The Land and Transport Authority (LTA) and Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (SMRT) released a joint statement on Wednesday (31 August) which said that ten new MAN A95 double-decker buses, featuring USB charging ports will hit the roads tomorrow (1 September).
These buses are the first to offer such service in Singapore.
These ten buses will be run by Public Transport Operator, SMRT, and will be deployed to five SMRT bus 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.
Additional 137 busses with USB charging ports will be progressively roll out by LTA from October 2016 onwards.
The companies said that each bus will provide 41 USB charging ports. These are located near the inner seats, and it will also be made available at the wheelchair bay on board the wheelchair accessible buses.
Early this year, LTA displayed two concept buses with various features at the inaugural Bus Carnival and gather public feedback on features commuters would like to see in public buses in the future. There were 22,000 responses, and 72 percent among them were keen on having USB charging ports in buses.
Mr Yeo Teck Guan, the LTA Group Director Public Transport, 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. Other interior features that could feature in future public buses include information display panels, better seat comfort, lightings, 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.
And Mr Tan Kian Heong, SMRT Buses Managing Director, said: “SMRT is delighted to be the first operator in Singapore to put into service buses that feature USB charging ports. Commuters will find it very convenient being able to charge their phones and other mobile devices on their journeys. 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.”
Although no extra additional cost will be charged when commuters use the ports, the Transport Minister, Khaw Boon Wan has hinted that the fares will be increased with the new bus contracting model when it kicks in.