Bukit Merah and Jurong West Bus Packages put up for tender

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has called for a tender for the Bukit Merah and Jurong West Bus Packages on 23 November 2022, under Contract PT218Bus Contracting – Bukit Merah and Jurong West Bus Packages.

The Jurong West Bus Package is the sixth contract to be launched for competitive tendering under the Bus Contracting Model. The Bukit Merah Bus Package is currently up for its second tendered term under the bus contracting model.

Under the Bus Contracting Model (BCM), bus routes were bundled into bus packages, consisting of a single bus depot, several bus interchanges, the bus routes and the buses themselves. With all bus infrastructure belonging to the Government, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) would select a bus operator to run the bus package (through a competitive tendering process), and lease these assets to the new operator.

As part of the gradual transition which commenced in September 2016, all existing bus services in Singapore (previously operated by a long-standing duopoly between SBS Transit and SMRT Buses) were divided into 14 route packages. These existing routes remain operated by their incumbent operators under a negotiated contract model until their respective Bus Package has been tendered out.

Bukit Merah Bus Package

Bukit Merah Bus Package was awarded to SBS Transit in February 2018 as part of an open tender. SBS Transit was previously also the incumbent operator under a negotiated contract since the start of the BCM in September 2016.

As of November 2022, existing bus services covered by the Bukit Merah Bus Package are:
Services 5, 16/16M, 57, 93, 120, 121, 122, 123/123M, 131, 145, 160/160M, 170/170X, 195, 198, 272, 273 & 400 (17 bus routes)

Jurong West Bus Package

Jurong West Bus Package has been operated by SBS Transit under a negotiated contract since the start of the BCM in September 2016.

As of November 2022, existing bus services covered by the Jurong West Bus Package are:
179/179A, 181/181M, 182/182M, 185, 192, 193, 194, 199, 240/240M, 241, 242, 243G/243W, 246, 247, 248/248M, 249, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 257, 258, 405, 502/502A & 974 (26 bus routes)

Combined Bus Package Tender

Similar to the previous combined Bulim and Sembawang-Yishun Bus Package tender in November 2019, tenderers may submit bids for either of both of the items:

  • Bukit Merah Bus Package
  • Jurong West Bus Package
  • Bukit Merah & Jurong West Bus Package


As of tender closing date, 6 companies have submitted bids for this tender. These are:

  • Go Ahead Singapore Pte Ltd
  • National Express Group PLC
  • SBS Transit Ltd
  • SMRT Buses Ltd
  • Tower Transit Singapore Pte Ltd
  • Transdev Group S.A.

Tender Award

Main Article: SBS Transit and SMRT Buses awarded Bukit Merah and Jurong West Bus Packages

On 18 August 2023, LTA awarded the contracts to the following operators:

  • Bukit Merah Bus Package – SBS Transit Ltd
  • Jurong West Bus Package – SMRT Buses Ltd


41 thoughts on “Bukit Merah and Jurong West Bus Packages put up for tender

  • 26 November 2022 at 3:22 PM

    LTA made a mistake by extending Seletar contract instead of Bukit Merah.Bukit Merah & Woodlands should just retain with it’s current operators save the hassle for just for the sake of tender.Unless they want something different in future.To be frank its not that tedious to just reapply new operators to take over cross border cause the main owner will still be LTA.The most tedious part is the cross border BCs willing to follow the new operators or not.

  • 26 November 2022 at 12:15 AM

    Personally, I have experienced taking public transport from 3 different bus companies on day-to-day basis over the years.

    Based on my experience, I feel that SMRT is the worst performer, bad frequencies and bad maintainence & breakdowns. The frequencies for buses like 67, 920, 922, 972 & 972M, 976 can go up till 30-40 mins, both afternoon & night, DAILY Non-adherence to interchange timing board is just one factor that makes my commute inconvenient (E.g., seeing the bus arrival timing on their OWN board is 9am, next bus 910am, but bus only arrives at 908am). To add on, they are simply filling up passengers to the brim at bus interchange. Unable to board 2nd stop from interchange for 920 & 922 during peak hours. Basically, pretty bad services.

    I am impressed by SBS transit’s operations, specifically at Yishun bus interchange, which I taken their bus from. Buses mostly arrive ON-Time in interchange unlike SMRT (Sometimes it skipped the earlier bus timings).

    For tower transit, I find that they are very strict to keeping to their schedule, but the downside is that, their buses are always very slow, and always stopping at bus stops even without passengers boarding or alighting, which is time consuming for me as a commuter.

    For Go-ahead no comments as I have only taken their buses a couple of times.

  • 25 November 2022 at 10:13 PM

    High chance, LTA released the tender prematurely, without first finalizing and announcing the new Jurong West bus depot (the interim one, before being replaced by the permanent one in CRL Tuas depot).

    Anyway, considering the past LTA depots (Bulim, Seletar and Ulu Pandan) took about 1.5 years to build,

    We can expect the new Jurong West bus depot to be announced soon, with the implementation of the Jurong West bus package in the second half of 2024.

    The timing of second half 2024 would be just nice, as that would be when the Jurong Region Line viaduct construction works are scheduled to end, and that would be when the roads will be realigned to their permanent position and repaved with a fresh layer of road surface.

    Whereas for the new Jurong West bus depot location, one possible location is at Benoi Road next to the AYE expressway, which would be near to the future CRL Tuas depot that would contain a new bus depot.

    Whereas for bus services 185 and 502, which currently originate at the SBS Transit Soon Lee bus depot, actually, 502 can use the vacant end-on berth at Boon Lay Bus Interchange, and the sawtooth section may have the capacity to accommodate 185. In other words, both bus services can be rerouted to Boon Lay Bus Interchange from Pioneer Road North.

    Whereas for the operator, honestly, what matters is cost effectiveness. I am okay with any bus operator that the LTA deems fit.

    Personally, I live in Jurong West, along the 243, 258 and 179 bus routes, at Jurong West Street 81.

    I look forward to new buses when the Jurong West bus package is launched in 2024, probably the second half of 2024, which by then, the Jurong Region Line viaduct construction works would also be completed, and the land transport in the area would just nice get a comprehensive upgrade (road surface refreshed + public bus fleet refreshed). 😎

    • 26 November 2022 at 10:24 PM

      To think Hougang package was originally next in line to be tender out but kena extended due to SKDEP contruction delayed by Covid-19. Thing is, they can still use HGDEP in the meantime even if SBST lost the contract.

      PS: Loyang contract extended right up to 2026. Doubt it can get farmed together with Hougang.

  • 25 November 2022 at 9:59 PM

    i hope TTS win jurong west bus package

    can co-operate with bulim (since so near already)

  • 25 November 2022 at 5:13 PM

    smrt have 1 and 1 remain with sbs


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