Rationalisation of bus services are carried out by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to optimize service levels offered by Singapore’s public transport network. These efforts include the reduction of operating frequency or operating hours of certain bus services, or the merger and withdrawal of certain bus services that suffer from low demand.
Under the Bus Contracting Model (BCM), the LTA assumes the role of a central planning agency, and decides on bus services to be provided, and the service standards which operators have to meet. As part of this responsibility, public transport connections that are duplicitous or underutilized are rationalised to optimise the usage of resources and cut down on financially unsustainable services.
Historically, large-scale rationalisation of bus services were conducted following the opening of new rail lines to avoid duplication. In modern times, rationalisation of bus services are more restrained and targeted at the most underutilized bus routes.
This article summarises these changes to bus services since the start of 2019, and will be updated with instances of upcoming announced bus service rationalisations where implemented.
Rationalisation of Full-Day Express services
All six full-day Express bus services introduced between 2018-2018 were subject to rationalisation as follows:
- Shortened operating hours for 12e, 167e, 851e and 960e:
From heartlands: 0600hrs-1830hrs; from City: 1230hrs-2330hrs
- No operation on Sundays and Public Holidays for 167e
- Withdrawal of 147e
Services 7A & 7B
SBS Transit Short Trip Bus Services 7A & 7B were introduced in February 2018 to supplement Bus Service 7, operating daily for the entire day.
In addition to Service 7A & 7B, buses would return back to Bedok & Clementi bus interchanges by operating on Service 7 from Orchard & Dhoby Ghaut respectively.
Operating hours for these two Short Trip Services were rationalised from 22 December 2019 to only operate during weekday morning and evening peak hours, while ending earlier with the last buses departing at 2100hrs on Weekends & Public Holidays.
Services 976 & BPS1
Bus Parallel Service BPS1, a peak hour bus route introduced in 2011 as a measure to reduce peak hour crowding on the Bukit Panjang LRT network by providing an alternative travel route for residents at Segar, Jelapang and Senja to Choa Chu Kang, was withdrawn on 10 November 2019.
Post On-Demand Public Bus Trial Rationalisation
With the end of the On-Demand Public Bus trials in June 2019, several bus services were changed.
Services 400 & 402
Services 163M & 163A
Service 163M was withdrawn on 10 February 2019, with Short Trip Service 163A introduced on the same day to operate at night from Sengkang Interchange to Fernvale Lane. More trips were added on Service 163 to make up for the withdrawal of Service 163M during its former operating hours.
City Direct Services
Since April 2017, City Direct bus services have been progressively transferred from private bus operators to public bus operators. In addition, several City Direct bus services were also withdrawn in 2018 & 2019.