Mr Leon Perera asked the Minister for Transport whether the Ministry will consider providing public transport services past midnight on regular occasions, such as MRT and bus services on weekends so as to benefit late shift food and beverage (F&B) workers and enterprises, the F&B sector and night economy, as is being pursued in some other global cities.
Mr S Iswaran: Public transport services currently operate almost 18 hours daily, including on weekends and public holidays. In deciding whether to further extend these services, we need to strike a balance between meeting travel demand versus keeping the cost of public transport affordable for the majority of commuters and taxpayers.
Night bus services were provided in the past on Fridays, Saturdays and eves of public holidays. However, the ridership was low, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The average loading level even during the busiest hour was only 13%, which was far below that of regular bus services.
The same consideration will apply to train services. In addition, we need to allow time for regular maintenance every night, outside operating hours, to ensure our trains run smoothly.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will continue to monitor ridership demand after regular public transport operating hours and make adjustments where necessary, while paying careful attention to public transport operating costs. We are open to proposals from commercial operators who wish to provide after-hours services for certain locations and routes. For example, LTA has approved a trial by a private bus operator to run two night bus services from end-January 2023.
Ministry of Transport
6 February 2023