Bulim Bus Package (PT200)

This article covers a previous contract term of the Bulim Bus Package. Click here for the current Bulim Bus Package term.

PT200 – Bulim Bus Package (First Term: 2016 to 2021)

The Bulim Bus Package was the first route package launched under the Bus Contracting Model (BCM). Initially announced in May 2014 with 24 bus services, it was later expanded to 26 bus services in October 2014 when the tender was published, including two new bus services serving the Jurong East area (Service 41 and 990), which launched in Q4 2014.

In May 2015, Tower Transit was announced as the successful tenderer for the Bulim Bus Package, securing an estimated total fee of $556.0 million over five years. The 26 bus routes were to operate from the newly constructed Bulim Bus Depot, situated off Bulim Avenue, which was completed in 2015 and capable of accommodating around 500 buses. Tower Transit gradually assumed control of all bus routes in three phases: on 29 May 2016, 12 June 2016 and 26 June 2016.

Initially, approximately 380 buses were leased to Tower Transit in the second half of 2016, with the fleet expected to increase to about 500 buses by 2021 in response to anticipated ridership growth and the development of Bukit Batok West and Tengah New Town.

Contract Details (1st Term):
Contract PT200: Bus Contracting – Bulim Bus Package
Awarded Operator Tower Transit Singapore
(incorporated as Tower Transit Singapore Pte Ltd)
Duration Five years; option of 2-year extension not exercised
(29 May 2016 – 28 May 2021)
Key Dates Tender Published 3 Oct 2014  |  Closed 19 Jan 2015 |  Awarded 8 May 2015 | Commenced operations 29 May 2016
Transition Dates 29 May 2016 (Tranche 1) – 9 bus routes in Bukit Batok
12 June 2016 (Tranche 2) – 6 bus routes in Jurong East
26 June 2016 (Tranche 3) – 11 bus routes in Jurong East / Clementi
Additional services:
28 September 2017 – City Direct 663
12 October 2017 – City Direct 665
08 April 2018 – Service 974
13 January 2020 – City Direct 651
Handover Date
29 May 2021
To Jurong West Bus Package – Service 974
To Woodlands Bus Package – Service 665
Continued to Bulim Bus Package (PT217) – 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, 663, 941, 945, 947 & 990
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, 663, 665, 941, 945, 947, 974 & 990
Anchor Bus Depot Bulim Bus Depot
Anchor Bus Interchange / Terminal Jurong East Bus Interchange, Bukit Batok Bus Interchange
Jurong East Temporary Bus Interchange (Former)
Bidding Process:

Originally closing on 5 January 2015, LTA extended the deadline by two weeks as one of the bus operators keen to participate in the tender process has requested more time to consolidate their bid for this route package. Apart from incumbents SBS Transit Ltd & SMRT Corporation Ltd who bidded for the Route Package, more than 20 other transport operators have also expressed interest in bidding.

When the tender closed at 1200hrs on 19 January 2015, 11 transport operators had submitted their various bids. These operators were:

Name of Tenderer
Base Tender Amount (1 year)
SMRT Buses Ltd $93,704,434.00
RATP DEV Transdev Asia $106,508,747.00
SBS Transit Ltd $125,218,914.00
Tower Transit Group Limited $125,564,769.00
Busways Group Pty Ltd $127,763,816.00
Keolis SA $131,588,114.32
Woodlands Transport Holdings Pte Ltd $145,946,487.00
The Go-Ahead Group PLC $153,477,183.00
Aedge Holdings Pte Ltd Not Shortlisted
Jiaoyun Group Co., Ltd. / Travel GSH Pte Ltd Not Shortlisted
Jinan Public Transportation Corporation Not Shortlisted

Among the tender requirements was one that required operators to have a proven track record of operating a fleet of at least 250 buses. Such a requirement would result in joint bids, as is the case of Travel GSH which operates around 40 buses.

As of 18 Mar 2015, LTA shortlisted 8 bids for this tender. Aedge Holdings, Jinan PTC & Travel GSH / Qingdao Jiaoyun Grp were dropped out of the running for this tender.

Contract Award:

On Friday, 8 May 2015, LTA announced Tower Transit as the winner of the Bulim Bus Package. Evaluation was conducted through a two-envelope process which included quality and price factors, with greater weightage given to the quality proposals submitted by tenderers.

The LTA press release indicated the reasons for the award:

  • Tower Transit had the highest combined total score for quality and price
  • Demonstrated a good understanding of ground conditions with proposed bus schedules that closely matched capacity to passenger demand, and with an optimal deployment of buses
  • Has strong experience in managing en-route bus service reliability through its operations in London
  • Emphasised in its proposal a strict maintenance regime for bus assets and infrastructure, with a good bus-to-technician ratio and detailed tracking of maintenance activities and records
  • Comprehensive manpower development plans: to attract and retain bus captains, to train and develop new employees with support from experienced employees, and offer career progression for all levels of staff.

To ensure a smooth transition with minimal inconvenience to commuters, the implementation of the 26 bus services was carried out in three tranches between May and June 2016. These services were supported by the new Bulim Bus Depot located off Bulim Avenue, which was handed over to Tower Transit in the second half of 2015 to allow them sufficient time to recruit and train bus captains and technicians.

