SINGAPORE: Starting Thursday (Sep 1), commuters will be able to charge their mobile devices on the go when the first 10 buses equipped with USB charging ports hit Singapore’s roads.
The 10 new double-decker buses, run by transport operator SMRT, will be deployed on five bus services – Service 61 from Bukit Batok, Services 67 and 985 from Choa Chu Kang and Services 963 and 969 from Woodlands, SMRT and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a joint press release on Wednesday.
According to LTA, a bus on Service 964 has been testing the USB ports since Monday.
The first 10 buses with USB charging ports will hit the road tomorrow, Sept 1. There are 41 ports on each bus pic.twitter.com/OXeCIU2f63— Olivia Siong (@OliviaSiongCNA) August 31, 2016
An additional 137 buses with the feature will be rolled out on other routes from October onwards, the release said.
Each bus will have 41 USB charging ports, which will be located near the inner seats to encourage commuters to move in. Ports will also be made available at the wheelchair bay on wheelchair-accessible buses.
“The addition of USB charging ports to buses will not affect the overall operations of the buses and commuters will not incur any additional cost for the use of the ports,” SMRT and LTA said.
Buses featuring USB ports were first showcased to the public at the inaugural bus carnival organised by LTA earlier this year. Two concept buses with various features were displayed to garner feedback from commuters on which features they would like to see in public buses in the future.
A total of 22,000 responses were received, with 72 per cent of respondents keen on having USB charging ports in buses. Other suggestions included passenger information systems and allowing open prams and strollers on buses.
More features chosen by the public will be incorporated in future bus bays, LTA said.
"The introduction of the USB charging ports 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," said LTA Group Director for Public Transport Yeo Teck Guan.
"This is a crucial part of making public transport in Singapore the choice mode of transport as we move to a car-lite society."