On-demand bus trial gets mostly positive response, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

On-demand bus trial gets mostly positive response

This article is more than 12 months old

The Land Transport Authority kicked off its six-month trial of on-demand public buses yesterday, receiving a mainly positive initial response.

During the trial - to see if such services could lead to shorter waiting times and lower running costs - commuters can request pick-ups and drop-offs at any bus stop within designated areas through a mobile app.

US-based Via Transportation developed the BusGo app - which is being tested in Joo Koon - while Ministry of Movement is responsible for the BusNow app, being trialled in Marina Downtown.

Regardless of distance travelled, adult fares - paid by tapping an EZ-Link card upon boarding - are a flat 77 cents, the cost of a trip on a feeder service.

The service is available on weekdays, excluding public holidays, from 11am to 3pm. It also runs from 8.30pm to 11.30pm in Joo Koon and until 11.45pm in Marina Downtown.

Few commuters appeared to be using the on-demand buses yesterday but those who did found the service user-friendly.

Booking a bus using BusNow was similar to using a ride-hailing service such as Grab.

Riders are provided the bus' service number and location via the app, and are sent a notification when it is approaching.

They are also given an electronic "ticket" to show the driver to confirm their booking. Those who have not made a booking via the app will not be allowed to board.

In the Joo Koon area, bus services 253, 255 and 257 run at longer intervals of 30 minutes, while the on-demand bus service is being tested.

While SBS Transit staff were present to help commuters download the new app, one commuter said she did not do so because she had insufficient data on her mobile plan 

Yesterday's ridership numbers were not available.