SMRT Buses is a Public Bus Operator in Singapore. It is a division of SMRT Corporation, a multi-modal public transport operator in Singapore, founded in March 2000, which runs bus, rail, taxi and other public transport services via several wholly-owned subsidiaries.
The company was formerly known as Trans Island Bus Services (TIBS), which was incorporated on 31 May 1982 as a public bus operator to compete with Singapore Bus Services (now SBS Transit), following liberalisation of the public transportation market. As a result, both companies established a duopoly with separate areas of control and little competition. The company also acquired acquired Singapore Shuttle Bus Pte. Ltd. on 12 March 1987, hence taking over its City Shuttle Service routes.
TIBS was eventually acquired by rail operator Singapore MRT Limited as a subsidiary in 2001, and unified under the newly-formed SMRT Corporation, with its newly-acquired bus division renamed SMRT Buses. The $194 million merger was complete by 2004, and the duopoly in the public bus industry continued until the introduction of the Bus Contracting Model.
SMRT Buses is the second-largest public bus operator in Singapore, operating 95 bus services with a fleet of over 1,400 buses (as of October 2017). The bus fleet comprises a mix of single-deck, double-deck and articulated buses, based out of bus depots concentrated in the North of Singapore where most of its bus operations are located.
Since its inception in 1982, TIBS (presently SMRT Buses) ran its own bus routes within well-defined catchment areas largely free of competition. In addition to trunk routes and feeder bus services, SMRT Buses introduced novel bus services such as:
- NightRider services (2000) – Late night routes between the City and residential towns
- Night Bus services* (2000) – Late night unidirectional routes from the City to residential towns
- Express services (2006) – Limited-stop route variants of trunk services
- Premium bus services (2007) – Peak-hour express routes between residential neighbourhoods and the CBD
- Bus Parallel service (2011) – Supplementary route complementing the rail network
* = Night Bus services were independently introduced by SMRT Trains Ltd, prior to the merger with TIBS
In addition, SMRT Corporation owns a charter subsidiary, Strides Transportation Pte Ltd (formerly known as Bus-Plus Services Pte Ltd) which offers private car services as well as scheduled and ad-hoc bus transportation services.
- 1987: Acquired Singapore Shuttle Bus Pte. Ltd. and City Shuttle Service routes
- 1996: Articulated buses introduced
- 2001: Merger with SMRT
- 2008: Wheelchair-accessible, Euro V buses first introduced
- 2011: Hybrid buses first introduced
- 2014: Double-deck buses introduced
Following the transition to the Bus Contracting Model, SMRT’s existing catchment areas were restructured into route packages and made available for competitive tendering.
- Alexander Dennis Enviro500
- MAN NL323F
- MAN NG363F
- MAN A95
- Mercedes-Benz Citaro
- Mercedes-Benz OC500LE
- Mercedes-Benz O405G
- Volvo B5LH
- Volvo B9TL