Monday, July 04, 2016

Reduce the number of bus services in Singapore

There are 375 bus services in Singapore. Most commuters only know a few services that they take regularly. They will be lost when it comes to taking any of the unfamiliar services, if they do not have a mobile app.

Why do we need so many bus services for a city of 700 sq km? After all, we have only 5 MRT lines and they seem to be able to cover most of Singapore.  There is a vast difference between 5 and 375. Somehow, the traffic planners do not know the difference!

it should be possible to have 50 bus services (i.e. 10 times of the MRT lines) to provide connections between all the towns in Singapore.

Within each town, the commuters can change to a feeder bus. The feeder bus can be a light bus, with 16 seats, that operates at frequent intervals - similar to the system in Hong Kong. As it has a small capacity, it does not have to travel a winding route to take up many passengers to fill up the bus. This will reduce the travelling time on the feeder service.

We need to organize Singapore into 8 regions. This requires 56 services to provide direct connection from one region to another. A region can comprise of a few towns that are closed to each other. For example, Tampines and Simei can be treated as one region. The services that serves this region can stop at a few stops in this region before travelling to another region.

Similarly, Woodlands and Sembawang can be treated as one region. Jurong East and Jurong West can be treated as one region.

For example, the bus service that travels from Ang Mo Kio to Jurong will stop at a few major stops in Ang Mo Kio and will also stop at a few major stops in Jurong. It will be easy for commuters to be familiar with these major services.

On reaching their transfer point, they can take a feeder service to their final destination.

By reducing the number of stops for the major bus services, and leaving the feeder service to the light buses, the traveling time can be reduced. This will lead to a better traveling experience.

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