Transitioning of Buses to BCM

This article deals with the specifics, regarding the administrative transferring and re-registering of buses from both SBS Transit and SMRT to the Bus Contracting Model (BCM), BSEP or otherwise. The BCM was formerly known as the Government Contracting Model (GCM) before May 2016.

But First: What is the Bus Contracting Model all about?

The Bus Contracting Model (BCM) is all about the shift to a new framework where operating assets (Buses, Bus depots, Bus interchanges, etc.) will be owned by the Government and subsequently leased to bus operators. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) assumes the role of the central bus planner and will be in charge of delegating resources to the various new bus operators.

To own buses in the first place, the LTA needs to purchase them – in which they have done so through the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP), the S$1.1 billion scheme introduced in 2012 to fund the purchase of new SBS Transit and SMRT city buses.

LTA has taken over SBS Transit’s bus purchasing contracts worth S$164 million for 346 new bus purchases, scheduled for delivery in 2016 and 2017. It also bought 50 buses, worth about S$23 million, which were delivered to SBST between June and December 2015.

The buses are initially allocated to the incumbent bus operators, SBS Transit and SMRT Buses, to run additional bus trips and new bus services introduced under the BSEP. The buses are subsequently reallocated to the successful bidder of the individual bus packages.

How will the buses be like?

Under the BCM, new buses will all bear the “SG” prefix on their registration plates

Single Deck Buses

Double Deck Buses

In April 2016, MAN A95 buses were registered under the BCM despite not being part of the bus models purchased in the BSEP scheme.

More MAN A95 buses were procured and registered in 2018 by the LTA.

3323_97
Volvo B9TL without SBS Transit’s corporate logos

SBS Transit

The LTA has been funding new purchases of Volvo B9TL and Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaro buses under the BSEP scheme, built to existing specifications. In addition, it has increased orders of Volvo B9TL and Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses to add to its own pool of buses, with 176 Volvo B9TL units ordered in 2015.

SMRT Buses

The LTA has been funding new purchases of Alexander Dennis Enviro500 and MAN NL323F buses under the BSEP scheme, built to existing specifications. In addition, it has increased orders of MAN A95 buses to add to its own pool of buses, with 60 units ordered in 2015 and 122 additional units ordered in 2016.

Livery Removal

In the days or weeks leading up to a new operator’s takeover of bus services, operators may remove their corporate logos from certain buses, prior to the transfer of their ownership.


Volvo B9TL (SBS Transit)

Under the BSEP, SBS Transit Volvo B9TL deliveries have been diverted to the BSEP scheme since 2012. At the start, 30 out of 300 buses from “Batch 2” were registered under the BSEP. Later, 119 out of 565 buses from “Batch 3” were BSEP units. In late 2015, several B9TL buses obtained from the “Batch 4” of 415 buses continue to be registered under the BSEP.

SBS Transit’s Fourth Batch of Volvo B9TL Buses are spearheading the transition of double-deck buses to BCM control. An initial portion of buses under the “Batch 4” – destined for the BSEP -were transferred to the BCM and registered brand-new, i.e. newly assembled and without having been registered under SBS-prefix.

In summary, the first batch of BCM Volvo B9TLs, which were registered from SG5000E onwards, are completely identical to SBS Transit’s Batch 4 buses. Visitors to the Bulim Depot Carnival would have noticed that Tower Transit’s SG-plated Volvo B9TLs are no different from their SBS Transit counterparts.

To further expand the BCM bus pool, the Land Transport Authority said on 29 December 2015 that it would take over SBS Transit’s bus purchasing contracts worth S$164 million for 346 new bus purchases, scheduled for delivery in 2016 and 2017. It will also directly buy 50 buses, worth about S$23 million, which were delivered to SBST between June and December this year. Among the 346 buses to be bought under the contracts, 246 are double-deck Volvo B9TL buses, and among the 50 buses to be bought from SBS Transit, 38 are double-deck buses. Therefore, in total, LTA bought over 246 + 38 = 284 Volvo B9TL buses for the BCM.

