LTA Mid-Life Refurbishment of Buses

Bus refurbishment involves the upgrading and renewing of various components of buses to maintain their performance, safety, and comfort. It typically involves replacing worn-out or damaged parts such as seats, flooring, windows, and door systems. Refurbishment works aim to rectify issues related to wear and tear that occur as buses age and accumulate mileage.

In Singapore, public buses have a statutory lifespan of 17 years. Buses typically undergo mid-life refurbishment to ensure the interior and exterior are refreshed aesthetically.

Under Singapore’s Bus Contracting Model (BCM), buses are owned by the Government, and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) appoints contractors to conduct these refurbishment works. In June 2023, the first such tender was called for the refurbishment of around 630 diesel buses between 2023 and 2025, comprising both single- and double-deck buses.

Scope of refurbishment works

The scope of each bus refurbishment project varies depending on specific requirements set by the bus owner. These can include cosmetic improvements, mechanical repairs, and upgrades to meet evolving safety and accessibility standards.

During the refurbishment process, interior cosmetic improvements are commonly carried out, involving the replacement of items like seat covers, upholstery, floorboard covers and corner trims, window and windshield sealant, interior lighting fixtures, overhead handgrips, etc. Commuter touch points such as grab poles and stanchion poles are often repainted, and interior panels may be thoroughly cleaned or replaced.

Additionally, exterior refurbishment tasks may be performed alongside interior work. This can include repainting, repairing bodywork, and replacing external components to enhance the bus’s appearance. Furthermore, mechanical and electrical systems such as the engine, driveline, air-conditioning, and electrical systems may be repaired or overhauled as needed.

In the past, some bus models received additional upgrades during refurb beyond cosmetic improvements, such as:

  • Volvo B9TL (CDGE): Upgraded CCTV system with HD cameras; advertising handgrips replaced with regular handgrips
  • Mercedes-Benz O405G (Volgren): Electronic Display Sign upgraded from flip-dot to orange LED
  • DAF SB220: Addition of a standing area in front of the rear door (by removing two rows of seats) + Electronic Display Sign upgraded from flip-dot to orange LED
  • Mercedes-Benz O405 (SBS): Addition of a standing area opposite the rear door (by removing three rows of seats)
Lifespan Extension

Before BCM, the LTA had the discretion to grant extensions to the 17-year statutory lifespan of operator-owned public buses based on their operating condition, often requiring refurbishment works to maintain their viability.

However, performing refurbishment works on buses did not preclude their early retirement. For example, several Volvo B9TL (CDGE) buses were retired in March 2021 despite being only 15 years old and in relatively good condition, having undergone refurbishment less than three years prior. Considering LTA’s ambitious goals for rapid electrification of the bus fleet, further lifespan extension for diesel buses is unlikely.

LTA Bus Refurbishment (2023)

On 22 June 2023, the LTA called a tender to appoint a contractor for the refurbishment of around 630 buses, the first bus refurbishment tender called by the LTA since the start of the Bus Contracting Model (BCM). In response to media queries, LTA said the refurbishment of the 630 buses, which include both single- and double-deckers, will take place between 2023 and 2025.

Contract Details:
Contract PT805: Mid-Life Refurbishment for Buses
Key Dates Tender Published 22 Jun 2023 | Closed 17 Aug 2023 | Awarded 26 Mar 2024
Item No. 1 Item No. 2
Awarded To Wah Sheng Motor Supply Co. (Pte.) Ltd. ComfortDelGro Engineering Pte. Ltd.
Quantity 364 265
Unit Price S$14,300.00 S$16,904.20
Awarded Value S$5,216,120.00 S$4,479,613.00

The contract was awarded in March 2024 to two tenderers, with a published quantity of 364 and 265 for Items 1 and 2 respectively, representing a total of 629 buses. The breakdown of single- and double-deck buses in each item is not known, nor are the bus models involved in the refurbishment.

The late awarding of the contract, in March 2024, could have delayed the delivery period of 2023–2025 as announced earlier by LTA in 2023.

Scope of works

According to LTA, the refurbishment works would include replacing the bus seats, floor covers, sealant for the bus windows and windshields, and components for the bus door system.

Depending on the appointed contractor’s resources, it will typically take a week for one bus to be refurbished. LTA said it will work with the contractor and public bus operators to manage the schedule for the refurbishment works and ensure bus operations proceed as usual.

Back in September 2023, the Minister for Transport also said that it would not be retrofitting automated ramps to refurbished buses, owing to their high cost and operational issues faced during a previous trial.

Gallery: (Past refurbishment)


4 thoughts on “LTA Mid-Life Refurbishment of Buses

  • 6 May 2024 at 6:44 AM

    Does this include the 40 bendy buses?

  • 18 April 2024 at 3:40 PM

    They should repaint those E5 KUBs to Lush Green livery, especially those that are already handed to or is going to be handed to SMRT for the takeover of JW package.

    • 28 April 2024 at 11:05 PM

      LTA is more unlikely to do So! A bus enthusiast revealed a Friday video of why LTA never painted Scania KUBs into Lush Green. Choose other bus models like Citaro or Man A22S instead. I go for the Mercedes Benz Citaro!

  • 12 April 2024 at 11:42 PM

    It would be great if the buses can be fitted with LED headlights and change the seats to headrest type like the HK Buses.


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