The land transport network in Singapore, including mass rapid transit (MRT) and bus services, is the major transportation mode for Singaporeans. Singapore’s MRT may be fast, but the bus system has an extensive network that reaches all across the island. The bus network covers far-flung public housing estates and corners of the country. Public transport operators like SMRT Corporation operate the bus lines in Singapore island from 5:30 a.m. to midnight, with frequencies ranging from five to 30 minutes.
Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and public transport operators are working together to ensure the continued provision of bus services to commuters. The bus service frequency is affected and here is what Singaporeans need to know:
Additional waiting time is expected for people travelling via buses. Commuters must factor in longer waiting times when planning their journeys. The reason for the long waiting time is that most of the bus captains have been vaccinated and bus captains who are infected showing mild symptoms. They need to take rest and remain isolated for a full recovery.
To maintain the best bus services, bus captains are coming voluntarily to work during their day-offs. The majority of affected bus services have a waiting time of five minutes and only a small number of bus services have waiting times greater than ten minutes.
How LTA is Maintaining the Bus Services During COVID-19
• Public transport operators are deploying more double-deck buses to serve more people during a trip.
• LTA and the operators including SMRT and SBS Transit are monitoring the situation closely. They will make changes accordingly and bring more bus captains to maintain the current service levels.
Currently, SBS Transit operates bus services in the entire north-east corridor with the North-East line, Sengkang LRT and Punggol LRT. SMRT Buses operates services from Woodlands, Bukit Panjang, Choa Chu Kang, and Compassvale, Sengkang. SMRT Corporation has a minibus subsidiary called Bus-Plus Services (now trading as Strides) which provides premium, free shuttle, chartered, and peak-hour peak period bus services in Singapore.
SMRT said, “SMRT Buses will continue to support LTA’s vision in building an inclusive transport system and introduce a cleaner public bus fleet to reduce carbon footprint. We will continue to promote a caring and gracious commuting culture within our network that encourages commuters to assist others who are in need.”
SMRT CEO, Neo Kian Hong, said, “COVID-19 has impacted our operations. However, it is also a test of our character as we need to ensure continuity of service to our commuters, while protecting the safety and well-being of our frontline employees. We have ensured cleanliness and orderliness in our trains, buses and stations, thus giving confidence to commuters.” He further added, “COVID-19 has brought the Company together and it has served as an impetus to drive change.”
Amid the COVID-19 crisis, LTA and public transport operators remain united and focused on their mission of providing the best level of train and bus services to commuters. As more and more bus captains return to work, bus service frequency will return to its normal levels.
About the Author
Winston works as a social worker in an organisation in Singapore. He loves to share his views with people and helps them know about the latest changes in transportation services, jobs, and much more. In his free time, he loves to cook and travel around Singapore.