Bus service reliability: LTA replies

The Bus Service Reliability Framework (BSRF) is an incentive-penalty framework designed to incentivise bus operators to ensure that buses arrive at regular intervals at bus stops ("Bus service reliability shouldn't come from rewards" by Mr Paul Chan Poh Hoi; May 17, and "Do more to improve bus reliability" by Mr Tan Khee Shian; Forum Online, May 16).

The main objective is to reduce bus bunching and prolonged wait times for commuters at bus stops.

Between June and November last year, 27 of the 34 services on the trial saw improvements in commuter wait times.

Today, the performance of bus services is measured simply based on whether buses leave interchanges and depots according to their scheduled times.

The BSRF takes this one step further by nudging bus operators to actively manage real-time bus movements throughout the entire journey, such that irregular bus arrivals and bus bunching can be minimised.

To achieve this outcome, additional resources, such as hiring more back-end service controllers to monitor bus movement and setting aside standby buses and drivers, are required.

The BSRF provides the additional resources for bus operators to cope with the higher standards under the trial, without passing on the costs to commuters.

A similar incentive-penalty scheme has been successful in London.

With the success of the BSRF trial, we will incorporate the framework in our contracts with new and existing operators.

As is the case in London, the baselines for measuring bus reliability will be raised over time to encourage operators to continually improve their service standards.

Helen Lim (Ms)

Group Director

Corporate Communications Group

Land Transport Authority

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 28, 2016, with the headline 'Bus service reliability: LTA replies'. Print Edition | Subscribe