SINGAPORE: After a one-month public voting exercise, "Lush Green" – instead of "Bright Red" – has been picked as the bus livery for new public buses in Singapore.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) described the result as a "close call", with green edging out red by 144 votes. In total, 57,505 valid votes were cast.
The green buses are expected to be on the roads from the middle of this year, with Tower Transit buses being the first to don the new livery.
LTA said the new unified colour is a major milestone in the transition to the Bus Contracting Model, where the Government will gradually own all public buses. It added that the colour will create a "unified and distinctive identity" for Singapore buses.
The chosen bus colour was unveiled by Senior Minister of State for Transport Ng Chee Meng on the sidelines of the inaugural Bus Carnival held on Friday (Mar 11).
At the carnival, the public will be able to give feedback on how the interior of the new buses should look like based on two new concept buses.
The concept buses on show had three doors and two staircases, with new features like USB charging ports and a Passenger Information Display that will give real-time information on the next bus-stop along its route.
LTA said that with three doors and two stairways, the aim is to speed up boarding and exiting of the buses.
"So with the separate door - the third door - what we hope is that people would be less adverse to moving into the buses, and also when they are alighting the bus, there would be less conflict with them and those boarding the buses. So then we will reduce pick up times at bus stops," said Mr Yeo Teck Guan, group director of public transport at LTA.
Some commuters Channel NewsAsia spoke to said there is room for improvement.
"I think the design has to be improved further, so that passengers, once you board the bus, you cannot hang around in the front," said Mr Neil Ho, a retiree. "You must move inside to make way for other passengers to board. And secondly, the lower deck of the bus should have more seats, because not all elderly, or handicapped people or even children will climb the stairs. That is in itself, especially for handicapped people and the elderly, is a problem."
"The driver's service is very important as well," said Ms Rita Gan, an operations director. "Besides knowing the language and knowing the locations, to also explain to the tourists where it is to direct them. As well as also, with the additional door, when kids are rushing in from the back door, he must have the right attitude based on safety, it's most important."
Commuters will be able to try out the new buses, and give their feedback, during the LTA's Bus Carnival, which will be held at the Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza until Sunday. The carnival will then move to VivoCity from Mar 25 to Mar 27. It will then move to Toa Payoh HDB Hub from Apr 1 to Apr 3. The carnival will be open from 11am to 8pm.
LTA will collect public feedback before announcing a tender for the interior features in the second half of this year. A tender for the exterior will be held at a later date.