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S’pore hastens public transport electrification: New 3-door electric buses, charging stations

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is moving a step closer to its electric vehicle ambitions. It announced the launch of 20 brand new electric single-deck buses which hit the roads on Wednesday (August 25th).

The roll out wil be progressive. LTA said in a Facebook post: “These additions will help us better understand the operational and technical factors for running an electric bus fleet. This is an important step to help reach our goal of a 100 per cent cleaner energy bus fleet by 2040!”

The buses with these features will start from Services 38, 40, 176, and 976.

Charging stations at bus interchanges

These new buses will be charged using pantograph chargers, which can power up the buses within a short 10 to 15 minutes. This means that the buses can be charged during their layovers at bus interchanges and continue their journeys right after.

Pantograph chargers for the buses are at bus interchanges / Image Credit: LTA

There are overhead chargers at bus interchanges and the first ones to have those are Bedok and Bukit Panjang bus interchanges.

The three doors are for smoother passenger exchanges. According to local public transport enthusiast group, Land Transport Guru, the bus tests were assigned to SMRT Buses and was seen on regular test runs at Bukit Panjang Bus Interchange, alongside the new fleet of three-door electric buses. 

SBS Transit and SMRT Buses both received 10 units of these buses.

Singapore’s green transport goals

The electric buses are the third batch to be deployed onto Singapore roads. In 2020, there was a rollout of 40 electric buses – 30 single deckers and 10 double deckers.

The latest batch of electric buses are supplied by Finnish brand Linkker, while the earlier batch was supplied by Chinese vehicle makers BYD and Yutong.

The buses are part of Singapore’s plans to reduce carbon emissions as it transits into green transport by 2040.

The LTA has committed to having a greener fleet of public buses by 2040 to reduce vehicular carbon emissions in the face of a changing climate. There are plans to replace all diesel-powered buses with cleaner energy buses upon the end of the lifespan of each model of diesel bus.

Electric buses / Image Credit: LTA

The buses are also designed to be inclusive to elderly passengers, those with young children, and those that are in wheelchairs.

Operations and maintenance personnel will also be trained to operate and maintain these buses, lifting up competencies and knowledge pool.

Featured Image Credit: Land Transport Authority

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