Thursday, September 24, 2009

Express Bus

The Land Transport Authority is taking over the planning of bus routes in the near future. They will use the hub and spoke system.

In my concept of this system, there will be feeder buses to bring commuters to the town center where they can take MRT or express bus services. The express bus will travel between the towns and will have few stops along the way, e.g. only a major pickup points. They will operate on fixed schedules and are likely to keep to their scheduled times, as they only have to make a few stops. The travelling time should also be shortened.

This concept requires the commuters to be willing to change buses, from the feeder to the express bus and again to the feeder bus, or to walk if the distance from the hub is quite close. Most commuters use this mode anyway, when they take the MRT.

The advantage of the express bus is that the commuter is likely to have a seat. The MRT is likely to be more crowded and jam packed.

This will offer true competition between the MRT and express bus. Some people will take the express bus because of the comfort of a seat.

I hope that the Land Transport Authority is planning along these lines. So far, they prefer to plan in secret and do not wish to engage the public. This is a sad situation in Singapore.

Tan Kin Lian


  1. The hub and spokes model sounds good in theory. But its biggest detriment is in the amount of time spent on transfers.

    For me it takes 70 to 90 minutes by MRT and bus to reach my destination, including waiting time. This journey includes two transfers, so the total waiting time can take up to 30 minutes. On the other hand a taxi can bring me to my destination in 20 to 30 minutes, but it cost me $12 or more per trip. I find this situation quite unsatisfactory.

    In the very long term, I very much look forward to an islandwide deployment of driverless taxis. They should bring people to their destination using the fastest routes and without the need for transfers.

  2. Hi A Singaporean
    The long transfer time is a result of our current system of bus routes. It is not truly a feeder system.

    We need a feeder system that runs more frequently, with waiting time less than 5 minutes. It can use big bus, small bus and even low cost taxis - like the pirate taxis of 50 years ago.

    And the driverless taxis will be the way of the future, and I hope it will be the near future.

  3. Hi A Singaporean
    Can you send an email to Let us talk about this subject offline.

  4. Unless Singaporeans takes pride in our public transport, difficult to solve the problem of road congestion. Private cars (whose owners do pay hefty prices to own their cars) on the road do cause traffic jam. Campaigns to encourage maximum use of public trpt would really ease traffic flow. Clearing away forested areas to make way for additional highways makes Singapore a dull place to live in.

  5. During F1 event, the road closures, diversions and car drivers being aware, avoided the town area.
    I took a bus home from Dhoby Ghaut to Bishan.
    It was an enjoyable ride! No jams and traffic was very light. It almost resembled Perth at night!

    I think we should have more road closures! Maybe once every month! Imagine if all drivers were to unite and leave their cars home for 3 days and not drive into town ( CBD ). I think all can be convinced that bus and MRT is very efficient for city commute.

    Be a man! try it!


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