Employee Bus Services are scheduled bus services run by Public Transport Operators as a means of transporting employees.
In the case of Public Transport Operators, Employee Bus Services primarily serve Bus Captains and operate during the early morning hours (12 am to 5 am). They are a means of getting to and from work when public transport ceases operating for the day.
Some Employee Bus Services run during the daytime as Ferry Services, connecting bus depots to various transport nodes.
|Route||Plies between bus depots and housing estates/dormitories/bus interchanges|
|Passes Through||Calls at selected en-route stops|
|Operator||All Public Transport Operators|
|Fleet||Any available bus, usually single-deck buses|
All Public Transport Operators operate Employee Bus Services. SBS Transit ones are numbered with the prefix “EB”, followed by a number. The exact number of EB services is unknown, but the lowest and highest numbers spotted so far are EB1 and EB55. Some EB routes have letter suffixes to them.
SMRT Buses refers to these services as Worker’s Transport and are numbered with the prefix “WT”, followed by a number, starting from 1 and ascending in numerical order. The exact number of WT services are unknown, but service numbers as high as WT26 have been spotted.
Between September and October 2016, Go-Ahead Singapore outsourced its eight Employee Bus Routes to Tower Transit for a month to tide over a period of manpower shortage. Go-Ahead has also subcontracted its employee bus routes to Private Bus Operators.
Some Bus Depots have been observed to operate Ferry Services for the benefit of employees, such as:
- Ang Mo Kio Bus Depot (SMRT): Ferry service to Yio Chu Kang MRT and Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8 (Bus Stop 54391 – Aft Ang Mo Kio Int)
- Bulim Bus Depot: Full-day Ferry Services to Bukit Batok Int and Jurong Gateway Rd (Bus Stop 28201 – Opp The JTC Summit)
- Kranji Bus Depot: Full-day Ferry Service to Kranji MRT
- Loyang Bus Depot: Ferry Service to TPE (Bus Stop 65199 – Aft Punggol Rd) transfer stop
- Seletar Bus Depot: Ferry Service to SBS Transit Ang Mo Kio Bus Depot
- Ulu Pandan Bus Depot: Ferry Service to Choa Chu Kang MRT
Employee Bus Services are part of a Bus Operator’s internal arrangements, and as such, detailed information (routing and departure times) are unavailable to the public. Deployments and routings are largely based on observations. As a company shuttle bus, travel is free but only available to employees of the Bus Operator. Some Employee Bus Services have multiple Pick-up & drop-off points at Bus Depots, Bus Parks and Bus Interchanges.
Most Employee Bus Services connect to housing estates, but some are also operated to worker’s dormitories. For Malaysian drivers, factory buses (Bas Pekerja) are typically chartered across the Causeway and connect to Employee Bus Services at the old Woodlands Town Centre (near Woodlands Checkpoint). Multiple trips are usually operated in a night, catering to PM shift drivers heading home, and AM shift drivers heading to work.
It is worth a mention that Singapore Bus Service (SBS) did publish a full list of their EB services in a 1984 issue of their Busway magazine, from EB1 through EB51. The routes details are now obsolete and route details pertaining to EB services are not typically made available to the public.
On-Demand Bus Routes
In 2019, both Tower Transit and Go-Ahead Singapore launched on-demand employee bus services.
Tower Transit uses the Bridj platform, which is owned by parent company Transit Systems. Buses are identified by the service number “TT colour xx”, where xx is a two-digit number. Colours Black, Blue and Green have been observed – these are used as service identifiers.
Go-Ahead Singapore uses EB Ride, a similar platform developed by Via Transportation. Buses are identified by the service number “GA Ride xx”, where xx is a two-digit number.
More pictures in the Gallery.
Single-deck buses belonging to a Public Transport Operators’ own fleet are usually deployed on Employee Bus Services. To allow for social distancing, some employee bus routes were served by double-deck buses during the COVID-19 period.
In addition, some operators have also subcontracted out their Employee Bus Routes, with Tower Transit and Go-Ahead having done so. The daytime ferry services to and from Bulim Depot are operated by minibuses, and Go-Ahead has occasionally subcontracted its late-night routes, but it is not known how long these arrangements have lasted.
COVID-19 Ad-hoc Services
During the Movement Control Order period implemented by the Malaysian Government in March/April 2020 in the midst of the global COVID-19 virus outbreak, hotel accommodation was secured for all Malaysian Bus Captains who continued to work in Singapore. All public transport operators arranged for shuttle buses to these hotels around Singapore.
Only three such services have been spotted, with many more likely to exist:
- SBS Transit Bedok North Depot – Village Hotel Bugis
- SMRT Ang Mo Kio Depot – Seletar Bus Depot – Yishun Temporary Bus Interchange – Hotel Boss
- Tower Transit Jurong East Interchange – Citadines Balestier – Capri by Fraser China Square
In August 2020, SMRT Buses operated several buses to ferry staff to Gali Batu Bus Terminal, where a COVID-19 swabbing station was set up.
Ad-hoc ferry services continue to be operated where required, ferrying bus captains various Regional Screening Centres such as former Serangoon Junior College.
Continued on the next page:
- Photo Gallery