Speech by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development, Youth and Sports, and Transport Teo Ser Luck at the Launch of Green Bus Trials
Mr Gan Juay Kiat
CEO, SBS Transit
Dr Su Guaning
Professor Cen Zhangzhi
Vice Chairman of University Council, Tsinghua University
Ladies and Gentlemen
1. It is my pleasure to be here today at the launch of the new fuel cell bus and diesel hybrid bus to be run by SBS Transit. Today’s launch brings us a step closer towards creating a sustainable land transport system in Singapore.
Background of Sustainable Transport Initiatives
2. Transport is one of the largest greenhouse gas emitting sectors in the world, accounting for 23 per cent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. With population and economic growth, transport-related CO2 emissions in Asia alone are estimated to double between 2006 and 2030, from 1 billion to 2.3 billion tons. The challenge for the transport community is to develop sustainable strategies to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and limit greenhouse gases emissions.
3. In the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint released last year, we outlined our vision for our transport sector, which is to achieve a cleaner, greener and more convenient transport system. This will be done by enhancing our Public Transport system to meet the commuting needs of a growing population, achieving Cleaner Transport through cleaner diesel vehicles and greener vehicles as well as improving Resource Efficiency by reducing fuel consumption and adopting fuel efficient technologies.
4. We can achieve a more sustainable transport system if more Singaporeans travel by public transport. It is, by far, the most efficient mode of transport, both in terms of land and energy use. Our overall goal is to achieve a modal share of 70 per cent of journeys made during morning peak hours via public transport by 2020. We have been working hard to improve the quality and connectivity of our public transport so as to make it a choice mode for commuters. This includes improving the headways for buses, introducing bus priority measures, increasing bus and train trips, especially during peak hours and opening new rail lines and extension.
5. Technological advancements also offer much potential for us to achieve cleaner and more energy-efficient travel. In order to ride on the crest of the technology wave, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has been embarking on a number of trials and test-bedding programmes on new green transport technologies. For example, in February this year, the LTA has began a trial on the use of Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs) on a range of diesel-driven vehicles, including some SBS Transit buses, to test out their efficacy in reducing fine particulate matter emissions.
Launch of Diesel-Hybrid and Fuel Cell Buses
6. The collaboration between SBS Transit and local and foreign academics, as well as foreign bus manufacturers to test out new technologies in our local context is a step in the right direction. Such efforts are commendable and should be encouraged.
7. Fuel cell vehicles have zero pollution at the tailpipe. For instance, vehicles powered by the hydrogen fuel cell do not emit any CO2, SO2 and NOX (nitrogen and oxygen compounds). While fuel cell technology, when adopted on a commercial basis, can potentially translate to significant reduction in vehicular emissions, the cost of using the nascent technology is still very high. To encourage other private sector players to also come forward to drive innovation in the land transport sector, LTA has provided partial financial support for the development of this fuel cell bus through the Land Transport Innovation Fund.
8. Diesel hybrid buses are set to make an impact as well. These buses are able to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by converting energy normally wasted in braking into electricity and using it to help power the vehicles. These buses can achieve up to 30 per cent reduction in fuel consumption and lower emissions compared to conventional diesel buses. Besides the one diesel hybrid bus in action today, I understand that SBS Transit is planning to put one more of such buses on our roads. If this technology is found to be suitable for our local context, we can expect to see even more of such green buses running on our roads in the near future.
9. Sustainable transport solutions demand long term attention and effort. We will continue to adopt a pragmatic approach towards their adoption. Apart from testing out new technologies and improving existing ones, we will continue to pace the implementation process based on their suitability and cost-effectiveness in our local context.
10. In closing, I would like to congratulate SBS Transit and all its partners on the launch of the new green buses.
 Source: Asian Development Bank
Source: Ministry of Transport