4 April 2007 - According to the Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) inaugural bus and rail survey findings on commuters’ travel experience on the public transport system, 8 in 10 respondents are satisfied with such basic services in Singapore. This is very encouraging indeed and will motivate us to do even better.
As the major service provider carrying more than 2.3 million passenger trips a day, SBS Transit is committed to providing a public transport system that serves the needs of our customers. We are constantly upgrading our systems and processes, and finding new ways to improve the overall travel experience of our commuters. We recognise that there will always be room for improvement and will continue to work hard.
We also note that commuters generally rate rail services higher than bus services. This is to be expected. As both a bus and rail operator, we are keenly aware of the different experiences they offer. Rail services have a dedicated right of way and are therefore able to offer more reliable and speedy services.
Said SBS Transit Executive Director, Mr Ong Boon Leong, "We are happy to know that our efforts to improve service quality are well-appreciated by our customers. There is room for improvement and we will definitely strive to do better. We will also work with the relevant authorities to address the varying traffic conditions affecting the overall travel time, waiting time and reliability of the bus services, such as giving buses greater priority on the road. This is so that our public transport system can better measure up to commuters’ expectations."
Besides relying on survey results from independent organisations like the LTA, we have also conducted our own customer satisfaction surveys. We also rely on customer feedback to make improvements to our service delivery.
To address issues like waiting time and the reliability of our bus services, SBS Transit has also invested in the Automated Vehicle Management System (AVMS). This system helps our operations in knowing where the traffic jams are and re-direct buses so that bunching is minimized. As a result, commuters on board do not have to spend hours stuck in a jam and passengers further down the route are not kept waiting for an extended period of time. The AVMS is also a boon in helping to monitor each bus route to improve adherence to schedule. Bus Captains receive instructions on whether to speed up or slow down, depending on their scheduled frequency and how far apart the buses are from one another. This will help reduce waiting time for our commuters caused by adverse traffic conditions.
With the AVMS, we have also been able to introduce the Intelligent Route Information System (iris). With this service, commuters are able to know in real time when their next and subsequent buses will arrive at their bus stops. This minimises anxiety caused by unknown waiting time and puts commuters in better control of their journey time.
In terms of accessibility and location, our buses have contributed greatly to improving accessibility of Singaporeans not only for the bus, but also for the train by providing the necessary feeder links to MRT stations as well. At the same time, SBS Transit has introduced more than 14 new services in 2006 alone, which contributed to the increased accessibility of public transport in Singapore. These included more Fast Forward services which offer a combination of having fewer stops and a flexible route deviation to avoid traffic congestion which provides travel time savings to users by as much as 20%.
SBS Transit has also been active in building additional value for our commuters. We had introduced SeasonPass in September 06 which caps travel cost on our buses and held more than 60 promotions for our commuters when they travel with us.
Recently, we launched the ‘Ride & Redeem’ rewards programme where commuters can earn Transit Dollars (TDs) for every trip fare spent and use the TDs to exchange for various dining treats and manicure services. Commuters can also earn Bonus Dollars (BDs) if there is a usage value increase of at least $1 as compared to the previous week. These BDs can also be used to redeem for attractive prizes such as resort stays.
The survey also revealed that commuters have become increasingly aware of the need to improve security. SBS Transit has always worked closely with the authorities on security measures. However, we believe that there is scope to improve security on buses. Currently, buses are not provided with security cameras. We hope to work with the authorities in having these cameras installed on our buses.
SBS Transit will continue to monitor and work with the relevant authorities to improve the service attributes that are important to our commuters. We strive to deliver safe and reliable services at affordable prices to all our customers.