Your child is starting Primary One next year and the school bus services don’t cater to your needs. Or you only need one-way transport, but they insist on charging you for the round trip. Previously available options for school transport services in Singapore such as GrabShuttle for School and RydeSchool have since been discontinued. Some parents find themselves in a bind.
For instance, after signing her son up for his school’s on-site student care service, 39-year-old communications manager, Yee Ching, learnt that the school bus does not provide transport from after-school care. “Now I’m desperately seeking a reliable driver to ferry my boy home from the after-school service when he starts P1 next year. It’s really costly to find one that caters to a specific hour — they charge a chartered rate,” she laments.
(See also: Is your K2 Child ready for P1 English?)
Mum to a six-year-old girl and a three-year-old boy, Emily Sng, has a different issue. To catch her school bus, her daughter would have to be at the pick-up point by 5.20am every morning. “And she’ll be back really late too. I have to find another way, even if it’s more expensive,” says the 36-year-old bank executive.
We hope Yee Ching, Emily, and other parents in similar situations find suitable school transport services within the following options. If you have other solutions to offer, do share them with us!
Contracted School Bus Services
Bus operators that schools appoint are often the most convenient option because there is already a system in place. The school and its teachers are familiar with the bus drivers, and pick-up and drop-offs are a no-brainer. However, as we already know, not all school bus services can cater to your situation or fulfil your needs.
Furthermore, fees are charged for 12 months in a year (pro-rated over nine months), regardless of school holidays or HBL days. Prices can also vary quite a bit between schools. While transportation shouldn’t be top on the list of factors for choosing your child’s school, it can play a part. The MOE information Notice Board for School Bus Services (IBSB) platform is a useful starting point for your research.
(See also: How to Raise a Maths-loving Child)
Schoolber: Express, Buspool, and Carpool
As its Uber-inspired name suggests, Schoolber is a ride-hailing platform but for schoolchildren. By pairing you with the most optimal solution in terms of commute and capacity, it offers convenience and flexibility. You schedule ahead but pay per trip, so it’s value-for-money too. And you can track your child’s journey via the app, for peace of mind.
Options include ‘Schoolber Express’, which assigns your child a regular driver to provide a point-to-point service. You can share the ride and fare with classmates and neighbours. ‘Buspool’ partners with private bus operators to pick students staying in close proximity going to schools in the same area. Our favourite is ‘Carpool’, which leverages on fellow parents sending their child to school — and offering yours a ride!
SG Maxi Cab Singapore: Maxi Cab and Minibus Ride-sharing
Some taxi and minibus charter companies also provide regular ride-sharing services. They usually cater to office workers, but schoolchildren can hop on too. SG Maxi Cab Singapore is one of these. Simply tell them your requirements, and they’ll find a suitable route to match. You pay a fixed monthly rate that’s shared among your fellow passengers.
Bus Tech: Bus-sharing Service
Another alternative would be bus-sharing services that cater to schoolchildren. For instance, Bus Tech, which also provides shuttle services for office workers and condo residents. You simply fill up a form online with your details and requirements, and they’ll be in touch. They even have a service specially for ferrying little ones as young as 18 months to childcare!
CitiTrans Bus Transit: Private School Bus Service
If you can gather enough kids living in your area looking to share a bus, you can simply charter a private school bus service. CitiTrans Bus Transit, for example, provides pick-up and drop-off services to and from school. They have a wide range of buses and minibuses, depending on the size of your group.
HDT Singapore: Premium School Car Service
Can’t find enough kids in your neighbourhood to share a bus with? What about a four-seater car? In partnership with the Singapore School Transport Association, HDT Singapore introduced a premium school car service. You can customise up to four pick-up and drop-off points or give your kiddo his private ‘school car’. One extra perk? They drive electric vehicles exclusively for a greener footprint!
Prime Aces Limousine: Private School Limousine Services
If you don’t mind paying more, then private school limousine services might be the ticket. Prime Aces Limousine offers school pick-up and drop-off services starting from $75 per trip in a Toyota Alphard. Your child will enjoy an exclusive and comfortable ride, with on-time and vehicle replacement guarantees. Peace of mind for parents, that’s for sure.
(See also: Babysitting Services in Singapore)
While not ideal for the long-term, ride-hailing platforms like Grab, Ryde, Gojek, and TADA can come in handy in a pinch. Perhaps your regular school transport services provider has a flat tyre. Or your child takes ill in the middle of class, and you can’t get away from work. Current Covid-19 restrictions notwithstanding, ad-hoc carpooling services such as GrabHitch and RydePool may also be helpful.
If you really can’t find any school transport services that work for you, don’t fret. We have one of the best public transportation systems in the world, after all. Train (pun intended!) your child on how to take the MRT or bus from school, even before they enter school. You never know when this knowledge may come in handy. Finally, ensure that your child always has their EZ-link card, or at least some money that’s ‘for emergencies only’.
Even as you consider each of these options for school transport services, do check for the latest Covid-19 restrictions. For instance, all forms of commercial carpooling services are not allowed at the time of this article’s publishing. We wish you the best in sourcing the best school transport services in Singapore for your children!