SINGAPORE - Singapore commuters can expect shorter waiting times for buses with a new contracting model kicking in.
On Wednesday, the Government announced its plans to overhaul the public bus sector by shifting from the existing privatised model to a "Government contracting model". Under the model, which will be introduced from the second half of 2014, operators have to meet higher service standards, including ensuring that buses arrive at intervals of no more than 15 minutes during the morning and evening peak periods.
We sum up the changes for you:
What it is:
- Government to own buses and bus infrastructure, contract out packages of routes for operators to run
- Under a gross cost model, operators are paid a fee to operate and maintain services
- Government retains fare revenue, bears revenue risk
- Model is different from nationalisation, as Government does not take over operation of system
Why the change:
- To improve service quickly and sustainably. Operators must meet higher service standards, such as intervals of no more than 15 minutes during peak periods.
- New model to allow LTA to respond faster to changes in ridership, commuter needs and expectations. Under privatised model, operators unable to increase capacity quickly enough
How it will be rolled out:
- The Land Transport Authority to split bus routes into 12 area-based packages, each package to have 300 to 500 buses
- Contracts for packages to last 5 years, with possible 2-year extension
- 3 to 5 operators running 12 packages in the long term (2022 and beyond)
What it means for commuters:
Operators have to meet higher service standards, including ensuring that buses arrive at intervals of no more than 15 minutes during the morning and evening peak periods, with at least half of the bus services having even shorter intervals of no more than 10 minutes.
An estimated 45 per cent of bus services will have shorter intervals during peak periods.