SINGAPORE: In an update on the progress of the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP) in the second quarter of 2014, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and transport operators SMRT and SBS Transit said the programme has helped "reduce crowding, improved bus frequencies and provide better connectivity for buses".
As of June 30, a total of 361 Government-funded buses have been added under the programme, according to the joint statement issued on Thursday (July 3).
NEW BUS SERVICES
Between April and June this year, one existing route – Service 11 – was extended while three new City Direct Services were introduced, bringing the total number of new or extended routes under the BSEP to 29.
By September, another two new routes in Hougang and Punggol will have been introduced, according to the statement. Details of the new routes are currently being worked out.
To reduce waiting time for feeder bus services, nine Peak Period Short Services were introduced in Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Boon Lay, Choa Chu Kang, Pasir Ris, Tampines and Woodlands. A new supplementary service, Service 143M, overlaying existing Service 143 between Jurong East Bus Interchange and Teban/Pandan Gardens, was also introduced in May, the statement added.
ADDING MORE BUSES TO EXISTING ROUTES
Additional buses have also been deployed to 17 bus services during morning and evening peak hours to reduce crowding and shorten waiting time. In all, 240 weekly bus trips during peak hours were added between April and June.
Two examples were cited by the LTA and the operators:
SBS Transit Service 84, which primarily serves Punggol residents, now runs at nine- to 10-minute intervals during the morning peak period, down from 18 to 25 minutes previously.
SMRT-operated Service 975, which serves Bukit Panjang, now runs at three- to eight-minute intervals during the morning peak period, compared with six to eight minutes previously.
Separately, as part of the on-going quarterly bus service review process, public transport operators have also improved 12 bus services by deploying higher capacity buses and adding more bus trips along sectors with heavy ridership, the statement said. A total of 70 weekly trips during peak hours were added for these services in the second quarter.
IN THE PIPELINE ...
As announced by the Transport Minister during Budget 2014, another 450 Government-funded buses will be introduced under the expanded BSEP, the statement said, adding that most of the buses are expected to be in service by end-2016.