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.
The LTA has branded the upgraded system as the “Integrated Ticketing and Fleet Management System” in its promotional materials.
The replacement project includes these components:
- Substituting hardware that has reached the end of its expected lifespan, such as fare collection equipment onboard buses and in depots.
- Single unified display onboard buses to integrate fleet management and bus ticketing functions
- 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:
- New Onboard Bus Equipment (NOBE) – In use since 2011, deployed fleet-wide in 2014
- Trapeze Common Fleet Management System (CFMS) – In use since 2016, deployed fleet-wide in 2017
The replacement works are scheduled to commence in the first quarter of 2024, with completion targeted for 2027.
According to The Straits Times which reviewed the tender documents, the new Integrated Ticketing and Fleet Management System will use 4G or 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.
In July 2023, the Land Transport Authority published several tenders in relation to the new Integrated Ticketing and Fleet Management System:
- [Contract Ref. PT811] Procurement of Bus Fleet Management System
- [Contract Ref. RS802] Procurement of Bus Fare Collection Equipment
- [Contract Ref. RS803] Procurement of Bus Ticketing Depot System
- [Contract Ref. PT812] Supply, Installation and Implementation of Bus Transmitter System
- [Contract Ref. PT813] Supply and Installation of Bus Central Junction Box
- New Onboard Bus Equipment (NOBE) | Land Transport Guru
- Trapeze Common Fleet Management System (CFMS) | Land Transport Guru