He also noted that “MAN (our bus manufacturer) and DPT technicians recently completed the mid-life refurbishment of fourteen (14), 2009 series buses”.
“This involved the replacement of the engine, transmission, and differential on each bus. This project will provide five more years of reliable operation for these buses.
“Upgrading the bus service is not limited to new buses,” he added. “Access to real-time updates on the bus service and cancellations is a reasonable expectation in 2019. DPT is working to provide real-time passenger information through online services, such as Google Transit and local third party applications (Apps).
“This will be implemented in 2019.”
“Consistent with modernizing the bus service, this Ministry recently concluded an RFI, and is in the process of preparing an RFP, for Digital Fare Media.
“The current system of cash, paper tickets and tokens is antiquated. Electronic ticketing provides revenue assurance and the ridership data necessary to analyze and improve the bus service. Having the ability to purchase tickets online, tap and go will improve access to the bus service and enhance the customer experience.”
While noting that last Monday marked the start of the new 2019 Bus Schedule, he stressed that the new rosters “will address the shortage of available buses, eliminate bus cancellations and provide reliable service levels”.
“The new schedule operates on 50 buses at peak times, which means there is some reduction in frequency, and is a temporary measure while DPT replenishes the aging bus fleet,” said Mr DeSilva.
” The new bus schedule is off to a good start, with sufficient buses to meet the public bus schedule. The school bus service is operating without the additional support of minibuses.
“As the schedule is new, some adjustments are to be expected. The Operations team at DPT is closely monitoring the performance of the new schedule and actively addressing issues as they arise. For example, extra ‘sweeper’ buses are being deployed to supplement the schedule, where required.
Reaffirming Government’s commitment “to providing a quality public bus service that commuters, students and visitors can rely on”, he also highlighted several initiatives now underway at the Department of Public Transportation, including: