Transitioning of Buses to GCM

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View the updated article at our new site, Land Transport Guru by clicking here.


This article deals with the specifics, regarding the administrative transferring and re-registering of buses from both SBS Transit and SMRT to the new Government Contracting Model (GCM), BSEP or otherwise.

But First: What is the GCM all about?

The Government Contracting Model (GCM) 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. And they have done so via 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 urban buses. These buses would later reallocated to the GCM.

Under the GCM, buses will all bear the “SG” prefix on their registration plates. Mercedes-Benz Citaro Single-deck buses are registered from SG1001D onwards, while double-deck Volvo B9TL buses are registered from SG5000E onwards.

However, whether the MAN NL323F Single-deck buses will be registered under the same SG1XXX series with the Citaro buses or registered under a different number series under the SG prefix is unclear. This is likewise for that of the Alexander Dennis Enviro500 buses with the SG5XXX series of Volvo B9TL buses.

SBS Transit

The LTA has been funding new purchases of Volvo B9TL and Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaro buses under the BSEP scheme.

SMRT Buses

The LTA has been funding new purchases of Alexander Dennis Enviro500 and MAN NL323F buses under the BSEP scheme.


SBS Transit – Volvo B9TL

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 GCM control. An initial portion of buses under the “Batch 4” – destined for the BSEP – were transferred to the GCM and registered brand-new, i.e. newly assembled and without having been registered under SBS-prefix.

In summary, the first batch of GCM 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.
^ Tower Transit Volvo B9TL in SBS Transit colours
^ SG-Plated SBS Transit Volvo B9TL on revenue service

To further expand the GCM 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 will be buying 246 + 38 = 284 Volvo B9TL buses for the GCM.

Based on our best guesses, Volvo B9TLs bought from SBS Transit also belong to the “Batch 4”, registered from SBS1Z onwards. They were, like the rest of the Batch 4, delivered to SBST between June and December. As of writing, SBS1Z to SBS23K have been registered, with more B9TLs waiting to be registered. It remains to be seen whether these buses would be losing their SBS plates and going to be re-registered as SG plated buses.

With 284 buses removed from the “Batch 4”, SBS Transit will have 415 – 284 = 131 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 4” 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 3Q 2016, the obvious way for LTA to expand their bus pool is to take their BSEP buses out of SBS Transit’s fleet and transfer them to the GCM. However, this remains to be seen.

SBS Transit — Operation of GCM Buses

With Volvo B9TLs registered SG5176G and SG5301L onwards destined for the Loyang Bus Package and a third future bus package, several of them have been put into service with SBS Transit BSEP services leading up to the eventual handover to other bus operators.

SG5301L SG5310K

Summary:

“Batch 4” currently on delivery, split into Production Batch (SBST-owned) and BSEP Batch (Government-owned)

LTA registering some “BSEP Batch 4” buses as SG5000E 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)
119 BSEP, Voith, Low Floor (SBS3330D – SBS3448Z)
Batch 4 415 TBC ZF Ecolife, Low Floor (SBS1Z – SBS23K), some may be transferred to GCM
TBC BSEP, ZF Ecolife, Low Floor (SBS3449X – SBS3482Z & SBS3487K – SBS3523P), some may be transferred to GCM
284 Transferred to GCM (SG5000E – )

 

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:

BSEP Buses can be converted to GCM Buses by simply re-registering them under the SG registration series

Several SBS Transit owned buses are going to be bought by the Government for the GCM Fleet

Several GCM buses are deployed by SBS Transit on a short-term basis before the bus routes (which these GCM buses are plying on) switch to a new operator under the GCM scheme


SBS Transit – Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaro

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, 208 out of 474 buses from “Batch 2” were BSEP units. As of early 2016, more Citaro buses obtained from the “Batch 3” of 250 buses continue to be registered under the BSEP.

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

In summary, the first batch of GCM Citaros, which were registered from SG1001D 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.
^ SG-Plated SBS Transit Mercedes-Benz Citaro destined for Go-Ahead Group

To further expand the GCM 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. Based on our best guesses, these buses are being also being drawn from SBS Transit’s Third Batch of 250 units, registered as SBS6866E onwards. They were, like the rest of the Batch 3, delivered to SBST between June and December. As of writing, SBS6866E to SBS6893B have been registered, with more Citaros waiting to be registered. It remains to be seen whether these buses would be losing their SBS plates and going to be re-registered as SG plated buses.

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 3Q 2016, the obvious way for LTA to expand their bus pool is to take their BSEP buses out of SBS Transit’s fleet and transfer them to the GCM. However, this remains to be seen.

SBS Transit — Operation of GCM Buses

With Mercedes-Benz Citaros registered SG1080A onwards destined for the Loyang Bus Package, several of them have been put into service with SBS Transit BSEP services leading up to the eventual handover to Go-Ahead Group. With SG1001D – SG1079E reserved for Citaros under the Bulim Bus Package, SG1080A onwards are reserved for the Loyang Bus Package.

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

Summary:

“Batch 3” currently on delivery, split into Production Batch (SBST-owned) and BSEP Batch (Government-owned)

LTA registering some “BSEP Batch 3” buses as SG1001D onwards – bypassing the initial SBS registration

LTA will take over 112 new “Batch 3” buses scheduled for delivery in 2016 and 2017

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 3 250 TBC Production Batch (SBS6866E – SBS6893B), some may be transferred to GCM
TBC BSEP Batch (SBS6546D – SBS6599B, SBS2000M – SBS2004C), some may be transferred to GCM
112 Transferred to GCM (SG1001D – TBC, SG1691L – SG1699R)

 

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:

BSEP Buses can be converted to GCM Buses by simply re-registering them under the SG registration series

Several SBS Transit owned buses are going to be bought by the Government for the GCM Fleet

Several GCM buses are deployed by SBS Transit on a short-term basis before the bus routes (which these GCM buses are plying on) switch to a new operator under the GCM scheme


SMRT Buses – Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaro

On 11 Feb 2016, 9 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses were registered as SG1691L SG1699R for SMRT Buses.

These buses were originally ordered by SBS Transit and subsequently allocated to the BSEP using SG registration plates. However, they were passed on to be operated by SMRT Buses for the short term, 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.

As such, these new SBST-spec Mercedes-Benz Citaros will temporarily operate on SMRT-operated Bulim Bus Package routes before being handed over to Tower Transit.

SMRT Buses – Alexander Dennis Enviro500

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 GCM, although they won’t be the first batch of buses to do so owing to lack of resources with SMRT. We believe that SMRT ordered additional MAN A95 buses to make up for the shortfall of double-deck buses when they are transferred to the GCM in the near future.

An estimated 12 Enviro500 buses are expected to be handed over to Tower Transit.


SMRT Buses — MAN NL323F

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. As of early 2016, more MAN NL323F buses obtained from the “Batch 3” of 332 buses continue to be registered under the BSEP.

An estimated 100 MAN NL323F buses are expected to be handed over to Tower Transit.

With MAN NL323Fs registered SG1700U onwards destined for the Bulim Bus Package, several of them have been put into service with SMRT BSEP services leading up to the eventual handover to Tower Transit.

SG-series buses made their revenue service debut with SMRT from Feb 2016, having been deployed on Service 979.
^ SG-Plated MAN A22 (SG1700U) before embarking on a revenue service trip

SG1701S SG1702P
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 + TBC BSEP Batch (SMB3117M – SMB3169M onwards)
TBC Transferred to GCM (SG1700U – )

Bulim Bus Package

Under the Bulim Bus Package, Tower Transit announced that it will be taking over a total of 188 double-deck and 179 single-deck buses. Double-deck buses will comprise Volvo B9TL and Alexander Dennis Enviro500 buses in numbers to be confirmed. Single-deck buses will likely comprise 79 Mercedes-Benz Citaros from SBS Transit and 100 MAN NL323F buses from SMRT.

Volvo B9TL and Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses will likely comprise a mix of brand new buses and buses re-allocated from the BSEP scheme, which have already been in revenue service with SBS Transit.

Volvo B9TL: SG5000E – SG5175J (176 Buses)

Mercedes-Benz Citaro: SG1001D – SG1079E, SG1691L – SG1699R (89 Buses)

MAN NL323F: SG1700U – Unconfirmed Registration Numbers (91 Buses)

Alexander Dennis Enviro500: Unconfirmed registration numbers (12 Buses)

Loyang Bus Packag

Under the Loyang Bus Package, Go Ahead Group will be likely to take over all 4 bus models available under the GCM currently, in a quantity of about 400 buses with unspecified breakdown of specific bus models at the time of writing.

Volvo B9TL: Unconfirmed registration numbers (Unconfirmed Quantity)

Mercedes-Benz Citaro: SG1080A –  (Unconfirmed Quantity)

MAN NL323F: Unconfirmed registration numbers (Unconfirmed Quantity)

Alexander Dennis Enviro500: Unconfirmed registration numbers (Unconfirmed Quantity)

————————————————————————————————————————————–

Also check out:

Volvo B9TL

Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaro

Alexander Dennis Enviro500

MAN NL323F

Bulim Bus Package

Loyang Bus Package

Government Contracting Model: FAQ

Back to Government Contracting Model

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