New ticketing and fleet management system for public buses

In July 2023, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced plans to replace the current bus ticketing and fleet management systems. As part of this upgrade, both the existing NOBE Bus Fare Console and Trapeze CFMS Driver Display Unit will be substituted with a new unified hardware display, which should enhance the focus of bus captains on the roads.

Covering approximately 5,800 public buses, the bus infrastructure modernisation exercise will be implemented progressively from the second quarter of 2024 and completed by 2027. Most of the subsystems will be delivered by ST Engineering, leveraging software components from the Trapeze Group; the same consortium that previously delivered the Trapeze CFMS bus fleet management system.

The replacement works are scheduled to commence in the first quarter of 2024, with completion targeted for 2027.

The replacement project includes these components:

  1. Substituting hardware that has reached the end of its expected lifespan, such as fare collection equipment onboard buses and in depots.
  2. Single unified display onboard buses to integrate fleet management and bus ticketing functions
  3. Updating backend systems, including Central Junction Boxes and the Data Transmitter System, to keep up with technological advancements and enhance operational performance.

Currently, bus ticketing and fleet management are handled by separate systems, both of which will be replaced:

The replacement works are scheduled to commence in the first quarter of 2024, with completion targeted for 2027. The LTA has also branded the upgraded system as the “Integrated Ticketing and Fleet Management System” in its promotional materials.

Technical Upgrades

The new Integrated Ticketing and Fleet Management System will use 5G networks to communicate between buses and backend systems. This is an upgrade over the present NOBE fare system, the older of the two systems, which uses 3G mobile or depot wireless network for communication between buses and backend systems.

LTA said the upgrade in network capabilities would pave the way for faster updates of fare payment information on the SimplyGo app. SimplyGo is an account-based ticketing system that allows commuters to pay for train and bus rides using their bank cards, and commuters can view their public transport journey details (e.g. bus/train service, boarding/alighting locations, and tap in/tap out timing) within the mobile app. With the old system, the app takes up to several minutes to be updated with the latest transactions.

New Driver Display Unit

The improvements in the bus ticketing and fleet management systems will also benefit bus captains. Currently, they have to work with two display units – one for fleet management (i.e. Trapeze CFMS), providing information on upcoming stops and facilitating communication with the Bus Operations Control Centre, and the other for processing fare payments (i.e. NOBE).

With the tech refresh, bus captains will operate just one unit. Bus operators interviewed by The Straits Times said that, although bus drivers are comfortable with using two separate display units, a combined display unit would declutter the driver’s dashboard, simplify driver training, and enhance operational efficiency.

LTA Tenders

In July 2023, the Land Transport Authority published several tenders in relation to the new Integrated Ticketing and Fleet Management System. All contracts were awarded between February and March 2024.

Ref. Title Awarded to Award Value (S$)
PT811 Procurement of Bus Fleet Management System ST Engineering Urban Solutions Ltd. 65,871,938.80
RS802 Procurement of Bus Fare Collection Equipment ST Engineering Urban Solutions Ltd. 110,947.325.00
RS803 Procurement of Bus Ticketing Depot System RFNet Technologies Pte Ltd 19,850,230.70
PT812 Supply, Installation and Implementation of Bus Transmitter System ST Engineering Urban Solutions Ltd. 13,718,467.00
PT813 Supply and Installation of Bus Central Junction Box ST Engineering Urban Solutions Ltd. 13,811,002.00

New Bus Fleet Management System (BFMS) software

The BFMS is the fleet management software component of the new system, delivered by a consortium of ST Engineering and Trapeze Group, valued at S$65.8 million. The same consortium delivered the existing Trapeze CFMS bus fleet management system.

Capabilities of the new BFMS are:

  • Centralized Fleet Monitoring: The upgraded Bus Fleet Management System (BFMS) will leverage advanced technology to centrally monitor and manage bus fleets across Singapore, improving operational oversight.
  • Incident Management Support: It will provide tools for incident management decision-making, aiding operators in responding to incidents promptly and efficiently.
  • Reliability and Capacity Management: The BFMS will offer valuable insights and data to public transport operators, enabling better management of bus service reliability and capacity to meet passenger demands effectively.
  • Better bus arrival timings: The BFMS will incorporate enhanced analytics functionalities provided by Trapeze’s Intelligent Transport System (ITS), allowing continuous optimization and more accurate bus arrival time predictions.
  • Integration with Electric Bus Monitoring: Capabilities for monitoring electric buses and charging infrastructure will be integrated into the BFMS, supporting Singapore’s transition to a cleaner energy public bus fleet.
  • Cloud-Based Architecture: The BFMS is built on a real-time cloud-based software architecture, via the Government Commercial Cloud. This infrastructure enhances the BFMS’s agility, scalability, and reliability, while maintaining a high level of cybersecurity.
  • Business Intelligence Reporting: Trapeze’s Business Intelligence solution will enable dynamic and flexible reporting on key outcomes, enabling users to generate insightful reports for decision-making and operational improvements.
  • Innovative In-Vehicle Systems: New-generation in-vehicle systems, certified to industry-leading specifications and utilizing Trapeze’s hardware and software, will enhance processing power, data transmission rates, and location accuracy for buses across the network. This innovation improves interoperability and aligns with LTA’s vision for progressive and future-ready bus services.
New system hardware

The Bus Fare Collection Equipment hardware component of the new system will also be delivered by a consortium of ST Engineering and Trapeze Group, valued at S$110.9 million.

Separately, contracts for the supply of Bus Transmitter Systems and Bus Central Junction Boxes were also awarded to ST Engineering, valued at S$13.7 million and S$13.8 million respectively.

Features of the new hardware are:

  • Unified Display Interface: A single unified display combining fare collection and fleet management applications will replace separate CFMS and NOBE displays, improving operational efficiency and focusing bus captains’ attention on road safety.
  • 5G networking: A new 5G-enabled bus transmitter system will enable faster and more reliable data exchanges between buses and backend systems, enhancing real-time communication and data processing capabilities. 5G networks will also facilitate faster fare transactions for commuters.
  • Improved Power and Signal Distribution: New central junction boxes on buses will enhance power and signal distribution
  • Trapeze Integration and Interoperability: In-vehicle hardware will operate on the Linux OS platform and be certified to industry-leading ITxPT specifications. This will improve processing power, data transmission rates, and location accuracy for LTA, while improving interoperability between in-vehicle systems.
Bus Ticketing Depot System

The Bus Ticketing Depot System was awarded to a consortium comprising RFNet Technologies (a Panasonic subsidiary) and Nera Telecommunications for around $20 million.

As per a press release, the project entails a comprehensive technology upgrade for both the back-end and front-end network of the bus depot system. This includes designing and supplying all necessary hardware, software, middleware, and professional services. The consortium will also handle coordination, installation, configuration, testing, and commissioning of the system without disrupting existing operations.


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One thought on “New ticketing and fleet management system for public buses

  • 6 August 2023 at 10:28 AM

    The older 3G wireless systems are also phased out too. So it will be replaced immediately with 4G wireless systems.


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