New bus contracting model will provide better service to commuters: Lui

The Government's move to restructure bus operations here and adopt a contracting model will allow it to serve commuters better, said Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew (pictured) on May 21, 2014. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN 
The Government's move to restructure bus operations here and adopt a contracting model will allow it to serve commuters better, said Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew (pictured) on May 21, 2014. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN 

SINGAPORE - The Government's move to restructure bus operations here and adopt a contracting model will allow it to serve commuters better, said Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew.

It will enable the authorities to "respond more speedily to changes in ridership patterns and commuter needs and provide a better service to commuters," he said in a post on Facebook on Wednesday evening.

More bus operators, including foreign companies, can enter the Singapore market and raise the level of competition, he said. But Mr Lui acknowledged that there will have to be adjustments and the industry and commuters could face "transitional issues".

"We will pay careful attention during implementation to minimise inconvenience to commuters," he said, adding that the welfare and interests of bus workers are also a priority.

The idea of a bus contracting model was first mooted in the Land Transport Master Plan in 2008. Since then, the Land Transport Authority has been studying it, visiting cities in Britain and Australia which has similar models.

Mr Lui said when he visited London on a study trip, he could see that bus services did improve over time as operators need to compete to run bus routes. "This has kept them on their toes," he said.

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