Capacity for service 656 is sufficient

We thank Mr Joe Teo Kok Seah for his letter (Improve express bus service from Sembawang to CBD; July 11) on SMRT's City Direct bus service 656, which plys between Sembawang and the Central Business District.

SMRT Buses began operating service 656 this April under the Bus Contracting Model (BCM), which is managed by the Land Transport Authority.

As with other express bus services run by public transport operators under the BCM, the bus types deployed allow for seated and standing passengers.

From our checks and monitoring previously and in recent weeks, our findings show that the bus-loading capacity is about 60 per cent at its highest for service 656.

As such, the capacity catered for is sufficient although some passengers may be standing during peak hours, as would be the case for all our express bus services.

We seek the understanding of passengers as we continue monitoring the frequency of service 656 to improve the journey for Sembawang residents who rely on the service.

Mr Teo's feedback is much appreciated.

Tan Kian Heong

Managing Director

SMRT Buses and Roads Services