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Written Reply by Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan to Parliamentary Question on Flexibility for Bus Captains to meet Bus Service Reliability Framework Requirements

15 Jan 2019 In Parliament

Er Dr Lee Bee Wah asked the Minister for Transport

a.     how much flexibility is there for bus captains to meet the requirements of the Bus Service Reliability Framework (BSRF) which aims to improve punctuality and reliability of bus services; and

b.     what are the common complaints relating to BSRF by bus captains and commuters.

Reply by Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan:

1.     We introduced the Bus Service Reliability Framework (BSRF) in 2016 to incentivise bus operators to improve the timeliness of bus arrivals. The framework is designed to strike a balance between achieving timely arrivals to minimise waiting times, and higher bus speeds to reduce journey times. The target arrival times are set as a range, to provide bus captains with some flexibility under different traffic conditions. Arrival times are also regularly reviewed, taking into account route length and historical traffic conditions. Bus operators which meet the targets are given incentives, of which a part is shared with the bus captains. I am happy to note that 337 out of 363 bus services assessed under the BSRF outperformed the targets in Q2 2018, resulting in more reliable bus services.

2.     Bus captains have provided feedback that the BSRF requirements cause them stress. To support bus captains in meeting the standards, bus operators provide training and deploy service controllers who remotely provide guidance. As a result of these efforts, the National Transport Workers’ Union (NTWU) has observed that there are now fewer of such complaints from bus captains.

3.     Commuters sometimes raise concerns that the BSRF has caused buses to travel at slow speeds even when there is no traffic, so as to avoid arriving ahead of schedule. LTA works closely with the operators to regularly review and optimise bus schedules. Commuters can also provide their feedback on specific bus services to LTA, which will take them into account during such reviews.