Go-Ahead starts with 13 routes on Sept 4
THE Republic's newest bus operator, Go-Ahead Singapore, will kick off operations on Sept 4, and ply routes serving commuters in the Pasir Ris and Punggol areas.
It will take over 13 of the 24 services currently run by SBS Transit on its first day, followed by another 11 routes two weeks after on Sept 18.
In a joint statement yesterday, Go-Ahead and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said this will "ensure a smooth transition with minimal inconvenience to commuters".
Go-Ahead will also launch a new service next year, with details to be announced later.
The 25 services will operate from Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Pasir Ris, Punggol, Sengkang, Tampines and Yishun bus interchanges, as well as Changi Airport, Changi Village, Changi Business Park, New Bridge Road and Upper East Coast bus terminals.
They make up the Loyang bus package, which the British-based Go-Ahead won last November in a government tender, with a bid of $497.7 million.
Go-Ahead Singapore is the second foreign firm to join the industry under the Government's bus contracting model.
Under it, the Government will own all operating assets such as buses and infrastructure. Routes will be split into packages and tendered out to operators to run for a fee, with the Government bearing the revenue risk.
Tower Transit Singapore, which won the first Government bus tender to run routes in the western region, started operations in May this year, with nine services.
It launched another 17 routes in two batches in June.
LTA chief executive Chew Men Leong said the authority has been working hard with Go-Ahead for a seamless transition and to bring about a better commuter experience with more regular timings and smoother rides.
Go-Ahead said it has met its recruitment target for bus captains, having hired more than 700.
About close to half, or 47 per cent, are driving the routes currently run by incumbent SBS Transit and have signed on with Go-Ahead, with the others being new hires.
It also has a fleet of 66 buses which are being repainted and used for training, which will increase to about 400 after it has taken over all 24 routes.
The first 13 services to be run by Go-Ahead Singapore are: 3, 34, 43/43M, 62, 82, 83, 84, 85, 118, 119, 136, 382, 386.
On Sept 18, the firm will launch 11 more services: 2, 6, 12, 15, 17, 36, 354, 358, 359, 403, 518.