Commercial Advertising on Bus Contracting Model Buses

With the full implementation of the Bus Contracting Model (BCM) in 2016, new guidelines on commercial bus advertising wraps dictate that commercial advertising can only cover the rear two-thirds of the length of the bus.

Alexander Dennis Enviro500 (SMB5003U) - Service 190 with an advertisement wrap for SMRT Media
Alexander Dennis Enviro500 (SMB5003U) – Service 190 with an advertisement wrap for SMRT Media

Currently, Public Transport Operators (PTO) appoint an advertising and commercial partner to oversee the sourcing, installation, maintenance and removal of advertisements at bus interchanges, as well as on buses. Under the BCM, operators get to keep advertising revenue generated from assets such as buses and bus interchanges.

The current advertising and commercial partners for the various PTOs are:


Before the BCM was implemented in 2016, operators are free to wrap buses in any style, with the exception that the front of the bus should not be covered. This is to allow commuters to easily identify a public bus, with the operator logo and distinct livery colours in front. The upper deck of Double-deck buses were allowed to be covered with advertising stickers.

2D and 3D advertisements were occasionally featured on single-deck buses, but with additional complications. These buses were subject to deployment restrictions due to their height, and were prohibited from using the bus washing machine (and as such, required manual washing).

Advertising Concepts

Moove Media and SMRT Media, the advertising arms of SBS Transit and SMRT Buses respectively, offer several unique advertising concepts in addition to regular exterior stickers. 2D and 3D protrusions on single-deck buses are the most common. Some companies opt to create a themed bus interior, with floors, ceilings, seatbacks and other exposed surfaces covered in advertising stickers.

In 2015, SMRT Media launched eLumiNEX, an illuminated film for Double-deck buses that captures attention at night. Moove Media later offered a similar product, Moove Ignite. In addition, Moove Media offers the Moove Jewel concept on single-deck buses, with two 2D backlit advertising boards complementing the bus advert.

Single Decker Buses
Double Decker Buses
Articulated Buses

Volvo B5RLE Hybrid Bus

An exception to this was the full body and front wrap for SBS8002T, the Volvo B5RLE Hybrid demo bus that was operated by SBS Transit for the duration of its trial. The operator’s logo was part of the advertisement at the front of the bus. Many commuters were confused by the lack of SBS Transit’s corporate purple livery at the front of the bus, in addition to the non-standard Flip-dot electronic display signage.

Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP) Buses

With BSEP buses being paid for by the Land Transport Authority, these buses were not allowed to bear any commercial advertisements. Instead, they carry advertisements by government-related organisations as well as advertisements by the Land Transport Authority.

Bus Contracting Model (BCM) Advertising

New bus commercial advertising under the Bus Contracting Model made its debut on Tower Transit Buses in June 2016, with the front third of the bus being left unwrapped with its base lush green livery. This implied that the Land Transport Authority had set regulations on new commercial bus advertising on its buses which took effect from May 2016 for Tower Transit and September 2016 for the rest of the operators. The same “rear two-thirds coverage” guidelines applied to both single and double deck buses.

Bus advertisements by Operators themselves, for promotional and recruitment purposes, were also compliant with the two-third coverage.

On 4th September 2016, a Go-Ahead Mercedes-Benz Citaro, SG1012Y, was spotted running on revenue service with a full body commercial advertisement wrap for Mediacorp. This came as a surprise as rival operator Tower Transit’s commercial bus advertisement wraps only occupy two-thirds of the bus, which implied that Moove Media was infringing the LTA regulations on commercial bus advertising.

This proved to be true as the Mediacorp bus advertisement wrap was taken down on 21 September 2016, barely a month after its debut. According to Moove Media’s rate book on their corporate website, advertisers are required to buy a minimum of 12 weeks of advertisement exposure time.

On 29 September 2016, an advertisement on the SG Secure movement made its debut on revenue service with Go-Ahead Singapore, covering only two-thirds of the bus, similar to that of Tower Transit’s bus advertisements. Promotional advertising for government agencies and initiatives also followed the two-thirds regulations.

As a result of the change in regulations, buses of all operators began to feature advertising compliant with the “two-thirds” regulation.

2D advertising on buses also made a resurgence by advertisers seeking to maximize the advertising area on buses. Moove Media, the advertising arm for SBS Transit and Go-Ahead, has introduced more 2D billboards on single-deck buses which extend upwards. 

The new two-thirds advertising regulations expose the base lush green bus livery on the front third of the bus, with an appearance of the operator logo on the front, left and right side. This makes identification of public buses easier for commuters.

BYD K9 Electric Bus

The BYD K9 Electric Bus had its livery changed to comply with the advertising regulations before the start of its trial in Nov 2016.

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4 thoughts on “Commercial Advertising on Bus Contracting Model Buses

  • 20 August 2017 at 4:49 PM

    I Really Hate The 2/3 Ads The 2/3 Ads Are So Ugly And The Wraps Are Way Better Than The 2/3 Ads

  • 25 December 2016 at 7:58 PM

    I dont like the 2/3 ads restriction. The previous full bodied bus ads look awesome. Now 2/3 only its an eyesore.

  • 18 October 2016 at 8:02 PM

    But SMRT & SBS Transit still haven’t adopted the new ads standard yet.

  • 15 October 2016 at 9:12 PM

    Anyway, I found a commercial for the Wine Fiesta on service 92. Still in SBS corporate colours, but fulfils the rear two-thirds advertising. You might want to check it out.


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