On-Demand Public Buses, which have been operating on a trial basis since December 2018, will be discontinued after 15 June 2019.
About the Trial
A six-month trial of On-Demand Public Buses (ODPB) started in December 2018 in the Marina-Downtown and Joo Koon areas. Subsequently, a Night Bus trial started on 4 January 2019 as well. During the trial period, regular bus services operated at a lower frequency, while the night bus NR7 was suspended.
According to LTA,
- Commuter reactions to ODPB were mixed.
Some commuters were prepared to try the new service, with more than 26,000 rides booked and taken to date. According to an LTA passenger survey, around half of those who were aware of ODPB had tried it. However, there was also a significant group of commuters who were either not aware of ODPB or chose not to try it. Those who chose not to try ODPB said they were uncomfortable with using a mobile application to book a bus ride and felt that regular bus services provided greater certainty.
- Mileage savings were observed during the ODPB trial but it is currently less cost effective for ODPB to be scaled up due to high technology costs.
Compared to fixed and scheduled bus services, operated mileage in the same area was 18% lower during the ODPB trial. This means less bus resources were required. However, ODPB is currently less cost effective compared to regular bus services due to high software development costs. Larger-scale deployment of ODPB is expected to become more cost effective in the future when the efficiency of algorithms improves and technology enables the deployment of unmanned vehicles.
However, On-Demand Public Bus trials are expected to make a return in the future. On-Demand Autonomous Buses could return in Punggol Digital Districts, Tengah, and Jurong Innovation District in the future, as highlighted in the Land Transport Master Plan 2040.
To test these emerging technologies, we plan to deploy AV, on-demand, dynamically-routed buses as part of a pilot programme in Punggol, Tengah and the Jurong Innovation District. (LTMP 2040)
In the meantime, On-Demand Bus Services are being tested on a smaller scale by Go-Ahead Singapore. In Late March 2019, Go-Ahead Singapore launched EB Ride, an On-Demand Bus Service for its Employees. The application generates a dynamic routing between bus stops where Go-Ahead Employees need to get on or get off, which in turn saves time by sending employees home faster and reduces their travelling time to Loyang Bus Depot.
On-Demand Bus Services also continue to be operated by GrabShuttle Plus, which operates in Bedok, Changi ALSP, Hougang, Pasir Ris, Punggol, Sengkang, Serangoon and Tampines.
Find out more about the On-Demand Public Bus trials in the following articles:
- On-Demand Public Bus
- 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 Night Bus: A review
- EB Ride (Go-Ahead Singapore)