The Government will almost double the number of public buses it is financing under its Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP).
Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew announced in Parliament on Tuesday that another 450 buses will be added between next year and 2017, with the bulk expected to be on the road by end-2016.
This will be on top of 550 state-funded buses to be rolled out by the end of this year which will come two years ahead of schedule, bringing the total BSEP fleet to 1,000.
Together with new buses injected by the public transport operators, as well as City Direct Services and Peak Period Short Services run by private bus operators, Singapore's total bus fleet will rise by 35 per cent.
With the expanded BSEP, the number of new routes will double from 40 to 80.
Of these, many will serve the expanding townships in the north-east, several will bolster feeder services, and about 20 will be City Direct Services.
The Government will continue to draw from the $1.1 billion fund set aside to set up and run the original BSEP for 10 years. But with more buses in the enhanced fleet, the period of subsidy will be halved. Hence, observers reckon the Transport Ministry will seek more funds from the Finance Ministry to drive the enhanced BSEP.