Government's billion-dollar programme cuts waiting times with 450 new buses plying the road

Bus Service 222P, which is run by ComfortDelGro Bus under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme. Four hundred and fifty government-funded buses have been put on the road as of last month under the programme, up from 361 buses at end-June. -- PHOTO: L
Bus Service 222P, which is run by ComfortDelGro Bus under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme. Four hundred and fifty government-funded buses have been put on the road as of last month under the programme, up from 361 buses at end-June. -- PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - The billion-dollar Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP) is gaining speed, with 450 government-funded buses put on the road as of last month. That is up from 361 buses at end-June.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) in a statement said the number will reach 550 by year-end.

Some 144 out of 275 existing basic bus services have improved since BSEP started two years ago, with 31 new services rolled out. Waiting times on popular routes have shortened by three to seven minutes, it added.

SMRT service 966, for example, which loops between Woodlands and Marine Parade, now runs at an improved frequency of four to eight minutes during the morning peak and six to 13 minutes during the evening peak periods. It previously ran at a frequency of six to 10 minutes during the morning peak, and nine to 16 minutes during the evening peak.

Persistently crowded services during peak hours have also been reduced. For instance, SMRT service number 962 has seen peak hour crowding reduced by about 15 per cent since the programme started, said LTA.

In March this year, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew announced that the programme would be enhanced. The government, he said, would fund 1,000 new buses instead of the original 550.

All 1,000 buses will be on the road by 2017.