Bulim Bus Package

The Bulim Bus Package is one of fourteen bus packages under Singapore’s Bus Contracting Model (BCM). Operating out of Bulim Bus Depot, the package comprises 31 bus routes in the Western region of Singapore, mainly around Jurong East, Bukit Batok and Clementi.

Bulim Bus Package is currently operated by Tower Transit.

Incumbent Tower Transit Singapore
Present Contract Term Tendered Package 2nd Term (Contract PT217A):
29 May 2021 – 2026
Bus Services 41, 49, 66, 77, 78, 79, 96, 97, 97e, 98/98M, 106, 143/143M, 173, 177, 183, 189, 282, 284, 285, 333, 334, 335, 651, 653, 657, 870, 941, 945, 947, 990 & 992 (31 bus routes)
Bus Depot Bulim Bus Depot
Bus Interchanges Jurong East Bus Interchange, Jurong Town Hall Bus Interchange, Bukit Batok Bus Interchange
Route Package Structure

Under the BCM, bus routes are grouped into bus packages, each comprising one bus depot, approximately 20-30 bus routes, several bus interchanges/terminals, and the buses required to operate these routes. All bus infrastructure is owned by the Government, and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) oversees the contracting of these bus packages. The process involves selecting a bus operator through a competitive tendering process and leasing these assets to the successful operator.

The chosen operator is responsible for operating the designated bus routes, collecting fares on behalf of LTA, and maintaining the associated bus infrastructure, including buses, onboard equipment, depots, interchanges, and terminals. In return, the operator receives an operating fee from LTA and may also qualify for bonuses through an incentive framework.

The Bulim Bus Package mainly features bus routes originating from Jurong East, Bukit Batok and Clementi Bus Interchanges, terminating at locations such as Bedok, Boon Lay, Marina Centre, Shenton Way, and Toa Payoh.

Current Term

Tower Transit has been the incumbent operator since May 2016 and will remain so until at least 2026.

It previously operated Bulim Bus Package (Contract PT200) from May 2016 to May 2021.


PT217A – Bulim Bus Package (Current Term: 2021 to 2026):

Presently, the Bulim Bus Package is operated by Tower Transit under Contract PT217A, which commenced in May 2021. This is Bulim’s second tendered contract term, a continuation of the first term (2016 to 2021) previously awarded to Tower Transit.

Contract Details (Current Term):
Contract PT217: Bus Contracting – Bulim and Sembawang-Yishun Bus Packages
Bulim Bus Package (PT217A)
Awarded Operator Tower Transit Singapore
(incorporated as Tower Transit Singapore Pte Ltd)
Duration Five years, with the option to extend further based on good performance
Key Dates Tender Published 29 Nov 2019 | Closed 30 Mar 2020 | Awarded 30 Sep 2020 | Commenced operations 29 May 2021
Bus Services 41, 49, 66, 77, 78, 79, 96, 97, 97e, 98/98M, 106, 143/143M, 173, 177, 183, 189, 282, 284, 285, 333, 334, 335, 651, 653, 657, 870, 941, 945, 947, 990, 992
[31 Bus Routes]
Anchor Bus Depot Bulim Bus Depot
Anchor Bus Interchanges / Terminals Jurong East Bus Interchange, Bukit Batok Bus Interchange, Jurong Town Hall Bus Interchange
Bidding Procedure:

Contract PT217 involved the combined tender of both Bulim and Sembawang-Yishun Bus Packages. Tenderers had the option to bid for either bus package (Bulim / Sembawang-Yishun) or both packages.

Six bids were submitted by five operators as follows:

No. Company Bulim only:
Bid Price (5 years)
Sembawang-Yishun only:
Bid Price (5 years)
Bulim + Sembawang-Yishun:
Bid Price (5 years)
1 SBS Transit Ltd (Alt)* $443,133,709 $567,294,369 $1,003,089,771
2 SBS Transit Ltd (Base) $446,227,073 $569,935,356 $1,008,839,217
3 Tower Transit Singapore Pte Ltd $482,432,845 $582,062,354 $1,025,102,939
4 The Go-Ahead Group Plc $477,534,701 $591,490,758 $1,057,664,162
5 SMRT Buses Ltd $540,964,300 $695,945,217 $1,189,635,606
6 Guangzhou Public Transportation Group No.3 Bus Co., Ltd Not Shortlisted

Notes:

  • The price for five years comprises one-off pre-operation costs, as well as the total service fee and lease charges for assets provided by LTA (excluding any adjustment for inflation, change in wage levels and fuel costs, service variation or incentive payment during the contract period).
  • *SBS Transit’s alternative proposal differs from the base proposal by having fewer bus captains and lower non-revenue mileage, to be achieved by launching buses from other bus depots under its negotiated contracts. This is similar to SBS Transit’s existing arrangements at Ulu Pandan Bus Depot.
Contract Award:

On 30 September 2020, LTA awarded Tower Transit both Bulim & Sembawang-Yishun Bus Packages. Tender submissions were evaluated based on a two-envelope process which looked at both quality and price factors. The price submissions were only opened after the quality evaluation was completed.

