SINGAPORE: Fifty diesel hybrid buses will serve commuters from December, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Monday (Nov 26).
They will offer smoother and quieter rides, said LTA, as the electric motor - powered by batteries - reduces exhaust emission and noise generated by the diesel engine.
According to LTA, the batteries are automatically charged by the diesel engine, and when the brakes are applied, the vehicle's momentum is converted into electricity, making the fleet more environmentally friendly.
The buses will also be fitted with new passenger information display systems.
The display on the outside will show the bus service number, destination and the next three MRT or LRT stations to help commuters plan their bus to train transfers.
Inside the bus, commuters will be able to see information on the next four bus stops, MRT and LRT transfer information, as well as current time and indication if the bus has arrived at the stop.
There will also be audio announcements of the next bus stop. LTA intends to introduce this on all new buses going forward, starting with these diesel hybrid buses.
Other features of the new buses include a collision warning system as well as an anti-fatigue system which monitors the eye and head movement of drivers, and alerts them through a vibration on their seat if they are tired.
Wheelchair space has also been increased from one to two to cater to parents with prams.
Following consultations with the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped, grab poles have been made a brighter, tiffany blue to help the visually challenged.
The buses were supplied by Volvo East Asia following a S$30 million tender awarded by LTA in October last year.
They will be rolled out progressively from December starting with 10. Bus services which will get the new diesel hybrid vehicles are still being finalised, although one of them is feeder service 272 which operates from Bukit Merah interchange.
"For a start, the diesel hybrid buses will be deployed on both feeder and trunk services to test their operational feasibility, taking into consideration the extent of use of these buses and impact to commuters," said an LTA spokesperson in response to media queries.
“We will be trialing them as we learn how efficient they are as well as getting feedback from bus operators and commuters as well," said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for transport Baey Yam Keng on the sidelines of the unveiling by LTA.
“We will also be trialing other technologies because at the end of it, we want to be open to all new things that may come our way in terms of fleet choices because not only do we want it to be cleaner for the environment, we also want commuters as well as operators to have better experiences,” he added.