The first tranche of 9 bus services in Yishun will be transferred to Tower Transit on 5 September 2021.
|Current Term (PT213)||Upcoming Term (PT217B)|
|Bus Operator||SMRT Buses||Tower Transit Singapore|
|Contract Term||Negotiated Contract:
01 Sep 2016 – 02 Oct 2021 (extended by 1 year from 2020)
|Tendered Package 1st Term:
05 Sep 2021 – 2026
|Bus Services||110, 167, 169, 171, 652, 656, 670, 825, 853/853M, 854, 854e, 855, 856, 857, 858, 859/859A/859B, 882, 883/883M, 963, 963e, 963R, 965, 966, 969, 980, 981, NR1 & NR2 (28 bus routes)
||167, 169, 171, 656, 663, 670, 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 (27 bus routes)|
|Bus Depot||Ang Mo Kio Bus Depot||Mandai Bus Depot|
|Bus Interchanges||Sembawang Bus Interchange, Yishun Bus Interchange, Lorong 1 Geylang Bus Terminal|
Note: Service 663 operated by Tower Transit under Bulim Bus Package, to be transferred to Sembawang-Yishun Bus Package in Sep 2021.Brief background of BCM (Click to expand)
Under the Bus Contracting Model (BCM), 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 successful tenderer operates these bus routes and collects fares on behalf of LTA, while maintaining the associated bus infrastructure (buses & onboard equipment, depots, interchanges & terminals). In return, the operator is awarded an operating fee from LTA, and potential bonuses via an incentive framework.
The Sembawang-Yishun Bus Package package comprises bus services mainly originating from Sembawang Bus Interchange, Yishun Bus Interchange, and Woodlands Bus Interchange, with a handful originating at Yio Chu Kang, Resorts World Sentosa, and Marina Centre.
Having secured the tender, Tower Transit will take over 26 existing bus services operated by SMRT Buses progressively from 5 September 2021. Bus operations for the Tendered Package would be based out of the new Mandai Bus Depot, located off Mandai Road and integrated with Mandai Train Depot.
Redeployment of Buses
On 19 March 2021, a Mercedes-Benz OC500LE, Volvo B5LH and MAN A24 (1 unit each) were transferred from SMRT Buses to Tower Transit to facilitate training and familiarisation of Bus Captains and Technicians leading up to the takeover.
The remainder of the bus fleet transfers would take place on the night before each tranche of service takeover by Tower Transit.
|Bus Registration||Bus Model||Transferred From|
|– March 2021 Transfers –|
|SG6105E||MAN A95 (Euro 6)||LTA Storage|
|SG1821D – SG1833U||MAN A22 (Euro 6)||LTA Storage|
|SG1809R – SG1811H, SG1834S – SG1836L & SG1861M||MAN A22 (Euro 6)||LTA Storage|
|SMB8015R||MAN A24||SMRT Buses|
|SMB9L||Mercedes-Benz OC500LE||SMRT Buses|
|SG3016Z||Volvo B5LH||SMRT Buses|
|SG1837J – SG1839D, SG1845K – SG1847E, SG1859X, SG1860R, SG1862K – SG1878R||MAN A22 (Euro 6)||LTA Storage|
|– May 2021 Transfers –|
|SG1027E||Mercedes-Benz Citaro||LTA Storage|
|– Sep 2021 Transfers (Tranche 1 – 5 Sep 2021) –|
SMB3C, SMB7S, SMB10G, SMB23U, SMB24S, SMB26L, SMB33R, SMB34M, SMB43L – SMB49X, SMB51M, SMB52K, SMB60L – SMB64B & SMB78L
|Mercedes-Benz OC500LE||SMRT Buses|
|SMB224G, SMB230M, SMB231K, SMB252A, SMB253Y, SMB1301K, SMB1310J, SMB1325S, SMB1326P, SMB1330B, SMB1331Z, SMB1333T, SMB1334R SMB1337H – SMB1339C, SMB1346G – SMB1349Z, SMB1356C & SMB1357A||MAN A22 (Euro V)||SMRT Buses|
|SMB3520G, SMB3522B – SMB3526R, SMB3529H, SG5704H & SG5705E||Alexander Dennis Enviro500||SMRT Buses|
|SMB5888H, SMB5891Y, SMB5892U, SMB5894P – SMB5900E, SMB5902A – SMB5904U, SG5740C – SG5744S, SG5746L, SG5749D – SG5754M, SG5757E, SG5758C, SG5762P – SG5764J, SG5766D, SG5777Y, SG5787T, SG5790H – SG5795U, SG5797P – SG5799J, SG5820E – SG5822A, SG5854H, SG5855E, SG5860P – SG5862J, SG5864D – SG5869R||MAN A95 (Euro V)||SMRT Buses|
|SG5943J, SG5946B, SG6006H, SG6012P, SG6013L, SG6018Z, SG6019X, SG6023H, SG6024E, SG6027Y, SG6029S, SG6037T, SG6055R – SG6058H, SG6065L, SG6066J & SG6071T||MAN A95 (Euro 6)||SMRT Buses|
Tower Transit is the first operator of the MAN A22 (Euro 6) buses with registration:
- SG1821D – SG1835P
- SG1839D, SG1847E, SG1859X, SG1860R, SG1862K – SG1878R
These buses have sitting disused in storage since their registration in December 2018 & April 2020 respectively.
In late August 2021, the operator logo (SMRT Buses) on several buses were removed in preparation for handover to Tower Transit.
