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Bus service reliability trial begins

Trials for the Bus Service Reliability Framework began on Monday with seven SMRT bus services.

SINGAPORE: Trials for the Bus Service Reliability Framework began on Monday with seven SMRT bus services.

The two-year pilot scheme assesses the regularity of a bus service using the concept of excess wait time (EWT) -- the difference between actual and scheduled wait times.

Service 188 comes under the trial. It starts from Choa Chu Kang and ends at Harbourfront bus interchange.

During off peak hours, the service leaves the interchange every 15 minutes. This is within the expected interval of between six and 16 minutes.

At a bus stop halfway through the route, service 188 has been arriving between 11- and 20-minute intervals.

James Zheng, a commuter who takes bus service 188, said: "The bus usually comes around 20 minutes or so, and you have to wait sometimes if you miss one bus, (and) the next bus is 30 minutes later… Today the bus came quite on time."

One transport analyst believes the public may not see a difference in punctuality in the first few months of the trial.

This is because the bus operator is still learning about the system and developing its own strategies to improve the punctuality.

Dr Park Byung-joon, head of urban transport management programme at SIM University’s School of Business, said: "So, what PTOs (public transport operators) should do in the next four months is they should develop a manual, make a system where these buses will be located, and in what circumstances the controller will ask the driver to hold on to make sure that each bus have the right gap."

Under the scheme, bus operators are given incentives only when they achieve service regularity, and are penalised if they fail to do so.

SBS Transit services will start on the scheme by next month.

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