on the NUS Internal Shuttle Bus Services in support of the CDG-NUS Living Lab, a research collaboration between NUS and ComfortDelGro.
ComfortDelGro Bus will replace Tong Tar Transport as the provider of campus shuttle buses at NTU starting from later this year. The four-year contract is valued at close to $20 million.
According to an article in The Straits Times in February 2022, electric buses are expected to commence service in September 2022, however publicity posters around NTU suggest that buses would enter service by end of 2022 instead. Although a rollout timeline was not provided, the entire shuttle bus fleet comprising 20-odd buses will eventually be fully electrified.
A mobile app will offer access to real-time information on bus location along the route, arrival time and passenger occupancy rate, similar to the one already in use at NUS.
A fleet of electric city buses will likely be procured for both campuses, similar to most of the buses currently deployed at both universities. These buses prioritise high passenger capacity and ease of access, featuring a low-floor design, adequate standing room onboard, and at least two passenger doors for quick ingress and egress.
A recent render published by NUS shows what appears to be a BYD B12 derived 3 door bus. In addition, the bus render at NTU also shows a similar bus model.