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SBS Transit - Press Release
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Archive - July '04

Automated Updating Of Fare Stages To Be Introduced On Nine Bus Routes in First Phase
Joint Press Statement by

SBS Transit
SMRT Buses
Service routes
40, 228, 265, 268 and 506
173, 180, 184 and 189

With the introduction of this feature, bus drivers no longer need to update the fare stages manually, and this will eradicate human error in the updating of fare stages and hence, ensure accurate fare deduction. The automated updating feature will be introduced on all buses progressively.

How are bus fare stages updated automatically?
The system which allows for the automated updating of fare stages is the Vehicle Location System (VLS) - a satellite-based bus tracking system developed by LTA, which makes use of a combination of technologies, including Global Positioning System, to determine the position of the bus.

VLS determines the fare stage by matching the bus’ actual location on the road against a pre-programmed set of data in the system. When a bus has travelled a certain distance, the system will compare this information with the data and automatically determines the fare stage.

Ensuring accurate updating of fare stage
Under VLS, fare stages are updated as the bus travels to the next bus stop. Therefore, the ez-link Card readers will only be activated when the bus is 100 metres away from the next bus stop, after the fare stage has been updated.

When the bus closes its door and leaves the bus stop, the readers at the exit will be
de-activated. The readers at the entry will remain active for another 30 seconds after the door closes, to give commuters who have boarded the bus enough time to tap their ez-link Cards.

When the readers are activated, commuters will able to see the fare stage displayed on the LCD screen. Commuters should tap their ez-link Cards only when the readers are activated.

Readers that are not activated will have the sign displayed on the screen. Commuters should not tap their cards on the readers when they see this sign. Please see attached write-up for details.

Stickers at exit doors of buses and posters at bus interchanges will remind commuters on the changes to how the card readers operate.

Rigorous testing conducted
Since the VLS was installed on the buses in December 2003, LTA, SBS Transit and SMRT Buses have been conducting extensive tests to verify the updating of fare stages and fine-tune the system to ensure accuracy. Tests were carried out on individual bus routes and buses to ensure the system is robust and reliable before implementation.

In the event of a system error, the bus drivers will manually update the fare stages. Bus operations will not be affected and commuters can tap their ez-link Cards as usual.

SBS Transit and SMRT Buses will monitor the performance of the system and roll out the services progressively.

For queries, members of the public can call the following hotlines:
SBS Transit Customer Service Hotline : 1800-287 2727
SMRT Information Centre : 1800-336 8900
LTA Customer Service Line : 1800-225 5582

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