Another 23 bus services to be placed under Bus Service Reliability Framework

SINGAPORE - Another 23 bus services will be included in a government "carrot-and-stick" trial aimed at getting transport operators to improve their service reliability.

They will join the existing 22 routes under the Bus Service Reliability Framework (BSRF), bringing the total number to 45 by the end of this year, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Friday (June 5).

The scheme was introduced in February 2014 to improve the regularity of bus arrivals and reduce bus bunching. Under it, operators will be given monetary incentives for reducing commuters' excess waiting time - the difference between actual and scheduled waiting times, or handed penalties if this waiting time increases.

During the first assessment period of between June and November 2014, 20 of the 22 services showed improvements, earning operators SBS Transit and SMRT a combined $1 million in incentives.

A total of 12 new services, six run by SBS Transit (bus services 58, 63, 76, 130, 163, 175) and the other six by SMRT (171, 180, 851, 857, 882 and 975) will be added to the scheme in June 2015.

Another 11, SBS Transit's service 28, 65, 101, 115, 155, 261, 315, and SMRT's 187, 800, 927 and 965 will be added in December 2015.

"The 23 new services will be assessed against a tighter baseline than the original 22 services, taking into account the improvements made in the first year of the trial," LTA said.

LTA will also introduce a new On-Time Adherence standard, which is the percentage of on-time arrivals at selected bus stops. This will apply to bus services with lower frequencies, where intervals between buses are generally more than 15 minutes.

SBS Transit's service 115 and SMRT's 927 will be measured by this new yardstick for a start.

LTA said it will bring all bus services under the BSRF from the second half of 2016 with the transition to the government bus contracting model.

It will see the BSRF trial being extended from February 2016 to end-August 2016 to ensure there is no gap in implementing the framework, LTA added.

adrianl@sph.com.sg