The main public transportation systems in Singapore are the public buses, mass rapid transit network, and taxis. Although the major form of transportation is rail, public bus services are the most extensive transportation system in the country. Singaporeans use public buses to travel to metro stations from their home or office and vice versa. More than 4.0 million bus rides are taken per day on average in the country.
Singapore’s Public Bus Services – The Market
The bus system is currently operated by four companies, including SMRT Buses, SBS Transit, Tower Transit Singapore, and Go-Ahead Singapore. With 5,800 buses currently in operation, commuters have several options in bus transport services, such as shuttle services, midnight buses, and feeder bus services.
There are single deck and double deck buses in Singapore. These buses run throughout the island of Singapore, from 5:30 a.m. to midnight and beyond. SMRT offers extended night transport services through its Night Rider services and SBS Transit offers Night Owl services. The bus services use the EZ-Link Pass for electronic ticketing, but users can pay cash if they want.
The daily bus ridership has increased over the past few years. The main reasons behind it are the efficiency of bus operators and the $1.1 billion Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP). This programme added 1,000 new buses and 80 new bus routes to the Singaporean bus network. The satisfaction level for buses is high with 7.9 points as of 2018.
Key Player of the Bus Transport in Singapore – SMRT Buses
SMRT Buses – Understanding Its Fleet, Works, and Awards
SMRT Buses is a subsidiary of SMRT Corporation. It is the first operator to introduce electronic destination signage (EDS) on its buses. It has about 1250 buses with 88 bus routes and services being wheelchair accessible. Currently, the operator has a variety of buses in its fleet, including Mercedes-Benz OC500LE, MAN A22, Mercedes-Benz Citaro, Volvo B9 TL, Alexander Dennis Enviro500, Euro VI MAN A22 bus, and Euro VI MAN A95. SMRT also owns 40 articulated MAN A24 buses. There are 6 NightRider bus services that run on Fridays, Saturdays and Public Holidays.
SMRT follows the Bus Contracting Model (BCM) in which all its public buses and related infrastructure are under the ownership of the government. The operator is being assessed for the Excess Wait Time (EWT) under the Quality Incentive Framework.
The bus operator has received the Safe Bus Operator of the Year – Certificate of Merit: PT216 Woodlands Bus Package from the Land Transport Authority at the 21st Annual Safety Award Convention. SMRT is the first operator to introduce the most innovative and safety programme – Professional Learning and Training Management System (PROLEARN) Analytics – for which it received the Land Transport Excellence Awards 2019. It has got the Workplace Safety and Health Innovation Awards 2019 for its SMART Traffic Management System.
SMRT believes in continual training and up skilling of its bus drivers. SMRT’s 22 technical officers have the Certification for Technical Specialist (CTS). It has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with LTA and other industry partners to train our bus captains on the operations of autonomous vehicles (AVs). The operator is also working on to make bus services a cleaner and greener transportation network. It is introducing buses that can help to reduce carbon footprint.
Commenting on SMRT Buses performance as a public bus operator, SMRT CEO Neo Kian Hong said: “SMRT is more than happy to support and expand the Government’s efforts in the public transport areas. SMRT Buses is collaborating with Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) and four Social Service Agencies (SSAs) to improve inclusive service delivery through the exchange of experience and expertise amongst these partners.”
SMRT CEO further added, “We embrace innovation in our operations, maintenance, and service to better meet future public transport needs.”
The government of Singapore and LTA want bus operators to offer commuters a safe, reliable, and sustainable transportation service. SMRT Buses, SBS Transit, and other operators are working together to fulfill this vision of LTA.SMRT Buses emerges as the top player in the Singaporean bus network as it provides an inclusive infrastructure with skilled bus drivers, greener fleet, and excellent customer services.
About the Author
Arthur works as a chief technical officer at a leading manufacturing company in Singapore. He is the chief editor of a magazine and loves to share his expertise through articles on public transportation, technologies, and innovative solutions. In his free time, he loves to read books and listen to music.