The 38 buses were registered SBS1Z – SBS23K from “Batch 4” orders and SBS3968P, SBS3970G, SBS3973Z, SBS3975T – SBS3986L from “Batch 3” orders.

But relying on deliveries from “Batch 4” as well as the additional 176 LTA ordered buses was not sufficient to gather the resources required for two route packages. With Tower Transit rolling out its buses in May 2016 and Go-Ahead in September 2016, LTA has taken BSEP buses out of SBS Transit’s fleet and transferred them to the new operator.

Summary:

  • “Batch 4” currently on delivery, split into Production Batch (SBST-owned) and BSEP Batch (Government-owned)
  • LTA ordered an additional 176 buses to SBS Transit’s “Batch 4” order (SG5000E – SG5175J)
  • LTA registering some “BSEP Batch 4” buses as SG5176G onwards – bypassing the initial SBS registration
  • LTA will take over 246 new “Batch 4” buses scheduled for delivery in 2016 and 2017, inclusive of 38 bought from SBS Transit
Batch Total No. Description
Batch 1 150 ZF Ecolife, Low Entry (SBS7500D – SBS7686B)
Batch 2 300 30 Voith, Low Entry (SBS7700T – SBS7729L)
240 Voith, Low Floor (SBS3000G – SBS3238M & SBS3269Z)
30 BSEP, Voith, Low Floor (SBS3300R – SBS3329J)
Batch 3 565 446 Voith, Low Floor (SBS3240E – SBS3299L & SBS3600A – SBS3986L, except SBS3269Z)

SBS3968P, SBS3970G, SBS3973Z, SBS3975T – SBS3986L transferred to BCM

119 BSEP, Voith, Low Floor (SBS3330D – SBS3448Z)
Batch 4 415 23 ZF Ecolife, Low Floor (SBS1Z – SBS23K), Transferred to BCM
71 BSEP, ZF Ecolife, Low Floor (SBS3449X – SBS3482Z & SBS3487K – SBS3523P), some transferred to BCM
321 Transferred to BCM (SG5176G – SG5185E, SG5300P – SG5610U)
176 176 LTA’s order for BCM (SG5000E – SG5175J)

Volvo flowchart

The flowchart is a simple illustration of new Volvo B9TL deliveries, depending if SBS Transit or the Government paid for them. SBS Transit owns its own buses and deploys them in their fleet of buses. The arrows are explained below:

  1. BSEP Buses can be converted to BCM Buses by registering them under the SG registration series, instead of the SBS-series as per previous BSEP buses
  2. Several SBS Transit owned buses are going to be bought by the Government for the BCM Fleet
  3. Several BCM buses are deployed by SBS Transit on a short-term basis before the bus routes (which these BCM buses are plying on) switch to a new operator under the BCM scheme

Bus Contracting Model – Volvo B9TL

With the full transition to the Bus Contracting Model from 1 Sep 2016, LTA has taken over ownership of all buses, except those that were owned by SBS Transit prior and are leased to LTA.

All public bus operators have leased Volvo B9TL buses from LTA for their operations.

SMRT Volvo B9TL (SG5052E) - Service 180
SMRT Volvo B9TL (SG5052E) – Service 180

SMRT Buses – Volvo B9TL

On 3 Aug 2016, Volvo B9TL buses made their debut with SMRT Buses. These buses were painted in Lush Green, and registered between Feb and Mar 2016 and remained in storage until LTA issued them to SMRT Buses in exchange for Alexander Dennis Enviro500 buses.

These buses are SG5040P to SG5052E and SG5061D to SG5068K, making a total of 21 buses. They were originally registered to Tower Transit for storage.

More Volvo B9TL buses has since been registered and leased to SMRT.

Main Article: SMRT Volvo B9TL buses begin operations!


Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaro (SBS Transit)

Under the BSEP, SBS Transit Mercedes-Benz Citaro deliveries have been diverted to the BSEP scheme since 2012. At the start, 42 out of 300 buses from “Batch 1” were registered under the BSEP. Later, 187 out of 450 buses from “Batch 2” were BSEP units. 66 more Citaro buses obtained from the “Batch 3” of 250 buses continue to be registered under the BSEP, before the transition to the Bus Contracting Model.

SBS Transit’s Third Batch of Citaro Buses are leading the transition of single-deck buses to BCM control. An initial portion of buses under the “Batch 3” – destined for the BSEP – were transferred to the BCM and registered brand-new, i.e. newly assembled and without having been registered under SBS-prefix.

In summary, the first batch of BCM Citaros, which were registered from SG1000G onwards, are completely identical to SBS Transit’s Batch 3 Citaro buses. Visitors to the Bulim Depot Carnival would have noticed that Tower Transit’s SG-plated Mercedes-Benz Citaros are no different from their SBS Transit counterparts.

LTA has ordered additional Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaro buses on top of SBS Transit’s Batch 3 order for the Bus Contracting Model.

To further expand the BCM bus pool, the Land Transport Authority said on 29 December 2015 that it would take over SBS Transit’s bus purchasing contracts worth S$164 million for 346 new bus purchases, scheduled for delivery in 2016 and 2017. It will also directly buy 50 buses, worth about S$23 million, which were delivered to SBST between June and December this year. Among the 346 buses to be bought under the contracts, 100 are single-deck Citaro buses, and among the 50 buses to be bought from SBS Transit, 12 are single-deck Citaro buses.

In total, LTA will be buying 100 + 12 = 112 Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaro single-deck buses. 100 of the Production Batch 3 buses meant to be registered under the “SBS” prefix will instead be registered with “SG” prefix and leased under the BCM. The 12 buses purchased from SBS Transit are SBS6882H – SBS6893B.

With 112 buses removed from the “Batch 3”, SBS Transit will have 250 – 112 = 138 buses left over, which will be split among Production Batch and BSEP Batch, if there is a need to add more BSEP buses into SBS Transit’s fleet.

But relying on “Batch 3” deliveries might not be sufficient to gather the resources required for two route packages. With Tower Transit rolling out its buses in May 2016 and Go-Ahead in September 2016, LTA has taken BSEP buses out of SBS Transit’s fleet and transferred them to the new operator.

SG-series buses made their revenue service debut with SBS Transit from 3 Jan 2016, having been deployed on Service 382G/W.

Summary:

  • Additional 24 buses delivered on top of Batch 2 order
  • “Batch 3”  split into Production Batch (SBST-owned) and BSEP Batch (Government-owned)
  • LTA registering some “BSEP Batch 3” buses as SG1000G onwards – bypassing the initial SBS registration
  • LTA will take over 112 new “Batch 3” buses scheduled for delivery in 2016 and 2017
  • LTA ordered 80 additional buses with “Batch 3” specifications under the Bus Contracting Model
Batch Total No. Description
Batch 1 300 258 Production Batch (SBS6000L – SBS6285G, with some missing numbers)
42 BSEP Batch (SBS6300X – SBS6341C)
Batch 2 474 266 Production Batch (SBS6600E – SBS6865H)
208 BSEP Batch (SBS6342A – SBS6549X)
Batch 3 330 28 Production Batch (SBS6866E – SBS6893B)
55 BSEP Batch (SBS6550R – SBS6599B, SBS2000M – SBS2004C)
247 BCM Batch (SG1000G – SG1071B, SG1080A – SG1245S, SG1691L – SG1699R)

Citaro flowchart

The flowchart is a simple illustration of new Citaro deliveries, depending if SBS Transit or the Government paid for them. SBS Transit owns its own buses and deploys them in their fleet of buses. The arrows are explained below:

  1. BSEP Buses can be converted to BCM Buses by registering them under the SG registration series, instead of the SBS-series as per previous BSEP buses
  2. Several SBS Transit owned buses are going to be bought by the Government for the BCM Fleet
  3. Several BCM buses are deployed by SBS Transit on a short-term basis before the bus routes (which these BCM buses are plying on) switch to a new operator under the BCM scheme

Bus Contracting Model –  Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaro

With the full transition to the Bus Contracting Model from 1 Sep 2016, LTA has taken over ownership of all buses. All public bus operators have leased Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaro buses from LTA for their operations.

