Some changes to the Bukit Panjang bus services were announced by the Land Transport Authority and below is an excerpt from Channel News Asia:
Sharp declines in ridership and a need to “exercise prudence” in the use of public funds were the reasons for changes to several bus services in the Bukit Panjang area, the Land Transport Authority said on Tuesday (Aug 4).
SMRT announced on Monday that services 700 and 700A would cease operations on Aug 16, while service 171 would be amended to operate from Yishun bus interchange and loop around Bukit Panjang MRT station instead of continuing towards Marina Centre bus terminal.
Service 972 would be amended to serve Bukit Timah/Dunearn Road, Newton MRT and Scotts Road.
Bukit Panjang Member of Parliament elect (MP-elect) Liang Eng Hwa said on Monday night that that he was disappointed with the “drastic changes” made to the bus services, saying they would inconvenience residents in the area.
Responding to CNA’s queries, the LTA said on Tuesday that since the second phase of the Downtown Line (DTL) was opened in December 2015, the ridership for bus services running parallel to the MRT line has dropped sharply.
Ridership fell by more than 30 per cent for service 171 and by more than 50 per cent for service 700 in the first year after the opening of phase two of the Downtown Line, the authority said.
The two services have been subsidised through public funds to keep them running, with up to S$5 million of subsidy a year used on service 700 alone.
“If this is the only transport option in the area, we can justify the public spending. But given that (the) DTL is available as an alternative, we need to exercise prudence in the use of public funds, and hence have to make some adjustments to the services in the area,” an LTA spokesperson said.