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More Premiums = no more basics? March 3, 2008

Posted by hafizbam in Site News, Something New.
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The Public Transport Authority (PTC) has recently updated their list of approved bus services, which I’m proud to say, was the result of my feedback for greater transparency (following my angsty complaint on why Woodlands/Yishun-bound 109 and 110 by SBS Transit were rejected).

And it was no surprise. Almost 90% of the list was occupied by approvals for new premium bus routes by various operators, most notably dominant SBS Transit which has since launched new routes into rival SMRT’s territory, namely Choa Chu Kang and Bukit Panjang. Upcoming ones include CBD-bound routes from Yishun and even Meyer Road, from which SMRT’s BusPlus 547 has been operating from comfortably for a number of years now.

Other private operators have also entered the fray, with Tong Tar Transport running a new service between Jurong East and NTU for those who are more willing to fork out slightly more for a more comfortable ride to school instead of cramming themselves up on SBST 179. Also expanding is Bus Hub Services run by a group of former TIBS staff, now running two routes from Yio Chu Kang and Seletar.

Needless to say, commuters now have more choices to travel to work. But would this also mean that the main bus companies, SBS Transit and SMRT Buses, stop improving their basic bus services altogether? From the PTC list, the only approved change to basic services would be the extension of route 48 at both ends, to Kent Ridge in the west and Bedok North Depot in the east. And that’s it. Until LTA takes over bus planning responsibilities come 2009, the public can expect the local bus network to come to a standstill, with only new expensive premium routes popping up once in a while.

And yes, the List of Bus Services available on the right column has been updated to include more comprehensive information of bus services operated by the private bus operators.