Task Force 50 (TF50) is an initiative introduced by the Land Transport Authority in January 2018 to form a dedicated team of standby bus drivers, ready to be deployed on Rail Bridging Bus services in the event of a train service disruption affecting SMRT rail lines.
The initial team of 50 bus drivers were gathered from Private Bus Operators Woodlands Transport Service Pte. Ltd. and Aedge Holdings Pte. Ltd. under a contractual agreement. Operating in two shifts, SMRT maintains a constant standby force of around 25 bus drivers at any time during rail operating hours.
SMRT Buses is expected to double the Task Force driver pool in mid-2018 to enable a standby force of 50 bus drivers at any time during rail operating hours, by supplementing the Task Force with its own bus drivers. These bus drivers form an immediate response force in the event that free shuttle bus services are required during a train disruption.
Training & Activation
TF50 Bus Captains were familiarized with operating various common models of buses in SMRT’s bus fleet, such as the Mercedes-Benz Citaro. This, combined with training on the use of the New On-Board Bus Equipment (NOBE) as well as the Common Fleet Management System (CFMS), allowed Bus Captains from Private Bus Operators to attain the Omnibus Driver’s Vocational Licence (ODVL) from the Singapore Bus Academy, a prerequisite to operating any Public Bus.
Drivers were also trained on the full bridging bus routes for all SMRT-operated train lines, as well as the NEL, in preparation for any possible activation:
- North South Line (NSL)
- East West Line (EWL)
- North East Line (NEL)
- Circle Line (CCL)
- Bukit Panjang LRT (BPLRT)
A dedicated fleet of TF50 buses is reserved for potential activation. During activation, TF50 drivers would be assigned to these buses and deployed on Bus Bridging Services, in addition to other regular SMRT buses pulled from revenue service.
MRT Shuttle during Early Closure & Late Opening (ECLO)
Several TF50 Bus Captains also assisted in operating various MRT Shuttle services during the weekends of Early Closure & Late Opening in 2018.
March 2018 – Shuttle 3
March 2018 – Express 15
April to June 2018 – Bukit Panjang LRT Shuttle
19 September 2018 – East-West Line Bridging Service
On 19 September 2018, during a train service delay due to a Track Point Fault near Clementi, TF50 Bus Captains were activated along side other SMRT Bus Captains to operate a free bridging service between Queenstown and Boon Lay.
The dedicated fleet of TF50 buses comprises Mercedes-Benz Citaro and MAN A22 single deck buses, as well as Volvo B9TL and MAN A95 double-deck buses. These buses are leased to SMRT Buses as part of TF50 operations and bear a piece of paper bearing “TF ##” on the front windscreen (where ## are numbers between 01 and 50). There are plans to further expand the TF bus pool.
These buses are mainly based at Seletar Bus Depot, with smaller numbers of buses parked at Bukit Panjang Temporary Bus Park and Woodlands Bus Park. Refuelling and other administrative matters under the purview of Ang Mo Kio Bus Depot.List of TF50 Buses
|List of TF50 Buses (As of May 2018)|
|Bus Model||Bus Registration|
|MAN A22||SG1747K – SG1748H|
|Mercedes-Benz Citaro||SG1020Z – SG1022T,
SG1027E – SG1029A,
SG1117D – SG1119Z,
SG1121R – SG1122M,
SG1128Y – SG1129U,
SG1134D – SG1135B,
SG1209Y – SG1229P,
SG1241C – SG1243Y
|Volvo B9TL||SG5489D – SG5494M|
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