For the first tranche commencing 5 Sep 2021, Tower Transit stated in an Instagram story that they took over 140 buses from SMRT Buses.
Mandai Bus Depot
Back in October 2020, Tower Transit began outfitting works at the new Mandai Bus Depot in preparation for the commencement of its term of the Sembawang-Yishun Bus Package.
Route Familiarisation Training
In late June 2021, route familarisation training was ramped up for Tower Transit Bus Captains in preparation for service commencement from September 2021.
Buses commonly deployed for route familiaraisation are: SMB9L, SG3016Z, SG1825T, SG1836L & SG6105E.
Employee Shuttle – Mandai Bus Depot
To facilitate training of affected SMRT Buses employees whom would be transferred to Tower Transit, a shuttle bus service is deployed between Sembawang Vista and Mandai Bus Depot.
SMRT Buses – Internal Re-deployments
In the months leading up to the September 2021 transition date, SMRT Buses shuffled buses between its depots in preparation for the handover of these buses to Tower Transit.
The gradual process of internal redeployments leaves the Mandai Zone with a stable fleet of buses that will be immediately transferred to Tower Transit on the transition date. As a general trend, the majority of buses being transferred from SMRT to TTS will be Government-owned buses purchased under the BSEP or BCM.
Additional SG-Plated MAN A22 (Euro V & Euro 6) buses in storage (formerly operated by SMRT Buses) were leased again to SMRT Buses and deployed to Mandai Zone in April 2021.
|Month||Transfer In (to Mandai Zone)||Transfer Out (from Mandai Zone)|
|March 2021||SG1706D SG1707B SG1708Z SG1712K SG1713H SG1717Y SG1718U SG1719S SG1724B SG1725Z
[MAN A22 Euro V]
|SMB139U SMB142J SMB143G SMB144D SMB148T SMB153C SMB154A SMB155Y SMB157S SMB158P
|March 2021||SG1726X SG1727T SG1734Y SG1735U SG1736S SG1737P SG1740D SG1741B SG1742Z
[MAN A22 Euro V]
|SMB149R SMB159L SMB160G SMB161D SMB162B SMB163Z SMB164X SMB167M SMB168K SMB188C
|April 2021||SG1703L SG1704J SG1705G SG1709X SG1710R SG1711M SG1714E SG1715C SG1716A SG1722G
[MAN A22 Euro V]
|SMB140P SMB145B SMB146Z SMB147X SMB150K SMB151H SMB152E SMB156U SMB165T SMB166R
|April 2021||SG1738L SG1743X SG1744T SG1745R SG1746M
[MAN A22 Euro V] SG1752U SG1753S SG1754P SG1755L SG1808T SG1851S SG1852P
[MAN A22 Euro 6]
|SMB169H SMB170C SMB171A SMB172Y SMB173U SMB174S SMB175P SMB176L SMB177J
|April 2021||SMB224G SMB230M SMB231K SMB232H SMB252A SMB253Y
[MAN A22 Euro V] SG1723D SG1728R SG1729M SG1730H SG1739J
[MAN A22 Euro V]
|SMB178G SMB179D SMB180Z SMB181X SMB182T SMB184M SMB185K SMB186H SMB187E
Tower Transit – Internal Re-deployments
In September 2021, several buses were transferred from Bulim Depot to Mandai Depot for the Sembawang-Yishun Bus Package.
- SMB3501L – SMB3506Z
Alexander Dennis Enviro500
Similar to previous route packages, bus services under the Sembawang-Yishun Bus Package will be transferred to Tower Transit in stages, starting from Sunday, 5 September 2021.
|Tranche||Implementation Date||Bus Services||No of Routes|
|1||5 Sep 2021||171, 663*, 670, 853/853M, 854, 854e, 855, 856 & 857||9|
|2||19 Sep 2021||169, 858, 963, 963e, 963*, 965, 966 & 969
|3||3 Oct 2021||167, 656, 825, 859/859A/859B, 882, 883/883M, 980, 981, N1 & N2
No operator change for City Direct 663 as it is currently operated by Tower Transit (transfer from Bulim Bus Package to Sembawang-Yishun Bus Package)
Change In Operator
Services which were part of the Negotiated Contract term for the Sembawang-Yishun Bus Package but not part of the Tendered Package term would be transferred to other bus packages.
|Date||Operator||Bus Package||Bus Services||No of Routes|
|1 Sep 2021||SMRT Buses||Woodlands||110||1|
|6 Sep 2021||SBS Transit||Seletar||652||1|
Bus Service Changes
Under Tower Transit, departure timings for Express 854e from Yishun were adjusted from 6 Sep 2021.
Service guides uploaded by Tower Transit for Service 856 does not include the Short Trip Service 856A which ends at Woodlands Train Checkpoint.
This service was later confirmed to have been silently withdrawn, with the removal of the service information from the Land Transport Authority website.
Double-deck buses are deployed daily for these services operated by Tower Transit:
- Service 171
- Service 853 / 853M
- Service 855
Tower Transit Exhibition Booth
In late August 2021, an exhibition booth was done up by Tower Transit at Yishun Public Library.
Change of Anchor Operator at Yishun
Gallery: Tower Transit Route Familarisation Buses
- Gearing up for 2021: Things to expect ahead of the Sembawang–Yishun Bus Package transition
- Tower Transit awarded Bulim and Sembawang-Yishun Bus Packages
- Bulim and Sembawang-Yishun Bus Packages put up for tender