Budget 2013: Bulk of $1.1 billion bus plan to be completed by end 2014

The Government aims to complete the bulk of bus service improvements under a $1.1 billion programme by the end of 2014, instead of 2016 as earlier announced.

Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said in Parliament on Tuesday that he had asked the Land Transport Authority to work with transport operators SBS Transit and SMRT to accelerate the Bus Service Enhancement Programme.

The programme calls for 800 new buses - 550 from the Government and 250 from the operators - to be added to the existing bus fleet in the next five years. Since last September, about 90 new buses have been injected.

Mr Lui expects about 280, or more than half of the 550 buses committed by the Government under the plan, to be delivered by the end of this year. He added that the programme's acceleration is dependent on the operators being able to recruit enough bus drivers.