SMRT Express Service 971E

SMRT Express Service 971E is an Peak hour Express service between Bukit Panjang and Shenton Way, passing through PIE, Orchard and Bras Basah.

SMRT MAN NL323F (SMB1329G) – Express 971E

Route [AM]: Bukit Panjang Temporary Bus Park → Cecil Street (Prudential Tower)
[PM]: Anson Road (International Tower) → Bukit Panjang Temporary Bus Park
Passes Through PIE, Orchard, Bras Basah
Route Length 25.0km (D1) | 23.8km (D2)
Travelling Time 70 – 75mins
Operator Information
Current Operator SMRT Buses
Current Depot Kranji Bus Depot (KJDEP)
Woodlands Bus Depot (WLDEP)
Current Fleet Mercedes-Benz O405G

Departure Times from T1 0705 – 0745 (Weekdays)
Departure Times from T2 1805 – 1830 (Weekdays)
Frequency Direction 1 Direction 2
0630-0830: 06 – 07mins
0831-1659: –
1700-1930: –
After 1930: –
0630-0830: –
0831-1659: –
1700-1930: 10 – 15 mins
After 1930: –
SMRT Release Poster

SMRT Release Poster

Route History

Introduced on 14th March 2011, Service 971E provides passengers in Bukit Panjang with alternative means of transport to the Orchard Road and Shenton Way. The limited rail connectivity in Bukit Panjang creates a lucrative opportunity for direct bus services to the city, and this service has received many additional buses since its inauguration, from just 2 morning departures to 7 morning and 3 evening departures in April 2013.

This service has two major competitors in Bukit Panjang, Premium 555 and Premium 722. Both offer direct services to Shenton Way but charge higher fares (given their Premium designation). Alternatively, Service 700 plies from Bukit Panjang to Shenton Way via Orchard, but the hassle of transferring buses may not appeal to many commuters.

The introduction of Service 972 under the BSEP scheme has taken much loading off this route by running parallel to it between Bukit Panjang and Dhoby Ghaut. Compare these two journeys from Bukit Panjang to Shenton Way (UIC Bldg):

  • JOURNEY 1: Service 971E
    Boarding at 44731 Jelebu Road (Opp Blk 180), Alighting at 03129 Shenton Way (UIC Bldg)
    Adult Card Fare: $2.38
  • JOURNEY 2: Service 972 & 700
    Boarding at 44251 Bt Panjang Rd (Blk 604), Transferring to Service 700 at Orchard Rd (Dhoby Ghaut Stn). Alighting at 03129 Shenton Way (UIC Bldg).
    Adult Card Fare: $1.81

Despite the slightly higher fares, many commuters prefer the direct express route to Shenton Way without the hassle of transferring buses. The route still enjoys high demand daily from passengers heading to Shenton Way.

Departure times: 

  • Jelebu Road (opp Blk 180): 0711, 0718, 0725, 0732, 0739, 0745, 0751
  • Anson Road (Int’l Plaza): 1805, 1815, 1830

Fare: Charges regular distance-based express fares. See Bus Fares for exact fares.

Fleet: See Above.

Route Information:

Direction 1 Direction 2
  1. Bt Panjang Temp Bus Pk
    Woodlands Rd
  2. Jelebu Rd (opp Blk 180)
  3. Bt Panjang Ring Rd (Blk 602)
  4. Bt Panjang Ring Rd (Blk 617)
  5. Jelapang Rd (Blk 532)
  6. Jelapang Rd (Blk 516)
  7. Segar Rd (Blk 548B)
  8. Segar Rd (bef Blk 484)
  9. Fajar Rd (Fajar Stn)
  10. Fajar Rd (bet Blks 443A/443B)
  11. Fajar Rd (Blk 442D)
  12. Bt Panjang Ring Rd (Bangkit Stn)
    Bt Panjang Rd (express)
    BKE (express)
    PIE (express)
  13. Whitley Rd (aft Tanglin CC)
    Stevens Rd (express)
  14. Scotts Rd (Far East Plaza)
  15. Orchard Rd (Tang Plaza)
  16. Orchard Rd (opp Mandarin Orchard)
  17. Orchard Rd (Concorde Hotel S’pore)
  18. Orchard Rd (Dhoby Ghaut Stn)
  19. Nicoll Highway (One Raffles Link)
  20. Collyer Quay (OUE Bayfront)
  21. Raffles Quay (One Raffles Quay)
  22. Shenton Way (UIC Bldg)
  23. Shenton Way (opp Temasek Twr)
    Palmer Rd (express)
  24. Anson Rd (Intl Plaza)
  25. Cecil St (opp GB Bldg)
  26. Cecil St (Prudential Twr)
  1. Anson Rd (Intl Plaza)
  2. Cecil St (opp GB Bldg)
  3. Cecil St (Prudential Twr)
  4. Fullerton Rd (Fullerton Sq)
  5. Esplanade Dr (Esplanade Bridge)
  6. Stamford Rd (Capitol Bldg)
  7. Stamford Rd (SMU)
  8. Orchard Rd (YMCA)
  9. Penang Rd (Dhoby Ghaut Stn)
  10. Penang Rd (Winsland Hse)
  11. Somerset Rd (Somerset Stn)
  12. Grange Rd (Natl Youth Council)
    Orchard Blvd (express)
  13. Scotts Rd (Thong Teck Bldg)
    Stevens Rd (express)
  14. Whitley Rd (Raffles Town Club)
    PIE (express)
    BKE (express)
    Bt Panjang Rd (express)
  15. Bt Panjang Ring Rd (opp Bangkit Stn)
  16. Fajar Rd (Blk 239)
  17. Fajar Rd (Blk 401A CP)
  18. Fajar Rd (opp Fajar Stn)
  19. Segar Rd (opp Blk 484)
  20. Segar Rd (Blk 547C)
  21. Jelapang Rd (Blk 506)
  22. Jelapang Rd (opp Blk 532)
  23. Bt Panjang Ring Rd (Blk 537A CP)
  24. Bt Panjang Ring Rd (Blk 541A CP)
  25. Jelebu Rd (Blk 180)
    Woodlands Rd
  26. Bt Panjang Temp Bus Pk
Express 971E at a glance

Express 971E at a glance

Operator History:

  • 2011 – Present: SMRT Buses Ltd

The Bus Service Operating License (BSOL) for this route will be renewed in 2016.





  • 2011 (14 Mar): Introduced as a unidirectional AM peak hour service from Bukit Panjang to Cecil Street. Operates two trips on weekday mornings, at 7:30am and 7:45am. Charges Express fares under the Distance-Based Fare scheme.
  • 2011 (Jun): 3rd AM Peak departure from Bukit Panjang
  • 2011 (29 Aug): Introduction of two evening PM Peak trips from Anson Road to Bukit Panjang at 6:30pm and 6:45pm. One bendy bus slot for AM Peak.
  • 2011 (Dec): 4th AM Peak departure from Bukit Panjang
  • 2012 (Mar): Second bendy bus slot for AM Peak.
  • 2012 (Sep): 5th AM Peak departure from Bukit Panjang
  • 2012 (Dec): 6th AM Peak departure from Bukit Panjang
  • 2013 (15 Apr): 7th AM Peak departure from Bukit Panjang and 3rd PM Peak departure from Anson Road
  • 2015 (17 Aug): Calls at two new bus stops along Fajar Rd
  • 2015 (07 Sep): Calls at a pair of new bus stops along Segar Rd

Past Routings:


External Links & References:

Back to Express Bus Services
Back to Bus Services
Back to Bus Articles

2 thoughts on “SMRT Express Service 971E

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