Bulim and Sembawang-Yishun Bus Packages put up for tender

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has put up a call for a tender for the Bulim and Sembawang-Yishun Bus Packages on 29 November 2019.

The Sembawang-Yishun Bus Package marks the fifth tendered contract for the bus contracting model, while the Bulim Bus Package is currently up for its second term under the bus contracting model.

Under the Bus Contracting Model, 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 contract out the bus package, select a bus operator (through a competitive tendering process), and lease these assets to the new operator.

As part of the transition, all existing bus services in Singapore (previously operated by long-standing duopoly between SBS Transit and SMRT Buses) were divided up into 14 route packages, operating under a negotiated contract with the incumbent operator until the Bus Package is tendered out competitively.

The Bulim Bus Package was first awarded to Tower Transit in May 2015, while the Sembawang-Yishun Bus Package has been operated by SMRT Buses under a negotiated contract since September 2016.

In a response by LTA to The Straits Times, this contract includes 29 routes in the Bulim Bus Package and 27 routes in the Sembawang-Yishun Bus Package. However, the bus service numbers of these routes were not mentioned back then.

Contract PT217: Bus Contracting – Bulim and Sembawang-Yishun Bus Packages involves three components, where tenderers are required to submit bids for.

  • Bulim Bus Package
  • Sembawang-Yishun Bus Package
  • Combined bid for Bulim Bus Package & Sembawang-Yishun Bus Package

The tender closed on 30 March 2020, at 4:00pm sharp.

Bidding Procedure

According to tender details as published on government procurement portal GeBIZ, bids were submitted by 5 hopeful operators. namely:

S/No Country Tenderer
1. China Guangzhou Public Transportation Group No.3 Bus Co., Ltd
2. Local SBS Transit Ltd
3. Local SMRT Buses Ltd
4. Local The Go-Ahead Group Plc
5. Local Tower Transit Singapore Pte. Ltd.

This is the first time that Guangzhou Public Transportation Group No.3 Bus Co., Ltd is participating in a local bus package tender. Chinese companies have participated in all previous rounds of bus package tenders, either tendered as standalone companies or in joint venture with local companies.

All four other tenderers (SBS Transit, SMRT Buses, Go-Ahead and Tower Transit) are incumbent operators.

See Also:

Tender Award

On 30 September 2020, the tender was awarded to Tower Transit Singapore Pte Ltd.
Main Article: Tower Transit awarded Bulim and Sembawang-Yishun Bus Packages


101 thoughts on “Bulim and Sembawang-Yishun Bus Packages put up for tender

  • 10 August 2020 at 3:44 PM

    Why i say so?First of all SMRT got manpower shortage for Kranji and keep on using their subsidiaries BCs & other spare BCs from AMDEP/WLDEP.So it’s better for them to solved the problem first and when they’re ready,They will be awarded package in future.SBST have to hold on since they already win 2 packages back to back previously.GAS will be mostly win the Sengkang-Hougang and retain Loyang next year.

    TTS>Sembawang-Yishun & Bulim
    GAS>Sengkang-Hougang & Loyang and make sense why SBST Hgdep is not the training base anymore.
    SMRT>Bedok,Choa Chu Kang-Bukit Panjang & Woodlands.
    SBST>7 packages

  • 6 August 2020 at 12:55 PM


    SMRT: 60%
    SBST: 25%
    TTSG: 5%
    GASG: 10%

    TTSG: 60%
    GASG: 25%
    SMRT: 10%
    SBST: 5%

    And then come 2023, SMRT retains Gali Batu and Woodlands and probably win back Seletar. By then GASG still retain Loyang and win Tampines. Then in 2025, TTSG can win Clementi as well. SBST will retain the rest of its packages and still hold on to majority with 6 packages, while SMRT at the 2nd largest with 4 packages. The two British firms will 2 packages each. This will be the most ideal and fair situation to all 4 companies. But, these are pure speculations.

  • 5 August 2020 at 8:35 PM

    I want the Go-Ahead Group to win the tender for this bus package.

    • 5 September 2020 at 1:44 PM

      Go-Ahead Group has awarded two year extension for Loyang Bus Package due to good performance, so I hope they will take over it.

  • 3 August 2020 at 3:50 PM

    Imagine Guangzhou Public Transportation win the Mandai bus package and Japan bus operator win the Loyang bus package?


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