Rationalisation of Bus Service Operations (2019/2020)

Rationalisation of bus services are carried out by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to optimize service levels offered by Singapore’s public transport network. These efforts include the reduction of operating frequency or operating hours of certain bus services, or the merger and withdrawal of certain bus services that suffer from low demand.

Under the Bus Contracting Model (BCM), the LTA assumes the role of a central planning agency, and decides on bus services to be provided, and the service standards which operators have to meet. As part of this responsibility, public transport connections that are duplicitous or underutilized are rationalised to optimise the usage of resources and cut down on financially unsustainable services.

Historically, large-scale rationalisation of bus services were conducted following the opening of new rail lines to avoid duplication. In modern times, rationalisation of bus services are more restrained and targeted at the most underutilized bus routes.

This article summarises these changes to bus services since the start of 2019, and will be updated with instances of upcoming announced bus service rationalisations where implemented.

Downtown Line 2 Bus Service Rationalisations

Following the Controversy over Bus 700 withdrawal and Bus 171 & 972 amendment, changes to bus services were implemented on 30 August 2020 instead of 16 August 2020 with modifications to the original rationalisation plan.

Bus Services 700 & 700A


Originally planned for withdrawal on 16 August 2020, Bus Services 700 & 700A will be withdrawn instead on 30 August 2020. The last day of service will be on Saturday, 29 August 2020 for Services 700 & 700A.


Bus Service 171

Bus Service 171 from Yishun Bus Interchange will be shortened to loop at Bukit Panjang MRT from 30 August 2020, no longer serving Orchard and Marina Centre. The amendment was originally planned to take effect from 16 August 2020.

Bus Service 972

Bus Service 972 was planned to be amended to serve Newton MRT Station via Dunearn Road / Bukit Timah Road and Scotts Road from 16 August 2020. Following the announcement, the plan to amend Service 972 was scrapped.


Instead, new Bus Service 972M will be introduced from 30 August 2020 to serve Newton MRT Station via Dunearn Road / Bukit Timah Road and Scotts Road.

Bus Service 128


Service 128 was withdrawn on 2 June 2020, after being suspended as part of the Singapore COVID-19 Circuit Breaker Measures from 8 April 2020.

Short Trip Services 117A & 117B

Service 117B was withdrawn on 30 March 2020, while additional trips were added to Short Trip Service 117A introduced on the same day.

Rationalisation of Full-Day Express services

Main Article: Reduction in Operating Hours for Express 12e, 167e, 851e, 960e & Withdrawal of Express 147e

All five full-day Express bus services introduced in 2018 were subject to rationalisation as follows:

  • Shortened operating hours for 12e, 167e, 851e and 960e:
    From heartlands: 0600hrs-1830hrs; from City: 1230hrs-2330hrs
  • No operation on Sundays and Public Holidays for 167e
  • Withdrawal of 147e

Services 7A & 7B

SBS Transit Short Trip Bus Services 7A & 7B were introduced in February 2018 to supplement Bus Service 7, operating daily for the entire day.
In addition to Service 7A & 7B, buses would return back to Bedok & Clementi bus interchanges by operating on Service 7 from Orchard & Dhoby Ghaut respectively.

Operating hours for these two Short Trip Services were rationalised from 22 December 2019 to only operate during weekday morning and evening peak hours, while ending earlier with the last buses departing at 2100hrs on Weekends & Public Holidays.

Services 976 & BPS1

Bus Parallel Service BPS1, a peak hour bus route introduced in 2011 as a measure to reduce peak hour crowding on the Bukit Panjang LRT network by providing an alternative travel route for residents at Segar, Jelapang and Senja to Choa Chu Kang, was withdrawn on 10 November 2019.

As part of the Bukit Panjang LRT Overhaul, Bus Service 976 was introduced on the same day to complement the Bukit Panjang LRT network.

Post On-Demand Public Bus Trial Rationalisation

With the end of the On-Demand Public Bus trials in June 2019, several bus services were changed.

Services 400 & 402

Service 402 was integrated with Service 400 and withdrawn on 16 June 2019, with Service 400 now serving both Marina Barrage, Marina South Pier and Marina Bay Cruise Centre.

NightRider NR7

NightRider NR7 was suspended from 4 January 2019 to facilitate the operations for On-Demand Public Bus (CBD to Bedok / Tampines). After the end of the trial, NR7 was permanently discontinued.

Services 163M & 163A

Service 163M was withdrawn on 10 February 2019, with Short Trip Service 163A introduced on the same day to operate at night from Sengkang Interchange to Fernvale Lane. More trips were added on Service 163 to make up for the withdrawal of Service 163M during its former operating hours.

