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 29 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, 651, 653, 657, 663, 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. Service 167e was withdrawn in December 2020. Service 651 continues to be operated by Tower Transit as of 29 May 2021 and Service 663 is slated to be transferred over to the Sembawang-Yishun Bus Package upon its commencement in September 2021.

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.

The actual commencement date for Bulim Bus Package was changed to 29 May 2021 with the takeover of Bus Service 944 by Tower Transit on that date. The press release by SeaLink Travel Group stated it was on 30 May 2021 back in September 2020.


Note: The projected fleet is as of tender submission and does not account for changes to existing bus services thereafter. The actual number of buses will vary.

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:


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

  • 24 August 2023 at 9:42 PM

    Actually SBS could have taken Bulim Bus Package back (take back the Jurong portion, gain the Bukit Batok portion which was previously under SMRT).

    And at the same time, gain the Yishun-Sembawang Bus Package.

    However, this would make SBS an ultra monopoly, and effectively force TT out of the market, and defeat the purpose of having greater competition in the first place.

    That was why Tower Transit won the contracts, by being the 2nd lowest tenderer.

    It would be interesting to see if after so many rounds of tendering already, the bus operators will start to offer their lowest possible price proposal or not, in future tenders.

    The real elimination rounds are just about to begin.

  • 1 January 2021 at 1:30 PM

    Got a strong feeling LTA will introduce a new feeder service for Sembawang just before the handover.

  • 22 November 2020 at 10:49 PM

    Tower Transit>Bulim,Sembawang-Yishun & Bishan-Toa Payoh.
    Go-Ahead>Sengkang-Hougang & Choa Chu Kang-Bukit Panjang.
    SMRT Buses>Woodlands,Loyang & Clementi.
    SBS Transit>Seletar,Bedok,Bukit Merah,Tampines,Jurong West & Serangoon-Eunos.

  • 16 November 2020 at 6:31 AM

    Having secure Mandai package,TTS will definitely bid the lowest price for upcoming bus contracts since they already secure West & North bus service ala SBST style.This is what SMRT is lacking despite having three depots

  • 3 November 2020 at 7:54 PM

    Letting TTS control Lor 1 Geylang is a big joke!Should let Serangoon-Eunos operator be the anchor.Tengah Boulevard should be under TTS instead.Mandai package anchor is Sembawang & Yishun Interchanges and they’re also the tenant operator @ Woodlands Interchange.


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