SMRT Ang Mo Kio Bus Depot was a former bus depot located within the Yio Chu Kang industrial area which supported bus operations mainly around Yio Chu Kang, Yishun, Sembawang, Woodlands, Lorong 1 Geylang, and various SMRT bus routes extending to the east of Singapore. The facility was demolished in 2022.
Formerly owned and operated by SMRT Buses Ltd, the depot should not be confused with SBS Transit’s Ang Mo Kio Depot.
|Name||Ang Mo Kio Bus Depot / 宏茂桥巴士车厂 (AMDEP)|
|Address||6 Ang Mo Kio Street 62, Singapore 569140|
|BCM Route Package||Not Applicable|
|Former Operators||Trans-Island Bus Service (1985–2004)
SMRT Buses (2004–2021)
|Years In Operation||1985–2021|
|Catchment||Yio Chu Kang, Yishun, Sembawang, Woodlands, Lorong 1 Geylang, Marina Centre|
Ang Mo Kio Bus Depot (commonly abbreviated AMDEP) formerly occupied a relatively small ~2 ha plot of land along Ang Mo Kio Street 64 (lot MK18-08821N), situated within the Yio Chu Kang industrial estate north of Yio Chu Kang MRT Station. For most of its operational lifespan, the depot supported bus operations mainly around Yio Chu Kang, Yishun, Sembawang, Woodlands, Lorong 1 Geylang, Marina Centre and various SMRT bus routes extending east of Singapore. It was also the former headquarters of SMRT Buses and its predecessor TIBS.
The depot premises contained a multi-storey administration building with a staff canteen, bus refuelling and washing facilities, bus parking lots, and a vehicle workshop for light maintenance work. More major bus repairs are typically done at Woodlands Depot. A combined vehicular entrance and exit led to Ang Mo Kio Street 64. Although the Depot’s official address is along Ang Mo Kio Street 62, that vehicle entrance is no longer in regular use and is retained only as an emergency access gate.
The bus park is small in capacity, and as a result, SMRT frequently relied on the overnight parking of buses at nearby bus interchanges like Yishun. To prepare for the introduction of double-deck buses sometime in 2014, shelters above the bus parking lots were raised.
The depot also housed a commercial vehicle workshop, managed by its subsidiary SMRT Automotive Services (formerly TIBS Motors Pte Ltd) which was formed in 1990. It serviced SMRT Taxis (formerly TIBS Taxis) and other commercial vehicles.
Trans-Island Bus Service (TIBS) was founded on 31 May 1982 to answer the Government’s call for a second public bus company, so as to introduce healthy competition into the public bus industry and compete with Singapore Bus Service (SBS) on equal footing. When TIBS commenced passenger service in April 1983, operations at Ang Mo Kio were run out of a temporary depot and double-deck container offices adjacent to Ang Mo Kio Depot. Bus repairs and maintenance were carried out under make-shift sheds, diesel was obtained from skid tanks, and buses had to be washed manually.
Construction of Ang Mo Kio Depot was partially completed in 1985 with TIBS moving in that same year, and the depot officially opened on 3 April 1986. Built at a cost of around ~S$6 million, the complex houses administrative, engineering and workshop facilities for TIBS and its sister company Singapore Shuttle Bus (SSB). It also has a refilling station and a fully automatic bus-washing machine.
Retirement & Closure
As part of the implementation of the Bus Contracting Model starting in 2016, newer bus depots are owned by the Government and leased out to bus operators who have won their respective bus package contracts. In the case of SMRT’s Ang Mo Kio Bus Depot, its existing bus routes around Yishun and Sembawang were absorbed into the Seletar and Sembawang-Yishun bus packages, which were based out of the newly-built Seletar Depot and Mandai Depot, and awarded to SBS Transit and Tower Transit respectively.
The Seletar and Sembawang-Yishun bus packages commenced on March 2018 and September 2021 respectively, leaving SMRT Buses without the scale of bus operations needed to keep Ang Mo Kio Depot open. Its only other bus route—Bus Service 110—was also transferred to Woodlands Depot in early September 2021, leaving no further day-to-day bus operations at Ang Mo Kio Depot by the end of September 2021, after which the depot was used for the garaging of several LTA Storage Buses and continued use by its commercial vehicle repair arm SMRT Automotive Services.
SMRT published an Expression of Interest for tender QX021-025 for “Proposed office fitting-out works at Woodlands Bus Depot and demolition and reinstatement works at Ang Mo Kio Bus Depot” on 7 September 2021, indicating plans for the depot’s demolition.
In February 2022, the depot was closed following the transfer of the remaining buses garaged to LTA Storage at Bulim Bus Depot. The corporate HQ address of SMRT Buses Ltd was also changed from Ang Mo Kio Depot to SMRT’s headquarters at Paya Lebar Quarter: 2 Tanjong Katong Road, #08-01, PLQ3, Singapore 437161.
The complete demolition of the bus depot took place in 2022.
Incidents featured in the media
On 5 March 1999, two technicians were seriously injured by an explosion at the depot, as reported in newspapers the day after.
On 6 June 2021, an SMRT technician was killed while his co-worker was injured when a BYD C6 bus (understood to be PC8561P) fell on them whilst working under the bus after one of two car jacks supporting the bus gave way.
Ang Mo Kio Depot housed the following models of buses prior to the commencement of the Sembawang-Yishun Bus Package by Tower Transit.
Single Deck Buses
- MAN NG363F (A24)
Double Decker Buses
Demolition Works (Jun 2022):
External Links & References:
- NewspaperSG – SSBS to build $3m depot in Ang Mo Kio (nlb.gov.sg)
- Speech by Mr Ong Teng Cheong at the Inauguration of Trans Island Bus Services (nas.gov.sg)
- NewspaperSG – New bus firm starts services (nlb.gov.sg)
- NewspaperSG – Complex will keep Tibs* buses covered (nlb.gov.sg)
- NewspaperSG – TIBS to move into new $8m bus complex this month (nlb.gov.sg)
- THE TIBS’ STORY (archive.org)
- Speech by Mr Ho Kah Leong at the official opening of TIBS head office/depot (nas.gov.sg)
- NewspaperSG – Two hurt in Tibs bus explosion (nlb.gov.sg)
- SMRT worker killed, another injured on Sunday when car jack supporting bus gives way – The Straits Times
- SMRT worker crushed by bus: Motor workshops say safeguards needed when lifting vehicles for repairs – The Straits Times
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