Commuters in Joo Koon and Marina Downtown will be able to hail a public bus the way they hail a private-hire ride using a phone app
On-demand public bus services from Dec 17 as part of 6-month trial Commuters will be able to make use of the SBS Transit service from 11am to 3pm, and 8.30pm to 11.30pm for Joo Koon in Jurong, and 8.30pm to 11.45pm for Marina Downtown. PHOTO: ST FILE

From Dec 17, commuters in Joo Koon and Marina Downtown will be able to hail a public bus the way they hail a private-hire ride using a phone app, as part of a six-month trial.

They will be able to make use of the SBS Transit service from 11am to 3pm, and 8.30pm to 11.30pm for Joo Koon in Jurong, and 8.30pm to 11.45pm for Marina Downtown.

The service is for travel within the two areas and will be available on weekdays, excluding public holidays.

The fare will be based on a distance of 3.2km, which is currently 77 cents for adult card users. Commuters will be issued an e-boarding pass once a booking is successful.

They pay for their ride in the usual way - by tapping their ez-link card.

And from Jan 4, the on-demand bus service will be available from the Central Business District (CBD) to Bedok and Tampines. SMRT will ply this service on Fridays, Saturdays and eve of public holidays, from 11.30pm to 2am.

Users will pay a flat fare of $4.50.

The app for the Marina Downtown and CBD-Bedok-Tampines areas is BusNow, provided by homegrown Swat. The app for the Joo Koon area is BusGo, by American company Via.

Both apps will be available for download by the end of Monday (Dec 3).

The Land Transport Authority said regular bus services will still be available but at a lower frequency during the six-month trial of the new on-demand bus service.

The interval between regular bus services will be 30 minutes for the Joo Koon area and 40 minutes for the Marina Downtown area - double the current service intervals.