Tower Transit awarded Bulim and Sembawang-Yishun Bus Packages

Tower Transit Singapore has been awarded the Bulim and Sembawang-Yishun Bus Packages, as announced by the Land Transport Authority on 30th September 2020.

With this award, Tower Transit will succeed SMRT Buses as the operator of 27 bus services in the Sembawang and Yishun areas, operating from the new Mandai Bus Depot. In addition, Tower Transit secures a further five-year extension of its 29 existing bus routes in the Jurong East, Clementi and Bukit Batok areas. The two contracts will commence progressively from 2Q 2021.

#PSA 📢 We’ve just awarded the contracts for the Bulim and Sembawang-Yishun bus packages 🚌 to Tower Transit Singapore Pte…

Posted by Land Transport Authority – We Keep Your World Moving on Wednesday, 30 September 2020


Under the Bus Contracting Model, bus routes are bundled into bus packages, consisting of a single bus depot, several bus interchanges/terminals, the bus routes and the buses themselves. With all bus infrastructure belonging to the Government, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) would contract out the bus package, select a bus operator (through a competitive tendering process), and lease these assets to the new operator.

The Bulim Bus Package was first awarded to Tower Transit in May 2015, while the Sembawang-Yishun Bus Package had been operated by SMRT Buses under a negotiated contract since September 2016. Combined under Contract PT217, the packages combine 56 bus routes with the maintenance and operation of two depots, five interchanges, one terminal, and over 700 buses.

Tower Transit’s bid won out over other participating tenderers such as SBS Transit, SMRT Buses, Go-Ahead, and Guangzhou Public Transportation Group No.3 Bus Co., Ltd. A list of services is enclosed below.

Bus Depots:
Bus Interchanges & Terminals:
Bus Services:
  • Bulim Bus Package: Commencing from 30 May 2021
    41, 49, 66, 77, 78, 79, 96, 97, 97e, 98/98M, 106, 143/143M, 173, 177, 183, 189, 282, 284, 285, 333, 334, 335, 653, 657, 941, 944, 945, 947 & 990
  • Sembawang-Yishun Bus Package: Commencing from 5 September 2021
    167, 167e, 169, 171, 656, 663, 825, 853/853M, 854, 854e, 855, 856, 857, 858, 859/859A/859B, 882, 883/883M, 963, 963e, 963R, 965, 966, 969, 980, 981, N1 & N2

Remarks: Bus Services highlighted in red are to be transferred from SMRT Buses to Tower Transit. Bus Services N1 & N2 are upcoming bus services to be announced by LTA.

The contract commencement dates were announced in a press release by SeaLink Travel Group Limited, which wholly owns Tower Transit Singapore Pte Ltd. Bus Services operated by SMRT Buses will progressively be transferred to Tower Transit in tranches from the commencement date.

Bid Prices:
No. Company Bulim only:
Bid Price (5 years)
Sembawang-Yishun only:
Bid Price (5 years)
Bulim + Sembawang-Yishun:
Bid Price (5 years)
1 SBS Transit Ltd (Alt)* $443,133,709 $567,294,369 $1,003,089,771
2 SBS Transit Ltd (Base) $446,227,073 $569,935,356 $1,008,839,217
3 Tower Transit Singapore Pte Ltd $482,432,845 $582,062,354 $1,025,102,939
4 The Go-Ahead Group Plc $477,534,701 $591,490,758 $1,057,664,162
5 SMRT Buses Ltd $540,964,300 $695,945,217 $1,189,635,606


  • The price for five years comprises one-off pre-operation costs, as well as the total service fee and lease charges for assets provided by LTA (excluding any adjustment for inflation, change in wage levels and fuel costs, service variation or incentive payment during the contract period).
  • *SBS Transit’s alternative proposal differs from the base proposal by having fewer bus captains and lower non-revenue mileage, to be achieved by launching buses from other bus depots under its negotiated contracts. This is similar to SBS Transit’s existing arrangements at Ulu Pandan Bus Depot.
  • Guangzhou Public Transportation Group No.3 Bus Co., Ltd was not shortlisted for the tender award. It did not meet the quality pre-qualification requirements as part of Singapore’s bus contracting model (#BCM) two-envelope process.

See Also:


42 thoughts on “Tower Transit awarded Bulim and Sembawang-Yishun Bus Packages

  • 21 October 2020 at 5:13 PM

    LTA should have just revamp the bus package.
    963,963e & 963R should stay with Woodlands.Can just exchange for 961.For Bulim side,All the 4 Clementi service give back to Clementi package in exchange for 174,174e

  • 20 October 2020 at 11:34 PM

    it would be nice if one last time SMRT can deploy the last remaining hispano habit bendy buses on all the routes from smrt amk depot. It would be nice to these buses serving this routes before its gone.

  • 19 October 2020 at 7:37 PM

    Actually LTA can extend the years of the winning and extension contracts from 5 & 2 years to 7 & 3 years respectively.
    Anyway,my prediction from 2021 will be
    2021:Sengkang-Hougang>Either Go-Ahead or SBS Transit.I feel LTA might award the contract to GAS since TTS already secure 2 contracts to stay put till 2026.
    2023:Seletar>Either SBS Transit or SMRT Buses.
    80% SBST chances.
    2023:Bedok>Either SBS Transit,Tower Transit or even SMRT Buses.
    My feelings SBST will retain.
    2023:Choa Chu Kang-Bukit Panjang>Go-Ahead or SBS Transit.
    Go-Ahead can bag if LTA wants all operators to operate bendy buses,However if SBST loses out Seletar then CCK-BPJ got chances.
    2023:Woodlands>SMRT Buses.
    2023:Bukit Merah>SBS Transit.
    2023:Loyang>SMRT Buses or Tower Transit.
    If SMRT doesn’t win Bedok and lose CCK-BPJ,Then this is for them.TTS chance of winning is 40%.SBST cannot monopoly all 3 eastern packages.
    2024:Jurong West>SMRT Buses,Go-Ahead or SBS Transit.
    2024:Tampines>SBS Transit.
    2025:Clementi>SBS Transit or SMRT Buses.
    2025:Serangoon-Eunos>SBS Transit or Go-Ahead.
    If SBST loses out SKG-HGN,Then this package is definately for them.
    2026:Bishan-Toa Payoh>SBS Transit,Tower Transit or SMRT Buses.
    SBST winning chance is 70%,TTS is 20% and SMRT is 10%.

  • 19 October 2020 at 7:24 PM

    I wonder why must take 1 year to operate Mandai since the tender is on 1/9/2020??

  • 17 October 2020 at 1:33 PM

    My wish
    SBST>Seletar,Bishan-Toa Payoh,Bukit Merah,Clementi,Tampines & Serangoon-Eunos.
    NSL,Bukit Panjang LRT & DTL.
    SMRT>Loyang,Woodlands & Jurong West.
    TTS>Bulim,Sembawang-Yishun & Bedok.
    GAS>Sengkang-Hougang & Choa Chu Kang-Bukit Panjang.


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