Text by Nurul Asyiqin and Sudhiksha Krishna Kumar
- NTU will introduce a new fleet of electric buses by end of the year
Students can check for bus timings with a new mobile app rolled out with the bus service, which is not compatible with UWave and NTU GO! apps for now
- The new fleet by ComfortDelGro replaces former vendors Tong Tar, which has run in NTU since 2005
NTU will usher in a new fleet of electric buses by the end of the year that will ferry students around campus.
Some 20 electric buses from transport company ComfortDelGro will replace most of the traditional buses deployed by the end of the year, said, said the company.
Since Thursday, a fleet of traditional buses has started ferrying students around the school, replacing the fleet of buses run by former vendor Tong Tar, which has operated in NTU since 2005.
The buses reuse the same stops along NTU that students are familiar with. These include the red and blue loops within the campus, as well as the campus rider and weekend campus rider that shuttle students from the university to Pioneer MRT station.
The buses will be deployed daily from 7.30am to 11pm, including public holidays, said the company.
However, the red and blue lunch express services that skip bus stops to ferry students between four heavily-populated areas of the school between 12pm and 1pm will be discontinued.
The new fleet replaces former vendor Tong Tar, which has run in NTU since 2005.
Unlike the Tong Tar buses, some of the new buses feature standing areas at the front of the bus. The new buses are also air-conditioned and equipped with leather seats.
Students can also use the transport company’s mobile application, NTU OmniBus, to check when their bus is arriving, said Ms Tan, in response to Soapbox’s queries.
The app uses ComfortDelGro’s built-in GPS system and a ridership counter to track bus location and monitor the number of passengers on board, she said.
The app indicates the time that upcoming and subsequent buses will take to arrive, as well as the number of riders in each bus.
Existing bus applications such as UWave and NTU GO! are currently not compatible with ComfortDelgro’s buses.
Students who used the new transport for the first time on Thursday hope it will fix long-running issues with the frequency and reliability of bus services in the school.
Second-year Business student Arun Snehapriyaa, who took the campus bus from the Tamarind Hall stop to Yunnan Gardens on Tuesday, said the bus timings on the new Omnibus app were accurate but did not see an improvement in the frequency of buses.
“The bus arrived not long after the app indicated it was arriving but the bus was really packed,” said Snehapriyaa, 20.
While all students managed to get on the bus at her stop, a few students from the next stop were unable to hop on and had to wait for the next bus, she said.
But with the new service, she hopes the days of waiting up to 20 minutes for a bus to her faculty will be past her.
“I’ve been late to classes because the bus took longer to arrive during lunch hours,” she said.
Third-year student from the School of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Angeline Lim, 21, said: “The new buses are bigger and there’s more space to stand.”
The new electric buses are part of NTU’s long-term vision for an environmentally friendly college, said a spokesman for the school.
As part of its sustainability plan launched in October last year, the university aims to cut carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2035.
Correction note: A version previously said that a new fleet of ComfortDelGro electric buses was introduced on Thursday (Sept 1). This has been amended. We apologise for the error.