SINGAPORE — The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has reversed its decision to cease operation of bus service No.167, following criticism by commuters on its original plan to end the service on 10 December.
It said in a Facebook post on Tuesday (28 November) that it will retain Service 167 for now and operate it at 30-minute intervals throughout the day, to allow commuters more time to try out new travel routes.
"We understand that some commuters may need more time to adjust, and to try out the new travel routes. This is especially so for Service 167, where the change is more extensive," LTA said in its post. "Hence, LTA will retain Service 167 for now and operate it at 30-minute intervals throughout the day."
Service 167 covers areas like Sembawang, Upper Thomson, Novena, Orchard, the central business district and Bukit Merah. Upon on the earlier LTA announcement on ending its service, commuters told CNA that the decision was "ridiculous", as commuter volume and demand continues to be high even during the weekends.
Alternative bus service options available
LTA's decision to cease operation of Service 167 was part of an announcement to stop or adjust some bus services with the rising number of commuters opting for the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL), leading to a decrease in ridership of approximately 30 to 40 per cent for some bus services along segments of the TEL.
LTA said that it had considered alternative bus services, as well as frequency adjustments, that would alleviate the end of Service 167. For example, Service 859 will now run along Canberra Link and Sembawang Road to enhance connectivity to Bukit Canberra, while the frequency of Service 980 - which coverss a sector similar to Service 167 between Sembawang and Thomson Road - will be increased.
"We seek commuters’ understanding that it is not always possible to preserve direct bus connections for every journey. This is not the best use of our limited resources," it said in its Facebook post.
"As new transport options such as the TEL and other MRT lines become available, and when Singaporeans move into new estates and workplaces, new bus services will be required for these new routes. LTA will continue to review our bus network and reallocate our finite resources as required, so that we can serve the travelling needs of commuters from all parts of Singapore."
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