Bulim Bus Package Second Term – Bus Service Changes

The second term of the tendered Bulim Bus Package commences on Saturday, 29 May 2021. Incumbent operator Tower Transit Singapore, which operated the Bulim Bus Package since May 2016, was awarded the contract for the second term in September 2020.

This article summarises changes to bus services as part of the transition from the first term (PT200) to the second term (PT217) of the Bulim Bus Package.

Service Changes
66A Withdrawn
66B Withdrawn
66C Introduced from 31 May 2021
97e Serves 3 additional bus stops along Jurong Town Hall Road from 31 May 2021
333 Daily last bus timing extended from 00:50 to 01:15 from 29 May 2021
335 Daily last bus timing extended from 00:50 to 01:15 from 29 May 2021
653 Operated by Tower Transit from 31 May 2021
657 Operated by Tower Transit from 31 May 2021; Double Deck buses deployed
665 Operated by SMRT Buses from 31 May 2021
944 Operated by Tower Transit from 29 May 2021
974 Operated by SBS Transit from 29 May 2021
974A Operated by SBS Transit from 29 May 2021

Bulim Bus Package contracts:

  • PT200 – Bulim Bus Package (1st term) – 2016-2021 – Tower Transit Singapore
  • PT217 – Bulim Bus Package (2nd term) – 2021-2026 – Tower Transit Singapore

Change of Package Commencement Date

In September 2020, when LTA announced the awarding of Bulim & Sembawang-Yishun Bus Packages to Tower Transit, press releases stated that the commencement of these bus packages would take place “progressively from the second quarter of 2021”. A separate press release by SeaLink Travel Group (parent company of Tower Transit Singapore) clarified that the Bulim Bus Package (2nd term) would start on Sunday, 30 May 2021.

However, in light of bus service changes announced in mid-May 2021, it is presumed that the Bulim Bus Package (2nd Term) would commence on Saturday, 29 May 2021 instead (i.e. brought forward by one day), given that all relevant bus service changes were scheduled to take place on 29 May.


Reduction in Bus Service Frequencies

According to updated service frequencies for Tower Transit Bus Services under the Bulim Bus Package from 29 May 2021, a reduction of bus service frequencies across all services (except the City Direct Services) was observed. This means an overall reduction in trips as compared to the first term of the Bulim Bus Package.

Several peak hour services such as Express 97e & Service 177 had their overall number of trips reduced, without informing commuters of the changes in trip departure timings.


Change in Bus Operator

As part of the Bulim Bus Package (2nd Term), Tower Transit took over Bus Services 944, 653 & 657, which were previously operated by SMRT Buses. As City Direct services do not operate on weekends & public holidays, Tower Transit would operate Services 653 and 657 from Monday, 31 May 2021.

At the same time, Service 974/974A & City Direct 665 were also transferred out from Tower Transit to SBS Transit & SMRT Buses respectively.

Bus Service 944

Tower Transit took over Service 944 from SMRT Buses, starting on Saturday, 29 May 2021.

City Direct 653

Tower Transit took over City Direct 653 from SMRT Buses, starting on Monday, 31 May 2021.

City Direct 657

Tower Transit took over City Direct 657 from SMRT Buses, starting on Monday, 31 May 2021.

City Direct 665

SMRT Buses took over City Direct 665 from Tower Transit, starting on Monday, 31 May 2021.

Service 974 / 974A

SBS Transit took over Service 974/974A from Tower Transit, starting on Saturday 29 May 2021.


Bus Service Amendments

Short Trip Services 66A, 66B & 66C

New Short Trip Service 66C from Jurong East Int to Jln Jurong Kechil (Opp Beauty World Stn) commenced on Monday, 31 May 2021.

The same poster mentions the withdrawal of Short Trip Services 66A & 66B. As the commencement of the Bulim Bus Package (2nd term) is on 29 May 2021, the last day of service for Services 66A and 66B was on the Vesak Day public holiday: Wednesday, 26 May 2021.

Express 97e

Express 97e serves 3 additional bus stops along Jurong Town Hall Road from Monday, 31 May 2021.

The number of trips for Express 97e was reduced from 31 May 2021. However, double-deck buses were deployed on a regular basis on selected departures.

Departure Timings prior to 29 May 2021 New Departure Timings from 31 May 2021
From Jurong East Int: 07:36, 07:48, 08:00, 08:12 & 08:24 From Jurong East Int: 07:36, 07:52, 08:08 & 08:24
From Marina Ctr Ter: 18:06, 18:18, 18:30, 18:42 & 18:54 From Marina Ctr Ter: 18:06, 18:30 & 18:54

Capacity Changes
Regular Double Deck Bus Deployments

Double-deck buses were deployed on the following Tower Transit services as part of the second Bulim Bus Package term:

  • Express 97e
    Previously: Double-deck buses deployed only occasionally
  • Service 333 (Full-day)
    Previously: Double-deck buses deployed only at selected times via interlining
  • Service 335 (Full-day)
    Previously: No double-deck buses
  • City Direct 651
    Previously: No double-deck buses
  • City Direct 657
    Previously: No double-deck buses
  • Service 941 (Full-day)
    Previously: Double-deck buses deployed only at selected times via interlining
  • Service 944
    Double-deck bus deployed on 2 Jul 2021
    Previously: No double-deck buses
  • Service 947
    Occasional Weekday evening peak deployment
    Previously: No double-deck buses

Changes to Operating Hours
Services 333 & 335

The daily last bus timing for Feeder Services 333 & 335 from Jurong East Int was extended from 12:50 am to 1:15 am from Saturday, 29 May 2021. Prior to this, the last bus of Feeder Service 334 was already at 1:15 am.


See Also:

15 thoughts on “Bulim Bus Package Second Term – Bus Service Changes

  • 4 July 2021 at 8:17 AM
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    Why is it an eyesore to see Citaro on BBT services? Can what, I would prefer random deployment by TTS which also means not being picky on which models are being deployed to what interchanges rather than seeing nearly full Citaro and B9TL fleet in Jurong East and Clementi while seeing full A22 and Enviro500 fleet in Bukit Batok.

    Reply
    • 21 July 2021 at 9:13 PM
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      Agreed. Having Citaros in Bukit Batok services is quite refreshing and brings back memories of SMB-registered Citaros on BB services back when SMRT was the anchor operator of BB bus services.

      I just hope that LTA will assign several more buses to beef up the Bulim fleet and improve the overall service levels. Maybe can take in some more Citaros, B9TLs and E6 A95s.

      Reply
      • 28 July 2021 at 8:05 PM
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        I dun mind SG Citaro but SBS plate spamming at Bt Batok,Wow ahahaha

        Reply
  • 25 June 2021 at 2:21 AM
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    Tower now shortage of single deckers especially for BBT service.They should just lease 10 A22 E6 and the remaining 5 B3 A22.Or simply make 106 full double deckers.941 distribution is 3 SD and 3 3-door DD.
    It’s an eyesore to see SBS plate Citaro deploy on BBT svc.189 should have 2 perm 3-door DD replacing 2 SD.
    97 should be majority DD and no need for 3-door.333 just nice with 4 SD & 3 3-door DD.335 stick with 5 SD and 2 DD.

    Reply

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