The LTA press release indicated the reasons for the award:

  • Received the highest total score taking into account both price and quality factors in its proposal.
  • Demonstrated an excellent understanding of the operational considerations and a strong commitment towards enhancing inclusivity and commuter experience on public transport.
  • Strong competence in bus service scheduling that will enable the optimal deployment of buses and resources.
  • Plans to work with the relevant agencies, such as the Public Transport Council and social service agencies, to introduce a Public Bus Confidence Course to familiarise the elderly and less mobile commuters with the use of public bus services.
  • Plans to hire more persons with disabilities as its customer experience and inclusivity officers to leverage their personal experience in challenges faced by this group of commuters on public buses, to help identify gaps and enhance inclusivity for bus infrastructure and services.
  • Commitment to concentrate its recruitment efforts on building a stronger Singaporean core.
Transition to Bulim Bus Package (PT217A):

Tower Transit, as the incumbent operator of the previous Bulim Bus Package term (PT200), saw minimal changes with the transition to the new term PT217A on 29 May 2021. Tower Transit retained the operation of Bulim Bus Depot and the management of Bukit Batok and Jurong East Bus Interchanges.

As part of the new term, three existing bus services previously operated by SMRT Buses (653, 657, and 944) were transferred to Tower Transit. Bus Service 974 was transferred to SBS Transit, allocated to the Jurong West package. Additionally, Tower Transit operated Service 663 until 5 September 2021, when it was transferred to the Sembawang–Yishun package.

In Tower Transit’s bid for Contract PT217 covering the Bulim and Sembawang-Yishun Bus Packages, bus services under these packages may be garaged at either Bulim Bus Depot or Mandai Bus Depot.


Bus Services
Service Route Type
41 Jurong East ↺ Jalan Anak Bukit Trunk
49 Jurong East ↺ Jurong West Street 42 Trunk
66
Jurong East ↺ Upper Bukit Timah Road Trunk
77
Bukit Batok Marina Centre Trunk
78
Jurong Town Hall ↺ Clementi Avenue 3 Trunk
79 Jurong Town Hall ↺ Boon Lay Trunk
96
Clementi ↺ Kent Ridge Crescent Trunk
97
Jurong East Marina Centre Trunk
97e
Jurong East Marina Centre Express
98
Jurong East ↺ Jurong Pier Way Trunk
106
Bukit Batok Shenton Way Trunk
143
Toa Payoh Jurong East Trunk
173
Bukit BatokClementi Trunk
177
Bukit Batok ↺ Jelebu Road Trunk
183
Jurong East ↺ Science Park Road Trunk
189
Bukit Batok ↺ Clementi Avenue 1 Trunk
282
Clementi ↺ Clementi West Street 2 Feeder
284
Clementi ↺ Clementi Avenue 4 Feeder
285
Clementi ↺ Pandan Loop Feeder
333
Jurong East ↺ Jurong East Street 32 Feeder
334
Jurong East ↺ Jurong West Street 42 Feeder
335
Jurong East ↺ Jurong West Avenue 1 Feeder
651 Jurong West Avenue 3 ⇄ Marina Boulevard / Central Boulevard City Direct
653
Hume Avenue / Hillview Avenue ⇄ Marina Boulevard / Central Boulevard City Direct
657
Jurong West Avenue 1 ⇄ Marina Boulevard / Central Boulevard City Direct
870 Jurong Town Hall ↺ Tengah Boulevard Trunk
941
Bukit Batok ↺ Bukit Batok West Avenue 9 Feeder
945
Bukit Batok ↺ Bukit Batok Street 34 Feeder
947
Bukit Batok ↺ Bukit Batok Road Feeder
990
Bukit Batok ↺ Jurong Gateway Road Trunk
992 Bukit Batok ↺ Tengah Boulevard Trunk
Short Trip & Supplementary Bus Services

These services do not add to the overall service count.