Bus Services
Service Route Type
41 Jurong East ↺ Jalan Anak Bukit Trunk
49 Jurong East ↺ Jurong West Street 42 Trunk
Bedok Jurong East 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 BatokClementi 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
663 Yishun Avenue 6 ⇄ Shenton Way / Anson Road City Direct
Marsiling Drive ⇄ Shenton Way / Anson Road City Direct
Bukit Batok ↺ Bukit Batok West Avenue 9 Feeder
Bukit Batok ↺ Bukit Batok Street 34 Feeder
Bukit Batok ↺ Bukit Batok Road Feeder
974 Joo Koon ↺ Upper Bukit Timah Road Trunk
Bukit Batok ↺ Jurong Gateway Road Trunk
Short Trip & Supplementary Bus Services

These services do not add to the overall service count.

Service Route Type
66A Bedok → Bukit Timah Road (Little India Stn Exit A) Short Trip
Jurong East → Serangoon Road (Tekka Ctr) Short Trip
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
Clementi → 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
974A Joo Koon → Choa Chu Kang Ave 4 (Lot 1/Choa Chu Kang Stn) Short Trip


Bus Models & Fleet

Tower Transit operates a fleet of the following bus models under the 1st term of the Bulim Bus Package (PT200). They initially announced that they would operate 188 double-deck and 179 single-deck buses.

Single Deck Buses
Double Decker Buses

Transition Dates:

To ensure a smooth transition with minimal inconvenience to commuters, the Bulim package under the Bus Contracting model was implemented in three tranches from May to June 2016. Spaced two weeks apart, the three tranches handed Tower Transit progressive control over Bukit Batok, followed by Jurong East and finally Clementi Bus Interchange.

The implementation dates of the three tranches, as well as other bus services added to the Bulim Bus Package subsequently are as follows:

Tranche Implementation Date Bus Services No. of Routes
1 29 May 2016 77, 106, 173, 177, 189, 941, 945, 947, 990 9
2 12 June 2016 66, 78, 79, 97, 97e, 143/143M 6
3 26 June 2016 41, 49, 96, 98/98M, 183, 282, 284, 285, 333, 334, 335 11
28 September 2017 663 1
12 October 2017 665 1
08 April 2018 974 1
13 January 2020 651 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.

Affected Bus Captains Transfer

Tower Transit presented the following employment benefits to encourage Bus Captains from both SBS Transit & SMRT Buses:

  • Better Pay
    – Minimum 5% increment on top of current Basic Salary
    – Pay increment every May
    – Performance and safe and smooth driving incentives
  • Better Terms and Conditions
    – Free travel on all MRT lines and buses
    – More paternity, maternity, carer and childcare leave
    – Flexible medical benefits
  • Better Jobs
    – Not required to clean, refuel or garage buses at the end of the day
  • Better Facilities
    – Brand new Bulim Bus Depot with focus on comfort and amenities for Bus Captains
    – Upgrades planned for staff facilities at Jurong East & Bukit Batok Bus Interchanges
    – Nearly 380 new/near-new buses from BSEP scheme (Volvo B9TL, Mercedes-Benz Citaro O530, MAN A22 & Alexander Dennis Enviro500)
  • Better Career Progression
    – Career progression based on skills development and performance, not just length of service
    – Company sponsorship for WSQ courses and potentially up to Diploma and Degree courses

Bus Captains who were interested in joining Tower Transit Singapore and have expressed interest would receive an offer of employment in mid-October 2015. They had until December 2015 to accept the job offer following which they would undergo familiarisation and training. They would then finally drive for Tower Transit Singapore in May/June 2016.

Bulim Bus Package (PT200) Timeline
  • 2014 (03 Oct): Bulim Bus Package announced; Tender open till 5 Jan 2015.
  • 2014 (17 Dec): Tender closing date extended to 19 Jan 2015.
  • 2015 (19 Jan): Tender closed at 12:00 PM
  • 2015 (08 May): Contract awarded to Tower Transit
  • 2016 (29 May): Handover of 9 Bukit Batok Bus Services to Tower Transit
  • 2016 (17 Jun): Handover of 6 Jurong East Bus Services to Tower Transit
  • 2016 (26 Jun): Handover of 7 Jurong East and 4 Clementi Bus Services to Tower Transit
  • 2017 (28 Sep): Addition of City Direct 663 to Bulim Bus Package
  • 2017 (12 Oct): Addition of City Direct 665 to Bulim Bus Package
  • 2018 (18 Apr): Addition of Service 974 to Bulim Bus Package
  • 2020 (13 Jan): Addition of City Direct 651 to Bulim Bus Package
  • 2020 (08 Apr): Bus Services 97e, 651, 663 & 665 temporarily suspended due to Singapore COVID-19 Circuit Breaker Measures.
  • 2020 (02 Jun): Resumption of Bus Services 97e, 651, 663 & 665.
  • 2020 (06 Dec): Jurong East Int relocation amendments; Service 78 amended to Jurong Gateway Rd – Clementi Ave 3 (Loop), Service 78A amended to start at Jurong Gateway Rd (Blk 131), Service 79 amended to Boon Lay Int – Jurong Gateway Rd (Loop), Service 79A amended to start from Boon Lay Int and end at Jurong Town Hall Rd (Jurong East Lib)
  • 2021 (23 Jan): Service 974 amended to Joo Koon – Upper Bukit Timah Road (Loop), Service 974A extended to start from Joo Koon Int
  • 2021 (29 May): End of Contract Term. Service 974 transferred to Jurong West Bus Package; City Direct 665 transferred to Woodlands Bus Package.

External Links & References:

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