2021 Outlook for Public Transport

Marking the start of a new decade, lets check out what 2021 has in store for public transport!

Opening of Thomson-East Coast Line Stage 2

Following multiple delays, the Thomson-East Coast Line Stage 2 comprising six stations from Springleaf to Caldecott is scheduled to open on 28 August 2021.

While Stage 3 (Mount Pleasant to Gardens by the Bay) was originally planned to open in 2021, SMRT’s Operations Review 2020 indicates a revised opening date of 2022.

New 3-Door Double-Deckers and Electric Buses

3-door double-deck buses (MAN A95 (Euro 6) – 3-Door Batch and Alexander Dennis Enviro500 (3-Door)) are expected to be launched this year. The first of the MAN A95 buses have arrived in Singapore in late 2020.

The Linkker Electric Bus and ST Engineering Retrofitted Electric Bus are also expected to hit the roads this year. These are the first public buses in Singapore to be charged via overhead pantograph chargers. Two overhead pantograph chargers were each installed at Bukit Panjang Integrated Transport Hub and Bedok Integrated Transport Hub.

See also: Installation of overhead bus chargers at Bedok and Bukit Panjang | Land Transport Guru

New MRT and LRT Trainsets

The first few Bombardier Innovia APM 300R (C801B) trains are expected to enter revenue service on the Bukit Panjang LRT starting from the second quarter of 2021, subject to potential delays. The first of these trains were initially expected to arrive in Singapore in September 2020. 19 single-car C801B trains were procured, to replace the 19 C801 trains which entered service in November 1999.

The Bombardier Movia CR151 trains will also arrive this year, undergoing a rigorous testing and commissioning process before they are put into passenger service from 2022.

Also arriving this year are the Alstom Metropolis C851E trains destined for the North East Line and Circle Line. Deliveries for the NEL and CCL variants were initially scheduled for 2020 and 2021 respectively, but the arrival of the NEL trains have been delayed.

New Integrated Transport Hubs and Bus Terminals

Woodlands Integrated Transport Hub, Gali Batu Bus Terminal and the new Marina Centre Bus Terminal are nearing completion and expected to open this year.

Pasir Ris Interim Bus Interchange will open in the middle of this year. Part of the old interchange will be demolished to facilitate the construction of the Pasir Ris Integrated Transport Hub (ITH) and the Pasir Ris Rail Turnback.

A part of Hougang Central Bus Interchange is expected to be relocated to facilitate the construction of the Cross Island Line, and a Temporary Bus Parking and Driver Facility is expected to be completed this year.

Bus Contracting Model

The Sembawang-Yishun Bus Package is set to be handed over to Tower Transit from the third quarter of this year. The Bulim Bus Package also enters its second term with Tower Transit from the second quarter, taking over 3 bus services from SMRT Buses.

The Sengkang-Hougang Bus Package will be put up for tender this year, with SBS Transit’s negotiated contract expiring in 2021 (pending extensions, if any).

Start of Rapid Transit System Construction

Construction of the Singapore–Johor Bahru Rapid Transit System in Singapore is expected to begin this year, and the line is now expected to open by end-2026.

Start of expanded APIS trial

A 3-year Assistive Technology trial is going to be conducted on Bus Services 139 & 141. All buses on the 2 services will be fitted with a new Assistive Passenger Information System (APIS), while commuters with special needs can use the MAVIS Mobile Application.

The trial was scheduled to begin from the 4th Quarter of 2020, but has since been delayed to 2021.

See also:

11 thoughts on “2021 Outlook for Public Transport

  • 18 January 2021 at 4:37 PM

    SMB Citaros and OC500LEs has been put on sale.Hmm SMRT doesn’t want to maintain cause they lose a contract?It should be the Euro IV Scanias that should be put on sale.

    • 24 January 2021 at 11:17 AM

      I suspect SMB may be quietly planning their exit as they haven’t been making enough profit while the other business units have their heads above water.

  • 1 January 2021 at 1:27 PM

    Either award GAS Sengkang or replace them with another Euro operator in 2023.Their culture here is much or less same with SBST.Advertising contractor also SBST and handful of ex-SBST staffs even for the management.

  • 1 January 2021 at 12:56 PM

    Given that Go-Ahead is already well-versed with the east and northeast, it should win Sengkang-Hougang package to further expand its business and operational areas. SK-HG has routes that goes from NE to west, so if GA gets this package, it will also give the company exposure in the west area.

    I hope TTS and GA can operate 3 contracts each.

  • 1 January 2021 at 9:00 AM

    No pending for Sengkang contract please.Just award to Go Ahead if LTA intend to keep them further.The next biddings is only on 2023 and by the time the Loyang package is up for tender.Bidadari ITH is also expected to open this year.I am hoping to see LTA tender out the rail contracts too.It’s sick to see SBST control majority of buses and SMRT for trains seriously.Hougang Central can move opposite the empty land.

    • 1 January 2021 at 1:03 PM

      You cannot decide actually, is up to LTA. Seriously, when can you’ll stop all your childish complaints?

      • 1 January 2021 at 3:14 PM

        I agree… Sick of SBST? They all never grew up with SBS and TIBS era… But now, I feel that TTS & GAS operator headway of schedule is quite atrocious… Better SBST retain Sengkang-Hougang Package & try to win back Loyang Package.

        GAS can bid for Choa Chu Kang – BP Package if they want or even Woodlands Package.

        At the same time Bidadari still on delay of opening meh? Not yet ready ah… I am awaiting what buses will terminate at Gali Batu Terminal…

        • 2 January 2021 at 10:56 PM

          Fyi,I am ex-SBST & TIBS bus captain,Ever drive CSS 605/608 also.I knew the politic inside out.I ever drive for GAS & TTS too.The schedule is approved by LTA ever since BCM is introduced.If you dunno anything just keep quiet and be respectful of other opinions.We dont even ask for your money to post here!

      • 2 January 2021 at 8:06 AM

        What childish complains?We need to voice up or else it will be the same story ever again.BCM for what?

  • 1 January 2021 at 3:06 AM

    Hougang Central to close again? Last time, it was for NEL construction. Also, will White Sands be expanded to take in Pasir Ris ITH?

    Also, I have a feeling Hougang and Loyang may get tendered out together late this year, with operations commencing in early 2023.


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