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Ray Silcox, Senior Diagnostic Engineer

London, 23 March 2016 – London-based bus operator, Tower Transit, is busy implementing Freeway’s fleet management solution to analyse the operating costs for each of its vehicles in Singapore. Under the new S$556 million, five-year government contract, Tower Transit will run 26 services in the Western part of the island beginning mid-2016, progressively increasing its fleet to 500 buses.

Operating out of the new Bulim Bus Depot, Tower will also use Freeway’s mobile apps to conduct vehicle inspections. Drivers will use the pre-service check app on their smartphones to conduct their pre-journey walk-around checks, and engineers will be issued with tablets that will facilitate their inspections and allow them to photograph issues that require attention. The data will be automatically uploaded into the system, making the administrative process more efficient and eliminating discrepancies that may arise from manual updating.

Inspections in Singapore are performed every 42 days, as opposed to 28 in the UK. This is due to differences in the operating environment and the duty cycle of the services. The buses will also undergo an annual statutory inspection.

Senior Diagnostic Engineer, Ray Silcox, will train a team of 33 engineers and technicians to keep Tower Transit’s fleet in tip top condition to meet – and possibly exceed – the strict service standards imposed on bus operators in Singapore. He pointed out that today’s buses are no longer the basic beasts that trundled along city streets a few decades ago. Today’s modern bus has advanced braking and traction control systems, sophisticated on-board telematics and costs more than a Ferrari.

Apart from the servicing and maintenance aspect, Freeway’s procurement function enables automatic replenishment of parts. If required, the system can first check if parts are in stock at the depot before automatically generating purchase orders for parts and job cards for labour. If parts need to be purchased, the system, once initiated, can automatically process purchase orders to suppliers once authorisation via smartphone has been approved.

The decision to install Freeway was primarily driven by the company’s experience with the system in its London operations, where it carries almost 120 million passengers a year on 450 buses covering 24 routes.

“Because of our previous experience using Freeway in London, it was fairly simple to implement the system in Singapore,” said Mark Herbert, Engineering Manager, Tower Transit Singapore. “There are a number of things that make Freeway unique; chief among them is the after-sales support that we've received. Having direct communication with Freeway for technical support has been invaluable.”

The Tower Transit Group operates 650 buses in London and Cambridge, including London’s only hydrogen powered buses. As the first bus operator to be awarded a contract under Singapore’s new government contracting model, Tower aims to redefine the bus industry in Singapore and become the most respected provider of public transport in the world’s best cities.

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