Refer to Page 2 for details about the 1st term of the Bulim Bus Package (29 May 2016 – 28 May 2021).
The Bulim Bus Package is one of fourteen bus packages under the Bus Contracting Model (BCM).
|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, 941, 944, 945, 947, 990 (30 bus routes)|
|Bus Depot||Bulim Bus Depot|
|Bus Interchanges||Jurong East Bus Interchange, Bukit Batok Bus Interchange
Venture Drive Bus Interchange (U/C)
Under the BCM, bus routes are bundled into bus packages, consisting of a single bus depot, several bus interchanges/terminals, 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.
The successful tenderer operates these bus routes and collects fares on behalf of LTA, while maintaining the associated bus infrastructure (buses & onboard equipment, depots, interchanges & terminals). In return, the operator is awarded an operating fee from LTA and potential bonuses via an incentive framework.
Tower Transit has been the incumbent operator since May 2016 and will remain so until at least 2026.
Note: The Land Transport Authority announced that Bulim Bus Package had 29 bus routes in September 2020. However, City Direct 651 remains to be operated by Tower Transit & City Direct 663 was transferred to the Sembawang-Yishun Bus Package on 5 September 2021.
PT217A – Bulim Bus Package (Current Term: 2021 to 2026):
The second term tendered contract for the Bulim Bus Package was put up for tender in November 2019 together with the Sembawang – Yishun Bus Package under Contract PT217.
In September 2020, Tower Transit Singapore Pte Ltd secured the Sembawang – Yishun Bus Package & Bulim Bus Package combined tender, based on a tender sum of $1.025 billion over five years.
Bus routes will continue to be based out of Bulim Bus Depot.
Contract Details (2nd Term):
|Contract PT217: Bus Contracting – Bulim and Sembawang-Yishun Bus Packages
|Bulim Bus Package (PT217A)
|Awarded Operator||Tower Transit
(Tower Transit Singapore Pte Ltd)
|Duration||Five years, with option of 2 year extension based on good performance|
|Key Dates||Tender Published 29 Nov 2019 | Closed 30 Mar 2020 | Awarded 30 Sep 2020|
|Commenced Operations||29 May 2021 (31 Bus Routes)|
|Current 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, 941, 944, 945, 947, 990
[30 Bus Routes]
|Handover Date||5 September 2021 (transferred to Sembawang-Yishun Bus Package) – Service 663|
|Anchor Bus Depot||Bulim Bus Depot|
|Anchor Bus Interchange / Terminal||Jurong East Bus Interchange, Bukit Batok Bus Interchange, Venture Drive Bus Interchange (U/C)|
As part of the bidding requirements, bus operators had the option to bid for either bus package (Bulim / Sembawang-Yishun) or for both packages that were up for tender under this contract (PT217).
When the tender closed on 30 Mar 2020, 6 operators made their bid under the contract.
Bid Price (5 years)
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|
- 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.
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 their reason for award:
TTS was awarded the contract for the combined package, because it received the highest total score taking into account both price and quality factors in its proposal. TTS demonstrated an excellent understanding of the operational considerations and a strong commitment towards enhancing inclusivity and commuter experience on public transport through the following:
a) Its strong competence in bus service scheduling that will enable the optimal deployment of buses and resources;
b) Its plan 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 use of our public bus services;
c) Its plan 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. This will help identify gaps and enhance inclusivity for bus infrastructure and services; and
d) Its commitment to concentrating its recruitment efforts on building a stronger Singaporean core.
The implementation of the second term of the Bulim Bus Package would require the transition of the 3 existing bus services operated by SMRT Buses (653, 657 & 944) to Tower Transit progressively from End May 2021. Tower Transit would continue operations from Bulim Bus Depot and manage Bukit Batok and Jurong East Bus Interchanges as the anchor operator.
In a press release by SeaLink Travel Group Limited, which wholly owns subsidiary Tower Transit Singapore Pte Ltd, the contract commencement date for Bulim Bus Package was stated to be on 30 May 2021. However, based on the transfer of bus service 944 from SMRT Buses to Tower Transit on 29 May 2021 instead for the Bulim Bus Package, the contract term would have commenced on that day instead.
As part of Tower Transit’s bid for Contract PT217: Bus Contracting – Bulim and Sembawang-Yishun Bus Packages, bus services under these bus packages may be garaged at either Bulim Bus Depot or Mandai Bus Depot.
City Directs 651 & 663:
When announced by the Land Transport Authority in September 2020, City Direct 651 was not included in the Bulim Bus Package. However, Tower Transit continues to operate the service from 29 May 2021.
City Direct 663 was announced to be part of the Sembawang-Yishun Bus Package by the Land Transport Authority in September 2020, which Tower Transit would commence operations from 5 September 2021. As Tower Transit continues to operate the service from 29 May 2021, it was temporarily operated under the Bulim Bus Package until its transfer.
|41||Jurong East ↺ Jalan Anak Bukit||Trunk|
|49||Jurong East ↺ Jurong West Street 42||Trunk|
||Jurong East ↺ Upper Bukit Timah Road||Trunk|
||Bukit Batok ↔ Marina Centre||Trunk|
||Jurong Gateway Road ↺ Clementi Avenue 3||Trunk|
|79||Boon Lay ↺ Jurong Gateway Road||Trunk|
||Clementi ↺ Kent Ridge Crescent||Trunk|
||Jurong East ↔ Marina Centre||Trunk|
||Jurong East ⇄ Marina Centre||Express|
||Jurong East ↺ Jurong Pier Way||Trunk|
||Bukit Batok ↔ Shenton Way||Trunk|
||Toa Payoh ↔ Jurong East||Trunk|
||Bukit Batok ↺ Clementi||Trunk|
||Bukit Batok ↺ Jelebu Road||Trunk|
||Jurong East ↺ Science Park Road||Trunk|
||Bukit Batok ↺ Clementi Avenue 1||Trunk|
||Clementi ↺ Clementi West Street 2||Feeder|
||Clementi ↺ Clementi Avenue 4||Feeder|
||Clementi ↺ Pandan Loop||Feeder|
||Jurong East ↺ Jurong East Street 32||Feeder|
||Jurong East ↺ Jurong West Street 42||Feeder|
||Jurong East ↺ Jurong West Avenue 1||Feeder|
|651||Jurong West Avenue 3 ⇄ Marina Boulevard / Central Boulevard||City Direct|
||Hume Avenue / Hillview Avenue ⇄ Marina Boulevard / Central Boulevard||City Direct|
||Jurong West Avenue 1 ⇄ Marina Boulevard / Central Boulevard||City Direct|
||Bukit Batok ↺ Bukit Batok West Avenue 9||Feeder|
||Bukit Batok ↺ Bukit Batok Road||Feeder|
||Bukit Batok ↺ Bukit Batok Street 34||Feeder|
||Bukit Batok ↺ Bukit Batok Road||Feeder|
||Bukit Batok ↺ Jurong Gateway Road||Trunk|
Short Trip & Supplementary Bus Services
These services do not add to the overall service count.
||Jurong Gateway Rd (Blk 131) → Tanjong Penjuru (Opp CLP Intl)||Short Trip|
||Boon Lay → Jurong Town Hall Rd (Jurong East Lib)||Short Trip|
||Clementi → Kent Ridge Crescent (NUS Raffles Hall)||Short Trip|
||Kent Ridge Crescent (NUS Fac of Design & Env) → Commonwealth Avenue West (Clementi Stn Exit A)||Short Trip|
||Boon Lay Way (Lakeside Stn) → Corporation Road (Corp Pl)||Short Trip|
||Jurong West Avenue 1 (Blk 490) → Jurong Pier Way (Jurong Island Checkpt)||Short Trip|
||Jurong East ↺ Corporation Road||Supplementary|
||Bukit Batok → Commonwealth Avenue West (Clementi Stn Exit B)||Short Trip|
||Jurong East ↺ Pandan Gardens||Supplementary|
||Bukit Batok → Bukit Batok East Avenue 4 (Blk 254)||Short Trip|
||Jurong East → Toh Tuck Avenue (Aft Toh Tuck Link)||Short Trip|
||Bukit Batok → Bukit Batok Street 23 (Opp Midview Bldg)||Short Trip|
Bus Models & Fleet
Tower Transit operates a fleet of the following bus models under the 2nd term of the Bulim Bus Package (PT217).
Single Deck Buses
Double Decker Buses
Only 3 bus services (653, 657 & 944) are affected by operator transfer from SMRT Buses to Tower Transit for this term of the Bulim Bus Package.
Tower Transit commenced operating Bus Service 944 on Saturday 29 May 2021 under the second tendered package term of the Bulim Bus Package.
As City Direct bus services do not operate on Weekends & Public Holidays, Tower Transit commenced operating Services 653 & 657 on Monday 31 May 2021 instead.
|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|
|Date||Onward Bus Package||Onward Operator||Bus Services||No. of Routes|
|5 Sep 2021||Sembawang-Yishun||Tower Transit||663||1|
Scope of Operations:
As part of the tender, the awarded operator would be required to fulfill responsibilities as such:
- Operate bus services under the bus package in accordance with specified EWT performance standards
- Operate and maintain the buses and their onboard equipment provided by LTA
- Operate and maintain the allocated Anchor Bus Interchanges & Bus Depot, including all equipment and systems provided therein
- Charge and collect the fares approved by the Public Transport Council, on behalf of the Government
- Provide bus service information at all bus stops and bus interchanges served by the bus services under the package
- Provide customer management services, such as lost and found service, and a hotline for commuter feedback and enquiries.
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
- LTA Awards Bulim and Sembawang-Yishun Bus Packages to Tower Transit – Land Transport Authority
- SeaLink awarded contracts for bus services in Singapore – SeaLink Travel Group
Back to Bus Contracting Model
Page 2 – Bulim Bus Package 1st Term (PT200)