SINGAPORE — Fifty diesel hybrid public buses, which are more environmentally-friendly, will hit the roads here from the second half of next year, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Wednesday (Oct 11).
And by 2019, 60 electric buses will also starting plying routes. A tender for these will be called soon, the LTA said.
The hybrid buses, costing S$30 million, will be supplied by Volvo East Asia Pte Ltd, whose buses already form one-third of the entire public bus fleet here. Details of the routes these new hybrid buses will ply will be announced later.
Various trials with “green” buses in recent years, culminating in the Government’s commitment in March this year to buy 60 electric buses and 50 diesel hybrid buses.
Results from earlier tests showed fuel savings of up to 40 per cent on an expressway, and “significant” cuts in the emission of carbon dioxide and other pollutants, such as particulate matter, compared with conventional diesel buses.
“Not only can commuters expect quieter and smoother rides, bus captains can also enjoy a more comfortable working environment,” the LTA said in a news release.
The authority aims to use this rollout of 50 hybrid buses to find out any operational challenges with running low-emission models in Singapore’s tropical climate and traffic conditions. Bus technicians and engineers can also get familiar with the technical challenges of maintaining such buses, it added.
In March this year, Second Transport Minister Ng Chee Meng said the Republic has already been shifting towards a more environmentally-friendly fleet, with models that meet tighter emission standards. “But really, no emission is better than low emissions,” he had added.
A trial of an electric K9 bus has been carried out on Service 17 and Service 119, with “encouraging” initial feedback. It runs up to nine hours daily and is charged overnight. Preliminary results showed up to 30 per cent savings in fuel costs compared with a conventional diesel bus.
Three-quarters of some 300 commuters surveyed by Go-Ahead who had taken the bus indicated that they found the journey better than one on a diesel bus. They cited quiet operations and good air-conditioning as among the top plus points. Bus captains, too, noted that the bus accelerated and decelerated smoothly and noise had been reduced.
The LTA said it put up a Request for Information for electric buses last week to gather more up-to-date information on the latest electric bus and charging technologies.