SMRT launches new three-door bus on service 190 between Choa Chu Kang and Chinatown

SMRT Bus Captain Kahar bin Jaffar helps Mr Tan Kiat Keng exit the new 3 door single-deck 190 at Choa Chu Kang Bus Interchange.
SMRT Bus Captain Kahar bin Jaffar helps Mr Tan Kiat Keng exit the new 3 door single-deck 190 at Choa Chu Kang Bus Interchange.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - Singapore's first three-door, single-deck bus began passenger service on Monday (June 19), as part of a 22-km route between the Choa Chu Kang interchange and the New Bridge Road Bus Terminal.

The bus runs on service 190 operated by SMRT and will travel daily through areas such as Orchard Road and Chinatown.

The first three-door bus here, a double-decker operated by Tower Transit on service 143, was deployed in March.

The two buses, designed by ST Kinetics, are being deployed by the Land Transport Authority as part of a six-month trial to study "the impact of such designs in improving commuter flow".

Get The Straits Times
newsletters in your inbox

A survey of 22,000 commuters last year found that 90 per cent supported having a third door on buses here.

Both the single-deck and double-deck three-door buses include features such as a digital passenger information display system, USB ports as well as wheelchair space and seats that can be folded up to accomodate more standing passengers when necessary.

The single-deck bus can accommodate 90 passengers at any one time, while the double-decker bus can carry 139 passengers.

SMRT said it has trained five bus captains to familiarise them with the operations of the new bus, and will train more in the future.

Commuters The Straits Times spoke to said they found the new features useful.

Ms Noreena Mohd Ibrahim, who takes service 190 from Choa Chu Kang to the Singapore General Hospital for her dental check-ups, said it can be difficult to alight when the bus is crowded.

"Having the rear door makes it easier for passengers to get off the bus," said the 47-year-old housewife.