Bukit Batok Bus Interchange
When Bukit Batok bus interchange was still operated by SMRT Buses
|Location||Blk 631 Bukit Batok Central, Singapore 650631
|Owned by||Land Transport Authority|
|Operated by||Tower Transit|
|Bus routes||9 (Tower Transit)
2 (SMRT Buses)
|Bus stands||18 (End-on)
|Bus operators||Tower Transit (except Services 61 and 852)
SMRT Buses (Service 61 and 852)
|Disabled access||Accessible alighting/boarding points
Accessible public toilets
Graduated kerb edges
Tactile guidance system
|Opened||27 September 1987|
|27 September 1987||Commenced operations|
|18 June 2000||Services 77, 189, 361, 365, 367 handed over to TIBS|
|3 September 2000||Service 61 handed over to TIBS|
|24 December 2000||Services 106 and 173 handed over to TIBS|
|29 May 2016||All services, except for 61 and 852, handed over to Tower Transit|
- Not to be confused with the Bukit Batok Bus Depot.
Bukit Batok Interchange is an interchange bus station located at Block 631 Bukit Batok Central, Singapore, near West Mall Shopping Centre and Bukit Batok MRT Station. The sheltered concourse is built underneath a multi-storey carpark similar in design to the old Serangoon Interchange.
The interchange has two vehicular concourse areas, North and South.The North concourse features five sawtooth berths, two of which are used for alighting and the remaining three for boarding, with queuing lanes installed. Buses park at a bus park opposite the passenger concourse, and separate ingress and egress lanes lead to Bukit Batok Central.
The South concourse features fifteen end-on berths, which are shared among five bus services. Two end-on berths are reserved for wheelchair boarding and alighting. A combined ingress and egress lane cuts underneath the interchange and leads to a junction with Bukit Batok Central. Both concourses are able to accommodate double-deck buses.It is currently operated by Tower Transit Singapore, which operates 9 services under the Bulim Bus Package.
Past Major Events
Bukit Batok Bus Interchange commenced operations on Sunday, 27 September 1987. Then, it was managed by Singapore Bus Services (SBS), which operated four feeder bus services 361, 365, 366 and 367, in addition to existing Services 61, 106, 122 (Old), 179 (Old) and 189. The interchange was also designed to accommodate double-decker buses, and took over operations from the temporary terminal along Bukit Batok West Avenue 3.
In 2000, the Government announced that Trans Island Bus Services (TIBS) area of responsibilities were being extended to Bukit Batok. As such, operations at Bukit Batok Interchange were progressively handed over from SBS to TIBS as such:
- 18 Jun 2000: Services 77, 189, 361, 365, 367
- 03 Sep 2000: Service 61
- 24 Dec 2000: Services 106 and 173
In May 2003, feeder services 361, 365 and 367 were renumbered to 941, 945 and 947. Today, little has changed since its opening over 20 years ago, with no major renovations and the interchange layout largely similar.
Government Contracting Model
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 fourteen 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 newly-built Bulim Bus Depot, located off Bulim Avenue, which was 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. Tower Transit took over operations of these services out of Bulim Bus Depot. It also operates and maintains this and Jurong East Bus Interchange.
In May 2015, the LTA announced Tower Transit the successful tenderer of the Bulim Bus Package. This package comprises nine services originating from Bukit Batok Bus Interchange, including the newly-introduced service 990. 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 between May and June 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.
'Thank You , Bukit Batok !'
On 20 May 2016, SMRT personnel and media were spotted interviewing members of the public. There was also a buffet spread for bus captains and interchange staff beside the staff lounge. Tower Transit, the new operator, had also been moving equipment into its new staff lounges and office as it gears up for the takeover day.
In the last round of Bukit Batok changing hands, Singapore Bus Services (SBS, now SBS Transit) bid farewell to Bukit Batok Bus Interchange in June 2000 as areas of responsibility were exchanged between operators. Trans-Island Bus Services (TIBS), which would later become SMRT Buses, inherited the interchange along with Bus Services 77, 189, 361, 365 and 367, with 61, 106 and 173 joining in by the end of that year. SBS held similar celebrations thanking residents for their support.
The Day Before- 28th May 2016
Final preparations were under way as SMRT prepares to move out, making way for Tower Transit. The SMRT Passenger Service Office has been dismantled, and the previously dull interior lightings have been upgraded to brighter ones and fitted out by Tower Transit. An external office was built for SMRT Buses as they still operate 2 bus services ( 61 , 852 [in the Seletar Package]) from Bukit Batok Bus Interchange . SMRT Interchange furnishings, such as their interactive screens, have been dismantled and moved out. The previous SMRT Staff Lounge was upgraded by Tower Transit. After the morning shift, GCM buses transferring to Tower Transit were inspected by a SMRT maintenance team before bring driven back to Bulim Bus Depot, where more in-depth checks and official vehicle handover procedures would be carried out. In the meantime, replacement SMRT buses were used on the afternoon shift buses, which would operate until the last bus.
A crowd of bus enthusiasts were also gathered at the interchange to commemorate the last day of SMRT operations.
On 29 May 2016 at around 5am, the first Tower Transit buses entered the interchange, in preparation for their first day of operations.
Bus Service 106 SG5016K was the first bus to exit the station for revenue service Tower Transit’s Day 1 fleet comprises Volvo B9TL double-deck buses, along with Mercedes-Benz Citaro and MAN NL323F A22 single-deck buses.Unique to TTS buses are bright green Green loose wheel nut indicators which are used to identify wheel nuts which require tightening.