City Direct Services

Since April 2017, City Direct bus services have been progressively transferred from private bus operators to public bus operators. In addition, several City Direct bus services were also withdrawn in 2018 & 2019.


16 thoughts on “Rationalisation of Bus Service Operations (2019/2020)

  • 24 August 2020 at 2:54 AM

    All current set of Night Bus Services (NR-prefix and N-suffix) should be withdrawn to replace a new set of Night Bus Services (N-prefix)

    All Night Services should start from Resorts World Sentosa

    All Night Services should serve VivoCity, Marina Bay Sands and CBD

    N1 – Yishun
    N2 – Sembawang
    N3 – Woodlands
    N4 – Ang Mo Kio
    N5 – Toa Payoh and Bishan
    N6 – Serangoon, Hougang, Sengkang and Punggol
    N7 – Bedok
    N8 – Simei and Tampines
    N9 – Pasir Ris
    N10 – West Coast and Teban Gardens
    N11 – Clementi and Bukit Batok
    N12 – Bukit Panjang
    N13 – Choa Chu Kang and Yew Tee
    N14 – Jurong East N2/N3 and Jurong West N4/N5
    N15 – Taman Jurong and Boon Lay
    N16 – Jurong West Extension

  • 11 August 2020 at 6:40 AM

    There are too many NL323F buses parked too long at both SELETAR and ULU PANDAN depots!!!! Please deploy these buses on certain bus routes soonest possible HUH!!!!

  • 8 August 2020 at 10:22 AM

    Night service should be amend too.

    N1-Marina Ctr-Yishun
    N3-Marina Ctr-Choa Chu Kang
    N4-Marina Ctr-Tampines
    N5-Marina Ctr-Jurong West
    N7-Shenton Way-Punggol
    N8-Marina Ctr-Bukit Batok
    N9-Shenton Way-Jurong West
    N10-Harbourfront-Changi Village
    N11-Marina Ctr-Woodlands
    N12-Marina Ctr-Hougang
    N13-Shenton Way-Teban Gardens

  • 31 March 2020 at 6:28 PM

    BCM is redundant if LTA intend to award majority tender to SBST..What’s the point?With results like this no wonder no European operators bid for the Mandai & Bulim tenders.

  • 22 January 2020 at 12:33 PM

    Could it be directly related to LTA’s deficit?

    • 23 January 2020 at 10:45 AM

      Time to merge 7+18 and 82+107. Also, looks like DTL had no effect on 171. Doubt TEL would affect 167e much.

      • 23 January 2020 at 1:53 PM

        Had no effect on 171? They have been intending to cut 171 but they kept on dragging the amendment lol.

        • 23 January 2020 at 6:28 PM

          Cut 171? Details please?

          • 24 January 2020 at 10:49 AM

            Think few years later someone won’t dare to touch those duplicating DTL services lol.

            That planner only know how to shift 171 970 away from Blk 183 bus stop because he’s afraid that the stop will be overcrowded lol. Yet he still add in 974 976 979 lol.

          • 27 January 2020 at 3:08 PM

            There were rumours of a new bus hub at Beauty World. Maybe that will be when 171 gets major route changes? Like I said, 77 can cover the Beauty World-CBD leg easily, and 41 can be extended via former Route 77 alignment.

        • 23 January 2020 at 7:16 PM

          I think they keep dragging due to political pressure. By right, 171 can merge with 180 seamlessly. 77 can cover the Beauty World-CBD portion easily. 41 can be extended to CBD via Route 77 former alignment.

          Anyway, how is the loading on CT18 since DTL3 opened for business? Personally, I’d take DTL3 from Bedok Reservoir to Chinatown as it is cheaper.

          • 25 January 2020 at 11:19 PM

            Not surprised if CT18 gets axed too

          • 13 February 2020 at 11:32 PM

            Yes, Beauty World ITH is currently under planning. Will house a few services.

      • 25 January 2020 at 11:22 PM

        167e demand has been low all this while… TEL can kill 167e (and 960e) alr with TEL Phase 3

        • 5 August 2020 at 3:35 PM

          Service 132 operate from Upper Thomson to Orchard. Likewise for Service 5 and 16 that ply Havelock to Orchard. When TEL3, I can 75% guarantee that these 3 bus service may be rationalised. Service 132 may be amended to TPY and Bishan. (No change of route from Bt Merah to Stevens and AMK to Hougang). Service 16/16M may be withdraw and merged with service 36. Service 36 will merged with 16 and extend to Bt Merah Int (Extension route will ply the route that service 111 and 132 route).
          In CRL stage 1, service 132 may be shorten to AMK due to duplicating CRL (From AMK to Hougang)


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