Improving bus service reliability: The Singapore experience

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - europe, mode - bus, operations - reliability, operations - performance, organisation - regulation, organisation - contracting, ridership - attitudes, planning - service improvement


Bus service reliability, Singapore, Excess Wait Time, Land Transport Authority, Bus contracting model


In February 2014, Singapore embarked on a 2-year trial of a Bus Service Reliability Framework (BSRF) to improve en-route bus regularity and reduce instances of bus bunching and prolonged waiting times. Based on London's Quality Incentive Contract, the Singapore model also imposes penalties or provides incentives to operators for increases/reductions of Excess Wait Time (EWT) beyond a certain route-specific baseline.

Drawing on insights derived from research on performance-based contracts, this paper describes some key considerations surrounding this particular innovation in Singapore's overall bus regulatory framework. We also discuss an important advancement in our understanding of how bus users value reliability improvements through estimates obtained from stated preference data. At the same time, early indications from the trial have been encouraging.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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