SMRT Buses – Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaro

SG1691L on 67
SG1691L on 67

On 11 Feb 2016, 9 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses were registered as SG1691L – SG1699R for SMRT Buses. These buses debuted on revenue service on 25 Apr 2016, more than 2 months after their initial registration.

These buses were originally to be registered as SG1011A – SG1019D for Tower Transit use in the Bulim Bus Package. However, they were passed on to be operated by SMRT Buses for the short term for various reasons, possibly to offset smaller quantities of MAN A22 buses ordered under the BSEP. With insufficient MAN A22 BSEP buses, new BSEP bus services such as Service 805 were introduced running on non-BSEP buses.

More Citaro buses have been leased to SMRT in August 2016 in preparation for the full transition to the BCM in Sep 2016.

Main Article: New Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaro for SMRT Buses


Alexander Dennis Enviro500 (SMRT Buses)

Under the BSEP, SMRT Alexander Dennis Enviro500 deliveries have been diverted to the BSEP scheme since the very first batch, with 116 out of 201 buses.

Alexander Dennis Enviro500 buses will eventually be gradually transferred to the BCM, although they won’t be the first batch of buses to do so owing to lack of resources within SMRT. We believe that SMRT ordered additional MAN A95 buses to make up for the shortfall of double-deck buses and LTA issuing of Volvo B9TL buses to SMRT should help ease the resources.

An additional 15 units of Alexander Dennis Enviro500 has been ordered in 2016. These buses will come equipped with USB Charging Ports and was registered as SG5700T – SG5714D on 10 August 2017 under the BCM.

SMRT Buses Alexander Dennis Enviro500 (SMB3578R) - Service 969
SMRT Buses Alexander Dennis Enviro500 (SMB3578R) – Service 969

Bus Contracting Model – Alexander Dennis Enviro500

Under the Bulim Route Package, Tower Transit has initially leased 19 Alexander Dennis Enviro500 buses (SMB3501L – SMB3518P, SMB3521D) from LTA. In the months after Tower Transit has commenced operations, more Alexander Dennis Enviro500 buses were transferred from SMRT to Tower Transit.

Batch Total No. Description
Batch 1 201 85 Production Batch (SMB5001A – SMB5085H)
116 BSEP Batch (SMB3501L – SMB3616P)
Batch 2 15 15 BCM (SG5700T – SG5714D)

SMRT Buses — MAN NL323F (A22)

Under the BSEP, SMRT MAN NL323F deliveries have been diverted to the BSEP scheme since 2012. At the start, 34 out of 200 buses from “Batch 1” were registered under the BSEP. Later, 82 out of 202 buses from “Batch 2” were BSEP units. For “Batch 3”, 53 out of 332 buses were registered under BSEP.

With the remainder MAN NL323Fs registered SG1700U – SG1748H under the BCM, several of them have been put into service with SMRT BSEP services.

SG-series buses made their revenue service debut with SMRT from Feb 2016, having been deployed on Service 979.

Batch Total No. Description
Batch 1 200 166 Production Batch (SMB189A – SMB354P)
34 BSEP Batch (SMB3001M – SMB3034T)
Batch 2 202 120 Production Batch (SMB1301K – SMB1420A)
82 BSEP Batch (SMB3035R – SMB3116R)
Batch 3 332 230 Production Batch (SMB1421Y – SMB1650C)
53 BSEP Batch (SMB3117M – SMB3169M)
49 Transferred to BCM (SG1700U – SG1748H)
Batch 4 150 150 Production Batch (SG1749E – SG1898H)

Bus Contracting Model — MAN A22

Tower Transit has leased former SMRT BSEP MAN A22 buses from LTA as part of its takeover of the Bulim Bus Package.

