SINGAPORE — The Republic’s first three-door, single-deck bus with one entrance and two exits made its maiden journey Monday (June 19), on SMRT’s Service 190 from Choa Chu Kang Bus Interchange to New Bridge Road Bus Terminal.
Part of a trial by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to test the use of such buses in speeding up passenger flow, the bus will ply the 90-minute route, weaving through Orchard Road, Chinatown and Dhoby Ghaut, for the next three months.
SMRT’s trial comes three months after Tower Transit Singapore rolled out its first three-door service, a double decker bus, on March 13 as part of a six-month trial.
While the single-deck vehicle can ferry a maximum of 90 passengers and one wheelchair-rider, similar to the capacity of a normal two-door single-deck bus, the number of seats is reduced to 24, from an average of 30 to 40.
Designed by land systems and speciality vehicle firm ST Kinetics, the bus also includes other commuter-friendly features such as USB ports for passengers to charge their electronic devices, ergonomic seats, digital information panels and energy-saving LED exterior lighting, which received praise from some commuters.
Student Andrew Tan, 13, liked the comfortable headrests, while wheelchair user, housewife Margaret See, 60, gave the shorter waiting time and smoother process of entering and exiting the three-door bus a thumbs up.
Chief bus captain Lee Phei Wei, 42, found the fatigue detection system — which vibrates the driver’s seat to keep him or her from dozing off at the wheel by examining the speed of eyelid movement and facial expression of the driver — particularly useful.
These buses have been rolled out following public feedback given at an inaugural bus carnival last year.
Out of 22,000 responses, approximately 90 per cent of respondents were interested in three-door buses.
SMRT Buses and Roads Services managing director Tan Kian Heong said that the trials are “part of
SMRT’s continuous efforts to improve the overall journey experience of our commuters”. With the same three-door single-deck bus, SMRT plans to launch a second three-month trial as part of its Service 901 at a later date. Commuters are encouraged to provide feedback on their journey on the three-door buses at www.lta.gov.sg/feedback.
Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that SMRT plans to launch a second three-door single-deck bus as part of its Service 901 at a later date. This is incorrect. SMRT plans to launch a second three-month trial with the same three-door single-deck bus as part of its Service 901 at a later date. We are sorry for the error.