Public bus operators SBS Transit and SMRT have been rewarded S$1.34 million and S$504,000 respectively for improved waiting times and lessened crowding at bus stops, announced the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on 9 May.
The awards come under the Bus Service Reliability Framework (BSRF) trial, a framework which assessed the reliability of bus services from June to November last year.
A total of 34 bus services were assessed, of which 27 services were found to achieve excess wait times of commuters at bus stops that were better than the baseline, which indicates that the intervals between bus arrivals were more regular.
The wait times of the 7 remaining bus services were found to be 0.1 minutes more than the baseline. These services hence did not qualify for any inventive nor penalty.
SBS Transit received S$12,440 per bus service per month for the improvements of 18 services. SMRT received S$12,000 per service per month across 7 services.
It was also found during the BSRF trial that crowding at bus stops was lessened.
The BSRF was started in February 2014 to determine the regularity of bus serviced using the concept of excess wait time, which is the average additional time that commuters must wait for the arrival of their bus. This was the third assessment period of the BSRF since its implementation.
During the previous assessment from December 2014 to May 2015, 22 bus services were assessed, of which 17 had reduced their average waiting times. This allowed for SBS Transit and SMRT to be awarded S$816,000 and S$384,000 respectively.
While bus operators can earn rewards for improved excess waiting time, they are also liable to be penalised should waiting times increase significantly.
“Overall both operators have sustained improvements in reliability since the implementation of the BSRF trial, through enhanced management of the bus fleet and the hiring of more service controllers,” said the LTA in a statement.
As part of the $1.1 billion Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP), 800 Government-funded buses have been rolled out since 31 March this year. “This is 80% of the 1,000 buses that will be added to the public bus network by 2017,” said the LTA.