SMRT Task Force 50

Task Force 50 (TF50) is an initiative introduced by the Land Transport Authority in January 2018 to form a dedicated team of standby bus drivers, ready to be deployed on Rail Bridging Bus services in the event of a train service disruption affecting SMRT rail lines.

The initial team of 50 bus drivers were gathered from Private Bus Operators Woodlands Transport Service Pte. Ltd. and Aedge Holdings Pte. Ltd. under a contractual agreement. Operating in two shifts, SMRT maintains a constant standby force of around 25 bus drivers at any time during rail operating hours.

SMRT Buses is expected to double the Task Force driver pool in mid-2018 to enable a standby force of 50 bus drivers at any time during rail operating hours, by supplementing the Task Force with its own bus drivers. These bus drivers form an immediate response force in the event that free shuttle bus services are required during a train disruption.

Training & Activation

TF50 Bus Captains were familiarized with operating various common models of buses in SMRT’s bus fleet, such as the Mercedes-Benz Citaro. This, combined with training on the use of the New On-Board Bus Equipment (NOBE) as well as the Common Fleet Management System (CFMS), allowed Bus Captains from Private Bus Operators to attain the Omnibus Driver’s Vocational Licence (ODVL) from the Singapore Bus Academy, a prerequisite to operating any Public Bus.

Drivers were also trained on the full bridging bus routes for all SMRT-operated train lines, as well as the NEL, in preparation for any possible activation:

A dedicated fleet of TF50 buses is reserved for potential activation. During activation, TF50 drivers would be assigned to these buses and deployed on Bus Bridging Services, in addition to other regular SMRT buses pulled from revenue service.

MRT Shuttle during Early Closure & Late Opening (ECLO)

Several TF50 Bus Captains also assisted in operating various MRT Shuttle services during the weekends of Early Closure & Late Opening in 2018.

November / December 2018 – Express 17

In November and December 2018, TF50 Bus Captains operated on Express 17 between Bukit Panjang and Woodlands during the Early Closure of the EWL & NSL.

March & November 2018- Shuttle 3

In March and April 2018, TF50 Bus Captains operated on Shuttle 3 between Tuas Link and Joo Koon during the Early Closure, Late Opening of the EWL. TF50 Bus Captains also operate Shuttle 3 between Tuas Link and Boon Lay during the East West Line Early Closure in November 2018.

March 2018 – Express 15

On 12 & 14 March 2018, during the weekday Extended Early Closure of the EWL, TF50 Bus Captains operated on Express Shuttle 15 between Clementi and Beauty World.

April to June 2018 – Bukit Panjang LRT Shuttle

Between 15 April to 24 June 2018, TF50 Bus Captains operated on Bukit Panjang LRT Shuttles A & B, as part of the Bukit Panjang LRT Sunday Closures.

Free Bridging Bus during Train Service Disruption
9 December 2018 – Bukit Panjang LRT Bridging Service

On 9 December 2018, due to a Power Fault in the evening, TF50 Bus Captains were activated to operate a free LRT bridging bus services in the Bukit Panjang area.

14 November 2018 – North South Line Bridging Service

On 14 November 2018, due to a Signalling Fault in the morning which resulted in additional travelling time between Yishun and Woodlands MRT Stations, TF50 Bus Captains were activated to operate a free bridging service between Yishun and Woodlands.

11 November 2018 – Circle Line Bridging Service

On 11 November 2018, during a train service disruption between Dhoby Ghaut / Marina Bay and Paya Lebar due to a Signal Fault, TF50 Bus Captains were activated along side other SMRT Bus Captains to operate a free bridging service between Dhoby Ghaut / Marina Bay and Paya Lebar.

19 September 2018 – East-West Line Bridging Service

On 19 September 2018, during a train service delay due to a Track Point Fault near Clementi, TF50 Bus Captains were activated along side other SMRT Bus Captains to operate a free bridging service between Queenstown and Boon Lay.

TF50 Buses

The dedicated fleet of TF50 buses comprises Mercedes-Benz Citaro and MAN A22 single deck buses, as well as Volvo B9TL and MAN A95 double-deck buses. These buses are leased to SMRT Buses as part of TF50 operations and bear a piece of paper bearing “TF ##” on the front windscreen (where ## are numbers between 01 and 50). As of October 2018, the “TF” on the front paper was dropped, leaving with only 2 digit numbers. There are plans to further expand the TF bus pool.

These buses are mainly based at Seletar Bus Depot, with smaller numbers of buses parked at Bukit Panjang Temporary Bus Park, Woodlands Bus Park as well as Ulu Pandan Bus Depot. Refuelling and other administrative matters under the purview of Ang Mo Kio Bus Depot.

List of TF50 Buses
List of TF50 Buses (As of May 2018)
Bus Model Bus Registration
MAN A22 SG1747K – SG1748H
MAN A95 SG5850T
Mercedes-Benz Citaro SG1020Z – SG1022T,
SG1027E – SG1029A,
SG1117D – SG1119Z,
SG1121R – SG1122M,
SG1128Y – SG1129U,
SG1134D – SG1135B,
SG1209Y – SG1229P,
SG1241C – SG1243Y
Volvo B9TL SG5489D – SG5494M

External Links & References:

Back to Buses

3 thoughts on “SMRT Task Force 50

  • 24 June 2018 at 5:43 PM

    TF contract is up to 2019 December and subject to LTA approval.They also support NEL bridging too.From July,20-25 buses will be transferred to Ulu Pandan Depot.

  • 6 June 2018 at 9:04 AM

    And some buses will permanently park at Ulu Pandan next month

  • 1 June 2018 at 8:14 PM

    Anyone knows if…
    – TF50 is temporary or permanent?
    – Will TF50 be renamed to TFXX (where XX is the number of buses in the TF fleet) if there’s a change in the number of buses in the TF fleet?
    – If SMRT loses all the bus packages, will TF50 remain?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *