Parliamentary Replies

September 10, 2018

Affordable school bus services

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Ms Foo Mee Har, West Coast GRC

Question

To ask the Minister for Education what mechanisms have been put in place to ensure school bus services remain affordable to all school-going children.

Response

1. Schools select school bus operators through a competitive bidding process and award contracts to transport operators who best meet their needs. In Jan 2015, MOE enhanced the bidding process for school bus services so that schools can reach out to more bus operators to obtain more competitive offers. The competitiveness of bus fares proposed is one of the key evaluation factors considered by schools.

2. The Government has put in place a number of measures to help school bus operators keep their operating cost low so that they can offer more competitive bus fares. For example, school buses are exempted from Certificate of Entitlement requirements. Other private bus operators who use their buses to provide school bus services would be given 50% road tax rebate by the Land Transport Authority.

3. To help students who need further assistance to meet their transport expenses, MOE has also implemented a transport subsidy for students on the Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS) since 1 Apr 2015. MOE subsidises 50% of the actual monthly school bus fares for primary school FAS students who commute to school via school bus.

4. About 3,600 primary students are currently in receipt of MOE’s transport subsidy.