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.

More details will be announced when made available.

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 Price for 5 Years
Amount (S$)
1. China Guangzhou Public Transportation Group No.3 Bus Co., Ltd TBA
2. Local SBS Transit Ltd TBA
3. Local SMRT Buses Ltd TBA
4. Local The Go-Ahead Group Plc TBA
5. Local Tower Transit Singapore Pte. Ltd. TBA

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:


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

  • 1 December 2019 at 10:41 PM

    Introduce a new bus operator to replace Tower Transit, at the same time also introduce new buses in the West. I could suggest FirstGroup, MTR, Abellio or Arriva for the retendering of the Bulim Bus Package.

  • 1 December 2019 at 6:41 PM

    Best if they can have a bus advertising package for each of the 14 packages.

  • 1 December 2019 at 5:48 PM

    663 and 665 better with SMB. TT should take 653 and 657 as both routes are well within BU service area.

    • 5 May 2020 at 10:25 PM

      to swap should be quite hard.

  • 1 December 2019 at 10:00 AM

    Tower Transit Sucks! Bukit must be in SBS Transit instead far better. Must get Bukit Batok back to SBS before 2000 era

    • 1 December 2019 at 5:44 PM

      SBST’s recent legal troubles may work against them, like how the Transdev driver’s strikes in Perth last year resulted in them losing Joondalup to Tower Transit. Having a combined bid makes me think it would be a similar tender as the one for Claremont, Marmion and Joondalup.

      Anyway, I thought Hougang would be up next after Sembawang? Don’t tell me Loyang and Hougang will be combined bid too?

      • 3 December 2019 at 9:56 PM

        Most likely HG-SK and LY up for tender in 2021 together.

      • 6 December 2019 at 5:21 PM

        If Loyang and Hougang are farmed out under the same tender it makes lots of sense for GA-S to get both contracts.

        Looking forward to 2025 when Clementi is due. If TT managed to hold on to Bulim and Bulim gets bundled with Clementi in one single tender the same logic should apply.

    • 5 May 2020 at 10:27 PM

      You want SBST to get Sembawang-Yishun Package? Anyways clinching for SBST for most (not all) packages to be given to them? That’s what LTA is likely doing.

  • 30 November 2019 at 7:00 PM

    I think SMRT Buses will have a higher chance of getting both than Tower Transit, if comparing company size and finances alone. But I would still prefer status quo. TT retains Bulim, SMRT retains Mandai. This should be the opportunity for them to swap around 944 and 974 and also to give City Direct services 663 and 665 to SMRTB.


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