Yeap Transport: Steering Towards a Greener Future with SG Eco Fund

Singapore Green Plan
Singapore Green Plan
5 min readFeb 8, 2024
An ambassador from Yeap Transport sharing the different parts of an electric bus, and how it’s different from conventional buses

Most of us don’t think too deeply about school buses- they send Singapore’s schoolkids to and from school. However, Yeap Transport has a different destination in mind — a cleaner, greener school commute. As a proud recipient of the SG Eco Fund grant, this is not just about another transport company; it is a story of one SME (small-medium enterprise) pushing for a big environmental change.

A Green Shift on School Routes

Three years back, Yeap Transport — primarily in the school transport line — looked at its fleet of buses and saw an opportunity, with land transport electrification becoming a trend in Singapore. Land transport is a major carbon emitter, and with it making up about 25% of the carbon emissions from Yeap Transport’s clients, the company decided it was time for change. Enter electric buses — quiet, clean, and cool. While they’re starting small, with just a handful of e-buses so far, they’re already planning to add more to their fleet. (Cooler still is the fact that Yeap Transport did not hike up the prices for the ride, even though electric buses cost more to purchase.)

Parts of the electric bus up close, no exhaust pipe!

Explaining this move, Yeap Transport’s Chief Development Officer Goh Kok Wee said: “We still charge according to our traditional rate, because we believe that bussing for school kids should be green because you will then be educating the young children about the importance of being green.” He also oversees the transport operator’s overall sustainability efforts.

Yeap Transport’s efforts have been multifaceted, focusing on both hardware (fleet transformation) and software (operational management) aspects. They have introduced 4 electric buses into their school bus fleet, with 10 more to come in 2024. While this is a small part of its nearly 500-strong fleet, the company has plans to expand and phase out its diesel buses over the next decade.

The transport operator is also actively looking at other ways to reduce its carbon emissions. They have deployed advanced telematics devices in their diesel buses to optimise routes, reduce idling times, and manage tailpipe emissions effectively. (Think of a fitness tracker, but for buses.) This tech helps them drive smarter, not harder, reducing pollution and making sure buses aren’t guzzling fuel unnecessarily.

SG Eco Fund: Fueling the Green Message

But while Mr Goh believes that upgrading operational hardware is vital, fostering a shift in mindset is equally crucial. This is where the SG Eco Fund plays a pivotal role.

Since April 2023, Yeap Transport started its “Green Journeys” programme, going to primary and secondary schools with a roving exhibition, conducting learning journeys, and an interschool eco-challenge. Their mission? To make sure everyone — from schoolchildren to school principals — understands why switching to electric buses matters.

Students from Ngee Ann Primary School participating in some of the activities and exhibitions prepared by Yeap Transport

Mr Goh said: “The SG Eco Fund has been helpful in terms of opening the doors for us to reach out to our MOE schools. Because the schools no longer have to worry about setting aside resources to conduct the ‘Green Journeys’ at their school, they are more willing to engage us and invite us to show our exhibition.”

Their target to reach out to 40 schools in a year is already off to a promising start, with 24 schools signing up within the first 6 months. The exhibition has already travelled to 13 schools so far, reaching out to over 15,000 students and close to 1,400 teachers and school management.

The exhibition includes a showcase of one of Yeap Transport’s electric buses and its internal components, which has received a good response from students.

Mr Goh added: “Many students are amazed at how the bus has no tailpipe, and that there is no engine compartment in the front of the bus!”

Yeap Transport also takes the opportunity to educate students on why electric buses are a big deal for the environment and their own health. It is not just about cutting down on the smog outside; it is also about making sure the air inside the bus is clean, so kids can breathe easy. One of the key points they are driving home is about PM 2.5 particles, which come from conventional buses’ diesel engines. These particles are closely associated with exacerbating asthma.

The Ride Ahead

Students getting up close with the inside of the electric bus

Future-proofing their operations is a priority for Yeap Transport. They’ve developed a comprehensive carbon footprint management framework with the aid of Enterprise Singapore and external consultants. This framework adheres to international standards, guiding the company’s strategy towards greener practices.

“We’re being proactive, anticipating a shift towards green procurement and the increasing importance of ESG factors in client decisions. Some international schools already prioritise ESG in their tender processes,” explained Mr Goh.

Yeap Transport are so serious about this, that they produced their very first Sustainability Impact Report last year, even though they are not required to do so. Their second report is also currently underway.

Every journey — bus or otherwise — begins with a single step. Yeap Transport’s taken theirs, and sharing their story too with the help of the SG Eco Fund! As they continue their journey, their story stands as a powerful example of how incremental steps can lead to monumental transformations.

An interesting recess with the electric bus from the Yeap Transport team

For more info, please check out: https://www.yeaptpt.com/yt-green-journeys

Inspired by Greensquare’s story to come up with your own green community initiative? The SG Eco Fund offers funding to support the co-creation of sustainability initiatives in Singapore, so you can grow your green ideas. Visit www.mse.gov.sg/sgecofund for more information!

#SGEcoFund

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Singapore Green Plan
Singapore Green Plan

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