School Bus Services

Introduction

The Information Notice Board for School Bus Services (IBSB) is a platform for schools to invite bids for the provision of school bus services. This one-stop portal allows bus companies and individual school bus operators to view and participate in bids on a competitive basis, based on their understanding of individual schools’ requirements and needs. Schools will award contracts to the bus operators who can best meet the needs. The IBSB provides details of school bus operators and the bus fares charged. This provides more transparency and useful information for both parents and bus operators.

Currently, 63 schools have participated in this enhanced process of using IBSB to invite competitive bids and publish of information on bus services. More schools will use IBSB over time.

Payment Schedule for Bus fares

It is an industry practice to charge school bus fares on 12-month basis. Parents are also required to pay fees in advance in January (for December), in May (for June) and in October (for November). This has given rise to confusion and financial hardship for some parents. Under the enhanced process, a 9-month payment schedule has been introduced to spread the yearly total amount equally over 9 payments from Jan to May, and July to September. No payments will be required for the months of Jun, November and December.

Parents pay the same total amount for a year whether they are on the 9-month or 12-month payment schedule. The example below shows how the total annual fees of $1,080 are collected through these two payment schedules:

Month 12-months  9-months
Jan $180 Pay Dec fare in advance $120 Payments will spread equally over 9 months
Feb $90   $120
Mar $90   $120
Apr $90   $120
May $180 Pay Jun fare in advance $120
Jun 0   0
Jul $90   $120
Aug $90   $120
Sep $90   $120
Oct $180 Pay Nov fare in advance $120
Nov 0   0
Dec 0   0
Total $1,080   $1,080


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why parents are required to pay bus fares for the whole year including those months which are school holidays?

During school holidays, bus operators continue to incur the bulk of their operational costs, such as drivers’ wages, vehicle maintenance and deprecation costs, parking charges, insurance premium and road tax.

2. Why my child needs to pay a higher monthly bus fare under the 9-month payment schedule?

Though your child pays a higher monthly bus fare under the 9-month payment schedule, he needs to pay for 9 months instead of 12 months, and the he total amount payable by him will be the same as that for another child who is under the 12-month schedule.

3. What do I gain for joining the 9-mth payment schedule for my child?

Under the 9-month payment schedule, though you pay a higher monthly fare, there will be no advance payments needed and you need not have to remember which months to make such payments. This will also help to ease the cash flow problem, if any, for months where fares of 2 months have to be paid; and avoids the situation when parents find it difficult to claim refunds from operators for the advance payment made whenever there is a school transfer or early termination.

4. My neighbour’s child is studying in another school in the same neighbourhood. Why his school bus fare is lower than my child’s fare?

Individual bus operators determine the bus fares based on a number of considerations such as bus capacity, number of students taking school buses, distance travelled, insurance premium, etc. Thus, school bus fares varies from school to school.

5. Why is there different pricing for buses of different sizes?

Charges for small buses are generally higher as students enjoy more benefits such as mandatory installation of seat belts, one-to-one seating, easier access to pick up points and shorter journey time. On the other hand, the number of students a small bus can take is much fewer than that a big bus.

6. Why there is no school bus attendant on big buses?

LTA has ruled that only a bus with 30 seater or more is required to have a school bus attendant.