SBS Transit has also leased former SMRT BSEP MAN A22 buses from LTA as part of its takeover of the Seletar Bus Package.

Further orders of Euro 6 MAN A22 buses were procured by LTA and were registered from May 2018.


MAN A24

MAN A24 Articulated buses were delivered in 2015 to SMRT Buses. Since then, the wheelchair-accessible articulated buses have been operated by SMRT, on a variety of bus services, which also consists of feeders and intratown. They were also deployed on high-demand Bus Service 858 which serves Changi Airport and does not allow for double-dekcer bus deployments due to height restrictions at Changi Airport.

Batch Total No. Description
Batch 1 40 1 Demonstrator (SMB388S)
39 Production Batch (SMB8001A – SMB8039Y)

Bus Contracting Model — MAN A24

Under the Seletar Bus Package, SBS Transit has leased several MAN A24 buses which were transferred from SMRT.


MAN A95

In a separate additional order to SMRT’s MAN A95 buses, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) purchased 60 units of MAN A95 buses in 2015 for the Bus Contracting Model. Out of the 60, the last 10 units come equipped with USB Charging Ports. In September 2016, LTA purchased another batch of 122 MAN A95 buses.

The first batch of BCM MAN A95 (Batch 2) buses were registered on April 2016, for storage in Bulim Bus Depot. These buses were finally allocated to SMRT in September 2016.

On 2nd Feb 2017, the first two units of the third batch of MAN A95 buses (SG5800M & SG5801K) were registered to SMRT Buses Ltd.

SBS Transit received its first MAN A95 bus registered as SG5835M on 20 July 2017.

Go-Ahead Singapore received their first batch of MAN A95 buses on 15 January 2018, registered as SG5914T & SG5915R.

Further orders of 250 Euro 6 MAN A95 buses were procured by LTA and were registered from May 2018 till Feb 2020.

In addition, another batch of 111 Euro 6 MAN A95 buses were procured by LTA in July 2018.

50 Euro 6 MAN A95 buses with 3-Doors were procured in April 2o19.

 

Batch Total Qty Description
Demo 1 SMB5888H
Production Batch 1 16 SMB5889E – SMB5904U
Production Batch 2 (BCM) 60 SG5740C – SG5799J
Production Batch 3 (BCM) 122 SG2017C, SG5800M – SG5920A
Production Batch 4 (BCM) 250 SG5921Y – SG5998B, SG6000Z – SG6171M
Production Batch 5 (BCM) 111 SG6172K – SG6282B
Production Batch 6 (3-door) (BCM) 50 SG6283Z – SG6332R

Bus Contracting Model – Transfer of Buses


 

Back to Bus Contracting Model

5 thoughts on “Transitioning of Buses to BCM

  • 24 June 2020 at 8:12 AM
    Permalink

    My guess for Sembawang-Yishun package
    B1/B2/B3 Euro V MAN A22
    B1 Euro VI MAN A22
    B3 Euro V MB Citaro
    B1/B2 Euro V MB OC500LE
    Production Euro V MAN A24
    B4 Euro V Volvo B9TL procure from KJ/WL
    B2/B3 Euro V MAN A95
    B1 Euro VI MAN A95
    B1 Euro V ADL Enviro500

    Reply
  • 30 May 2020 at 9:13 AM
    Permalink

    SMRT have the least MAN A22 Euro 6. 17 in total.

    Reply
  • 11 May 2020 at 9:43 PM
    Permalink

    Since TTS doesn’t want to lease any newer diesel buses then SMRT should transfer 8 A22E6 & 10 A95E6 for service 944 & 991.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

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

Upcoming Events