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

  • 8 October 2020 at 6:47 PM

    TTS as the anchor operator of Lorong 1 is totally nonsense.Lor 1 should be under Serangoon-Eunos package which make more sense.

  • 8 October 2020 at 6:46 PM

    Let it be..There’s a lot of TTS BCs staying in the north area too,Why so sour?Not to mention a handful stays at Bedok,Tampines and Pasir Ris.Clementi,Jurong West must wait how long?One of the winning factor is TTS score the most points on adherence of schedule and runtimes.I don’t want to see SBST control 60% of the market and it truly defeat the purpose.SMRT I believe will stand a chance to win Loyang and retain Woodlands as well as winning Jurong West in 2023/2024 but have to lose out CCK to GAS

    • 10 October 2020 at 8:03 AM

      Should have a rule like Transperth whereby no single operator is allowed more than 50% of service mileage. Meaning SBST must sit out of Hougang, Jurong and Clementi.

  • 7 October 2020 at 5:09 PM

    Seems like LTA would’ve awarded this to SBST but it would’ve defeated the purpose of BCM.

    • 8 October 2020 at 12:27 PM

      In my opinion SBS should be given the Sembawang-Yishun bus package. They already have the bendy buses there! I feel that SBS has improved its operational standards as compared to pre-BCM.

      TTS should have focused on the Clementi, Boon Lay and CCK-BPJ bus package as they’re closer to Bulim. On the other hand if SMRT Buses keeps quoting bids that are too expensive and not improve its service standards, in four years’ time it will be out of the game.

  • 6 October 2020 at 5:38 PM

    I wonder if there will be cross-deployment of buses between the 2 depots in the future

    • 7 October 2020 at 6:19 AM

      The only TTS service that possible is 66.

    • 7 October 2020 at 8:10 AM

      Potential routes for cross deployment are 66, 143, 167, 855 and 963.

      • 7 October 2020 at 5:27 PM

        Bukit Merah & Harbourfront to Mandai is much faster than Bulim i think..Toa Payoh is possible.

    • 7 October 2020 at 10:45 AM

      They also control Geylang Lorong 1… Is that considered a bus park under TTS?

      Potential Cross Deployment:
      Svc 66: Mandai/Bulim
      Svc 143: Mandai/Bulim
      Svc 855: Mandai/Bulim
      Svc 963/963E/963R: Mandai/Bulim
      Svc 980: Geylang Lorong 1/Mandai

      • 8 October 2020 at 10:27 PM

        By right Geylang Lor 1 should be under Serangoon since majority of the routes originating from there are under Serangoon package.

  • 6 October 2020 at 3:49 PM

    Atleast i hope tower transit can repaint the logo to dark green n black on their buses than having that stupid white color logo which makes it look not like a serious company.


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