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SMRT Premium 531 gets evening trips July 12, 2008

Posted by hafizbam in Route Amendment, Something New.
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TIB1081S on Premium 531 along Temasek Avenue

Less than a year after being introduced, SMRT’s Premium 531 will now run two trips in the evenings from the CBD back to Upper East Coast and Simei, as a result of exceptionally high demand. The service, which started off in July 2007 as a weekday morning peak service offering two trips from Simei to Shenton Way, gradually saw a rapid increase in ridership despite itself competing with cheaper alternatives like SBST’s Fast Forward 10e which also heads to the same destination.

Before long, a third trip was added but even then, the three 12-metre Dennis Lance buses were filled with standing passengers, running foul of the PTC’s regulations on premium bus services which prohibit standing passengers (considering the fact that they paid a premium for these bus rides). As a result, SMRT decided to replace one of the rigids with a Bendy bus. TIB1081S of Ang Mo Kio Depot is shown above at Suntec City running the second trip. The situation however, surprisingly still did not improve and a final decision was taken to deploy four rigids at 5-minute intervals between 0750 and 0805 hours and that seemed to spread the loads evenly somewhat.

For a bus service that is much more expensive than the basic bus or train service, its high demand is quite remarkable and thus a decision was made to run two evening trips from June this year. At the same time, SMRT increased its fare from $3 to $4 “due to higher fuel prices”. While the morning crowd is not expected to thin down as a result, charging $4 for a ride home is quite expensive given that the office workers would not be in a similar rush home as they are in getting to work. This however, remains to be seen.

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Comments»

1. Jas - November 25, 2008

Given the fuel prices have gone down significantly, will the bus fares go down as well?

2. hafizbam - December 7, 2008

Sadly, Premium bus services are designed to be the most expensive bus services around (in return for extra comfort) so the only direction for its fares is to go up but never down.


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