Commuters to be able to charge their phones on some new buses

Buses featuring USB charging ports will be rolled out by SMRT from Sept 1, 2016.
Buses featuring USB charging ports will be rolled out by SMRT from Sept 1, 2016.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

SINGAPORE - From Thursday (Sept 1), commuters on some bus services will be able to charge their mobile phones and other devices while on the move thanks to USB charging ports that will be introduced on 10 new buses that will hit the streets.

The buses, to be run by transport operator SMRT, will be available on five services - Service 61 from Bukit Batok Bus Interchange, Services 67 and 985 from Choa Chu Kang Bus Interchange and Services 963 and 969 from Woodlands Temporary Bus Interchange.

The Land Transport Authority will progressively roll out 137 more buses with USB charging ports from October. Each bus will have 41 USB charging ports.

"The addition of USB charging ports to buses will not affect the overall operations of the buses and commuters will not incur any additional cost for the use of the ports," said an LTA spokesman.

The USB ports were first showcased as part of an array of possible features for buses at the LTA bus carnival in March. Out of 22,000 people surveyed, 72 per cent indicated that they would be like to see charging ports on public buses.

LTA Group Director Public Transport Yeo Teck Guan said: "The introduction of the USB charging ports to new public buses is part of the review and upgrade in the design of public buses in Singapore."

He added that other features in public buses in the future could include information display panels and foldable seats.

"These features aim to provide more comfort and more flexibility in the utilisation of space within the buses and will enhance commuter experience. This is a crucial part of making public transport in Singapore the choice mode of transport as we move to a car-lite society," said Mr Yeo.

"This new feature complements the efforts that SMRT has put in place to enhance commuters' travel experience and to integrate mobile technology and enhance connectivity in public buses in Singapore following the trial of Wi-Fi on buses that began in April 2016, " said SMRT Buses managing director Tan Kian Heong.