To provide faster and more reliable bus journeys for commuters, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will trial a signalling priority system that facilitates green traffic signals in favour of public buses that are delayed due to traffic conditions or accidents.
Between November 2018 and April 2019, the “Smart Bus Priority System” will be tested on Tower Transit Bus Service 98 and SBS Transit Bus Service 99, which ply Jurong East Avenue 1 and Jurong West Avenue 1 between Jurong Town Hall Road and Jurong West Street 42/52.
As part of the trial, each bus will be fitted with a Global Positioning System (GPS) tracker that transmits its real-time location to a back-end assessment system. As the bus approaches a traffic junction, the system will communicate with the traffic lights and prioritise movement of the bus, if required, by either extending the green signal duration or shortening the red signal duration.
Services 98 and 99 were chosen for the trial because both routes encounter multiple signalised crossings, which would enable the LTA to evaluate the effectiveness of the system. A total of 56 buses serve these two routes, and all of them will be fitted with the GPS trackers.
System data collected during the trial will be analysed at the end of the trial period to determine whether the system can effectively complement existing bus priority measures, such as bus lanes, B-signal at junctions and bus priority boxes, to improve bus journey times and reliability.
This trial is not the first time that a Bus Priority System has been trialled. When first introduced in 1998, buses operating on TIBS Rapidbus Service 700 were fitted with special transponders which retain the green light at selected traffic junctions until the bus has cleared the junction. The transponder trial was later discontinued.