Service Route Type
78A
Jurong Town Hall → Tanjong Penjuru (Opp CLP Intl) Short Trip
79T
Jurong Town Hall → Boon Lay Int Terminating Trip
96A
Clementi → Kent Ridge Crescent (NUS Raffles Hall) Short Trip
96B
Kent Ridge Crescent (Bef Architecture Dr) → Commonwealth Avenue West (Clementi Stn Exit A) Short Trip
98A
Boon Lay Way (Lakeside Stn) → Corporation Road (Corp Pl) Short Trip
98B
Jurong West Avenue 1 (Blk 490) → Jurong Pier Way (Jurong Island Checkpt) Short Trip
98M
Jurong East ↺ Corporation Road Supplementary
106A
Bukit Batok → Commonwealth Avenue West (Clementi Stn Exit B) Short Trip
143M
Jurong East ↺ Pandan Gardens Supplementary
173A
Bukit Batok → Bukit Batok East Avenue 4 (Blk 254) Short Trip
183B
Jurong East → Toh Tuck Avenue (Aft Toh Tuck Link) Short Trip
189A
Bukit Batok → Bukit Batok Street 23 (Opp Midview Bldg) Short Trip
870A Jurong Town Hall → Tengah Boulevard (Blk 231B) Short Trip
992A
Bukit Batok → Tengah Boulevard (Blk 132B) Short Trip

 


Bus Models & Fleet

Tower Transit operates a fleet of the following bus models under the 2nd term of the Bulim Bus Package (PT217A).

Single Deck Buses
Double Decker Buses

Transition Dates:

Contract PT217A commenced on Saturday, 29 May 2021 with the addition of three bus services (653, 657, and 944) from SMRT Buses. Tower Transit began operating Bus Service 944 on 29 May 2021.

Since City Direct bus services do not run on weekends and public holidays, Tower Transit started operating Services 653 and 657 on Monday, 31 May 2021.

Implementation Date Bus Services No. of Routes
29 May 2021 41, 49, 66, 77, 78, 79, 96, 97, 97e, 98/98M, 106, 143/143M, 173, 177, 183, 189, 282, 284, 285, 333, 334, 335, 651, 653, 657, 663, 941, 944, 945, 947, 990 31
24 Sep 2023
944 992, 992A
26 Nov 2023
870/870A
1
Handover Dates:

Service 663 was transferred to the Sembawang-Yishun package on 5 September 2021.

Date Onward Bus Package Onward Operator Bus Services No. of Routes
5 Sep 2021 Sembawang-Yishun Tower Transit 663 1

 


Scope of Operations:

Under the BCM, bus operators are required to:

  1. Lease operating assets from the Government as specified in the awarded contract.
  2. Adhere to specified performance standards in operating their assigned bus services.
  3. Operate and maintain the leased buses and onboard equipment (e.g., fare equipment and fleet management equipment) provided by the Government.
  4. Operate and maintain the Bus Interchanges and new Bus Depots included in the Route Packages, along with all the equipment and systems provided within.
  5. Collect and enforce fares approved by the Public Transport Council for travel on the allocated Route Package Bus Services, acting on behalf of the Government.
  6. Provide bus service information at all bus stops and bus interchanges served by the Route Packages’ Services.
  7. Offer customer management services, including lost and found services, as well as a hotline for commuter feedback and inquiries.

Bulim Bus Package (PT217A) Timeline
  • 2019 (29 Nov): 2nd Term for Bulim Bus Package released with a combined contract for Sembawang-Yishun Bus Package.
  • 2020 (30 Mar): Tender closed with 6 bids received.
  • 2020 (30 Sep): Contract awarded to Tower Transit (both Bulim & Sembawang – Yishun Bus Packages)
  • 2021 (29 May): Commencement of 2nd Term for Bulim Bus Package; Services 653, 657 & 944 transferred from Choa Chu Kang-Bukit Panjang Bus Package
  • 2021 (05 Sep): City Direct 663 transferred to Sembawang-Yishun Bus Package
  • 2021 (12 Dec): Amendment of Service 66 to loop at Upper Bukit Timah Road from Jurong East; Service 66C withdrawn
  • 2023 (24 Sep): Feeder Service 944 was renumbered to Trunk Service 992 with the extension of its route to loop at Plantation Crescent; New Short Trip Service 992A added
  • 2023 (26 Nov): Opening of Jurong Town Hall Bus Interchange; Bus Services 870 & 870A added
  • 2024 (26 May): Short Trip Service 79A withdrawn with the introduction of Terminating Trip 79T as a result of the amendment of Service 79 to start from Jurong Town Hall Int and loop at Boon Lay Int to facilitate upgrading works at Boon Lay Int

Reference

Back to Bus Contracting Model

9 thoughts on “Bulim Bus Package

  • 12 April 2022 at 11:14 PM
    Permalink

    Bulim intake of ADL Enviro500 is way too much and most of the buses deploy on Jurong East service instead.They should lease back 10 more B2 Euro5 A22 for Bukit Batok service and the Citaro can go back to serve Jurong East.Best if 106 & 189 go full DDs.

    Reply
  • 25 February 2022 at 11:56 AM
    Permalink

    Clementi services, as well as 79, 651 and 657, should be given to SBST. In exchange TTS can take 51, 52, 105, 160, 197, 506 and 852

    Reply
  • 1 June 2021 at 6:37 PM
    Permalink

    They are shortage of SDs..It’s best LTA lease them 10 Euro6 A22,Put 15 B9TL SG plate into storage and lease back 12 A95 3-door.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *