Tower Transit will take over operations of Bulim Bus Package Bus Services progressively from 29 May 2016. More details at our new site, Land Transport Guru. Click Here to continue.
Government Contracting Model (GCM) Route Package #1:
“Bulim Bus Package” (26 bus routes)
First announced in May 2014 and published in Oct 2014, the first package of public bus services under the new Government Contracting Model (GCM) comprises 26 existing bus services originating from the Jurong East, Bukit Batok and Clementi Bus Interchanges, and terminating at Bedok, Boon Lay, Marina Centre, Shenton Way and Toa Payoh. The route package is one of twelve bus packages to be released by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) as part of the transition to the Government Contracting Model (GCM).
As announced in May 2015, Tower Transit is the successful tenderer of the Bulim Bus Package, who will receive an estimated total fee of $556.0 million over five years. The 26 bus routes will be based out of the new Bulim Bus Depot, located off Bulim Avenue, which is scheduled to be completed in 2015 and able to accommodate about 500 buses.
This package starts with about 380 buses leased to Tower Transit in the second half of 2016, and progressively growing to about 500 buses in 2021, in tandem with expected ridership growth and the development of Bukit Batok West and Tengah New Town.
|Name||Bus Contracting – Bulim Bus Package|
|Duration||Five years, with two-year extension granted based on good performance|
|Published||3 Oct 2014|
|Closing||19 Jan 2015, 12:00 PM|
|Services||41, 49, 66, 77, 78, 79, 96, 97, 97e, 98, 106, 143, 173, 177, 183, 189, 282, 284, 285, 333, 334, 335, 941, 945, 947, 990|
|Bus Depot||Bulim Bus Depot|
|Bus Interchanges||Jurong East, Bukit Batok|
Originally closing on 5 Jan 2015, LTA extended the deadline by two weeks to 19 Jan 2015 as one of the bus operators keen to participate in the tender process has requested for more time to consolidate their bid for this route package.
Responsibilities of the Bulim Bus Package tender do not cover Clementi Bus Interchange, which indicates that it will fall under another bus package yet to be announced.
As of the tender closing time at 1200hrs on 19 January 2015, 11 transport operators have submitted their various bids. These 11 operators are:
- SBS Transit Ltd ($125.2 Million per year)
- SMRT Buses Ltd ($93.7 Million per year)
- Aedge Holdings Pte Ltd
- Woodlands Transport ($145.9 Million per year)
- Busways Group (Australia) ($127.8 Million per year)
- Go Ahead Group (United Kingdom) ($153.5 Million per year)
- Tower Transit Group (United Kingdom) ($125.6 Million per year)
RATP Dev Transdev Asia (France) ($141 Million per year)
- Keolis (France) ($131.6 Million per year)
- Jinan Public Transportation Corporation (China)
Among the tender requirements was one that required operators to have a proven track record of operating a fleet of at least 250 buses. Such a requirement would result in joint bids, as is the case of Travel GSH which operates around 40 buses.
As of 18 Mar 2015, LTA shortlisted 8 bids for this tender. Aedge Holdings, Jinan PTC & Travel GSH / Qingdao Jiaoyun Grp were dropped out in the running for this tender.
On Friday, 08 May 2015, LTA announced Tower Transit as the winner of the Bulim Bus Package. Evaluation was conducted through a two-envelope process which included quality and price factors, with greater weightage given to the quality proposals submitted by tenderers. The LTA press release sums it well:
Tower Transit, which had the highest combined total score for quality and price, was awarded the contract. In its tender submission, Tower Transit demonstrated a good understanding of ground conditions with proposed bus schedules that closely matched capacity to passenger demand, and with an optimal deployment of buses. The company has strong experience, through its operations in London, in managing en-route bus service reliability. At the same time, Tower Transit emphasised in its proposal a strict maintenance regime for bus assets and infrastructure, with a good bus-to-technician ratio and detailed tracking of maintenance activities and records. In terms of manpower development, Tower Transit has comprehensive plans to attract and retain bus captains, to train and develop new employees with support from experienced employees, and to offer career progression for all levels of staff.
To ensure a smooth transition with minimal inconvenience to commuters, the implementation of the 26 bus services will be carried out in three tranches from the second quarter of 2016. These services will be supported by the new Bulim Bus Depot located off Bulim Avenue, which will be handed over to Tower Transit in the second half of 2015 to allow them sufficient time to recruit and train bus captains and technicians.
Affected Bus Captains Transfer
To attract more Bus Captains from both SBS Transit & SMRT Buses to join Tower Transit for their operations, Tower Transit has came up with an attractive employment package to woo them over.
- Better Pay
– Minimum 5% increment on top of current Basic Salary
– Pay increment every May
– Performance and safe and smooth driving incentives
- Better Terms and Conditions
– Free travel on all MRT lines and buses (SBS Transit, SMRT & Tower Transit Singapore)
– More paternity, maternity, carer and child care leave
– Flexible medical benefits
- Better Jobs
– Not required to clean, refuel or garage buses at the end of the day
- Better Facilities
– Brand new Bulim Bus Depot with focus on comfort and amenities for Bus Captains
– Upgrades planned for staff facilities at Jurong East & Bukit Batok Bus Interchanges
– Nearly 380 new/near-new buses from BSEP scheme (Volvo B9TL, Mercedes-Benz Citaro O530, MAN A22 & Alexander Dennis Enviro500)
- Better Career Progression
– Career progression based on skills development and performance, not just length of service
– Company sponsorship for WSQ courses and potentially up to Diploma and Degree courses
Bus Captains who are interested to join Tower Transit Singapore and has expressed interest will receive offer of employment in mid-October 2015. They have until December 2015 to accept the job offer following which they will undergo familarisation and training. They will then finally take the wheel for Tower Transit Singapore in May/June 2016.
Originally, LTA planned for 24 bus services in the Bulim Bus Services package. In the Oct 2014 revision, LTA had revised the figure to 26 bus services in total, inclusive of two new bus services serving Jurong East area (Service 41 and 990), which were launched in Q4 2014.
|Service||Destination 1||Destination 2||Type||Description|
|41||Jurong East||↺ Jln Anak Bukit||Trunk||Introduced under BSEP|
|49||Jurong East||↺ Jur West St 42||Trunk||Introduced under BSEP|
|77||Bukit Batok||Marina Centre||Trunk|
|78||Jurong East||↺ Clementi Ave 3||Trunk|
|79||Jurong East||↺ Boon Lay Int||Trunk|
|96||Clementi||↺ Kent Ridge Cres||Trunk|
|97||Jurong East||Marina Centre||Trunk|
|97e||Jurong East||Marina Centre||Peak Hour||Limited-stop express route|
|98||Jurong East||↺ Jurong Pier Way||Trunk|
|106||Bukit Batok||Shenton Way||Trunk|
|143||Jurong East||Toa Payoh||Trunk|
|173||Bukit Batok||↺ Clementi||Trunk|
|177||Bukit Batok||↺ Jelebu Rd||Peak Hour||Weekdays only|
|183||Jurong East||↺ Science Park Rd||Trunk|
|189||Bukit Batok||↺ Clementi Ave 1||Trunk|
|282||Clementi||↺ Clementi W St 2||Feeder|
|284||Clementi||↺ Clementi Ave 4||Feeder|
|285||Clementi||↺ Pandan Loop||Feeder|
|333||Jurong East||↺ Jur East St 32||Feeder|
|334||Jurong East||↺ Jur West St 42||Feeder|
|335||Jurong East||↺ Jur West Ave 1||Feeder|
|941||Bukit Batok||↺ BBT West Ave 8||Feeder|
|945||Bukit Batok||↺ BBT West Ave 4||Feeder|
|947||Bukit Batok||↺ BBT Rd||Feeder|
|990||Bukit Batok||↺ Jur Gateway Rd||Trunk||Introduced under BSEP|
Scope of Tender:
As part of the tender, the new Operator will be required to fulfill responsibilities as such:
- Operate the twenty-six (26) bus services in the Bukit Batok, Clementi, Jurong East and Jurong West areas in accordance with specified EWT performance standards
- Operate and maintain the buses and their onboard equipment provided by LTA
- Operate and maintain the Bukit Batok and Jurong East Bus Interchanges, and the new Bulim Bus Depot, including all equipment and systems provided therein
- Charge and collect the fares approved by the Public Transport Council, on behalf of the Government
- Provide bus service information at all bus stops and bus interchanges served by the 26 bus services
- Provide customer management services, such as lost and found service, and a hotline for commuter feedback and enquiries.
All bus services will have scheduled headways of no more than 15 minutes for both directions during the morning and evening peak periods, with at least half of them having even shorter scheduled headways of no more than 10 minutes. Of these, the feeder services will run at even shorter intervals of 6-8 minutes. An estimated 45% of bus services will come at shorter intervals during peak periods when compared to the expanded BSEP.
More guidelines can be found in the main Government Contracting Model (GCM) article.
Bus Interchanges & Terminals under the package:
Bus Depot under the package:
- Bulim Bus Depot
Scheduled to be completed in 2015 and able to accommodate about 500 buses. It will be equipped with workshop facilities for the refuelling, maintenance and repair of buses.
Route Package Timeline:
- 2014 (03 Oct): Bulim Route Package announced; Tender open till 5 Jan 2015.
- 2014 (17 Dec): Tender closing date extended to 19 Jan 2015.
- 2015 (19 Jan): Tender closes on 12:00 PM that day
- 2015 (08 May): Tender awareded to Tower Transit
External Links & References:
- First bus package under the government contracting model up for tender – LTA
- Four new bus services by March – The Straits Times
- …11 Bids Submitted for Bulim Bus Package – Today Online
Back to Government Contracting Model