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     FrontPage Edition: Mon 1 Dec 2008

Pilot scheme makes it mandatory to give way to buses


Mandatory to Give Way to Buses Scheme at Three Locations

To give more priority to buses on our roads the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will introduce a pilot scheme to make it mandatory to give way to all buses exiting at 23 selected bus stops located along three roads. This scheme will complement and further enhance the effectiveness of existing bus priority measures, such as bus lanes.
From 20 December 2008 onwards, special yellow boxes and triangular give way to buses markings will be painted in front of selected bus stops along Bukit Batok East Avenue 3, Toh Tuck Road and Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8. Signs will also be installed ahead of these bus stops to warn motorists they are approaching a bus stop where they must give way to buses.
An earlier study showed that buses spend about 10 per cent of their total journey time trying to exit from bus bays. We have earlier worked with the bus operators on campaigns to educate motorists to voluntarily give way to buses. However, with increasing demand for limited road space, and to meet commutersí rising expectation of a reliable and efficient public transport system, it is imperative that we make it mandatory for cars and other vehicles to give way to all buses exiting from bus bays. This will speed up the journey of the majority who travel by buses.
"The Mandatory Give Way to Buses Scheme is among several LTA initiatives to speed up bus travel. Increasing the speed and reliability of bus services is one of several priority measures outlined in the Land Transport Master Plan. Given our limited road space, we are making a decisive shift towards public transport. On average, a car carries 1.5 persons, while a single deck bus can carry up to 80 passengers. More will benefit from our efforts to speed up bus travel, making public transport a choice mode," said LTA Chief Executive, Mr Yam Ah Mee.
Prior to the implementation of the scheme, the LTA has worked closely with the public transport operators to identify suitable locations to conduct the pilot.
The LTA will monitor the effectiveness of the scheme at these three locations for three months before deciding if the Mandatory Give Way to Buses scheme can be extended to more locations to benefit public transport users.
"Through the years, we have worked with the LTA and the Traffic Police on various campaigns to get motorists to give way to buses coming out of bus bays. Unfortunately, few motorists heeded the call to give way to our buses. We believe that the move towards making it mandatory for motorists to yield to buses will help improve bus travel speeds significantly. Currently, about 10% of our travel time is spent waiting at bus bays," said Mr Gan Juay Kiat, Chief Operating Officer, SBS Transit.
"As a public transport service provider, SMRT is supportive of such initiatives that would help our Service Leaders perform their duties better. We believe that our passengers will benefit from the smoother travel experience," said Ms Kang Huey Ling, Vice President, SMRT Buses.
"While this scheme evidently benefits commuters, the Association views giving way on the road as a good practice that helps to promote graciousness and safety on the road," said Chief Executive Officer, Automobile Association of Singapore, Mr Lee Wai Mun.
How the Scheme Works
The Mandatory Give Way to Buses Scheme is similar conceptually to a zebra crossing, except that it is meant for buses.
When nearing a bus stop under this scheme, motorists will first see triangular give way markings on the road. These markings indicate that motorists approaching these bus stops need to slow down and watch in case buses are pulling out of the bus bay. Motorists come to a complete stop before the give way line and give way to buses exiting the bus bay at the location. Motorists may continue their journey once the bus has successfully exited the bus bay and no other buses are pulling out from the bus bay.
It will be a traffic offence if motorists do not give way to buses exiting from bus bays where the new road markings are drawn.
Please refer to Annex A for an illustration of the typical bus stop with the Mandatory Give Way to Buses scheme.
Informing Road Users
Before the scheme is implemented on 20 December, the LTA will be sending out 600,000 information brochures in the four official languages to all registered car owners and taxi companies. LTA will also remind motorists of the new scheme through regular radio broadcasts.
These brochures contain detailed information on the new scheme as well as the rationale behind it. The LTA has also been working with bus operators to inform their bus drivers on the new scheme.

Source: News Release 1 Dec 2008

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