SBS Transit

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SBS Transit
Public company
Traded asSGX: S61
Founded1 July 1973; 45 years ago (1973-07-01) (as Singapore Bus Service)
1 November 2001; 17 years ago (2001-11-01) (as SBS Transit)
FounderAmalgamated Bus Company
Associated Bus Services
United Bus
Key people
Lim Jit Poh (Chairman)
Yang Ban Sek (Deputy chairman)
Gan Juay Kiat (CEO)
ServicesBus & rail services
RevenueIncrease S$1.19 billion (2017)
Increase S$59.3 million (2017)
Increase S$47.1 million (2017)
OwnerComfortDelGro (75%)
Number of employees
10,239 (2017)

SBS Transit (SGX: S61) is a public transport operator in Singapore operating bus, rail and taxi services. Mostly owned by ComfortDelGro, it was known as Singapore Bus Service until November 2001. It is the major bus operator in Singapore.


Singapore Bus Service liveried Duple Metsec bodied Volvo B10M on service 82 at Punggol Road in January 2006
Duple Metsec bodied Dennis Dart on service 92 at Ghim Moh Bus Terminal in January 2009
Gemilang Coachworks bodied Scania K310UD on service 168 at Woodlands Avenue 2 in April 2016
Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B9TL on service 147 at Serangoon Road in November 2017
Gemilang Coachworks bodied Scania K230UB on feeder service 235 at Toa Payoh Bus Interchange in August 2011
Mercedes-Benz Citaro on service 63M at Circuit Road in October 2016
Wright Gemini bodied Volvo B9TL in Land Transport Authority green livery on service 4 at Tampines Bus Interchange in September 2016

Singapore Bus Service (1973-2001)[edit]

Singapore Bus Service (SBS) was established on 1 July 1973 when private bus companies Amalgamated Bus Company, Associated Bus Services and United Bus agreed to merge their operations with each taking shareholdings of 53%, 19% and 28% respectively in the new company.[1][2][3] The government-sanctioned merger was undertaken to improve service standards of the bus transport system. On 26 June 1978, SBS was listed on the Stock Exchange of Singapore (SES) as Singapore Bus Service (1978) Limited.[4][5]

Between 1995 and 2000, a series of route handovers took place between SBS and TIBS. SBS gave up its Bukit Panjang (1995), Choa Chu Kang (1999) and Bukit Batok (2000) routes to TIBS, in exchange for the Sengkang and Punggol (1999) routes from TIBS.[6][7] This was done as part of SBS Transit's upcoming operation of the North East line in the north east. The Sengkang and Punggol routes were previously operated by SBS until they were transferred to TIBS in 1995.

In November 1997, Singapore Bus Service (1978) Limited was renamed DelGro Corporation, with SBS restructured as a subsidiary of DelGro Corporation and listed separately on the SES.[5]

SBS also operated taxis as Comfort Taxis, which had a different livery as SBS buses. Comfort Taxis merged with Singapore Technologies Automotive in 1995 to form CityCab, which remained part of Delgro Corporation.[8][9]

SBS Transit (2001-present)[edit]

In November 2001, Singapore Bus Services was rebranded as SBS Transit to reflect it becoming a multi-modal transport operator with the impending opening of the Sengkang LRT line and North East MRT line.[5]

On 29 March 2003, DelGro Corporation merged with Comfort Group to form ComfortDelGro.[5] ComfortDelGro owns 75% of the shares in SBS Transit.

In 20 June 2003, SBS Transit commenced operating the Mass Rapid Transit North East line, followed on 22 December 2013 by the Downtown line.[10][11]



Until the introduction of the Bus Contracting Model (BCM), SBS Transit operated the majority of routes in almost all areas of Singapore, with the notable exception of the North and Northwest areas, where bus services were mainly run by SMRT Buses. However, with the introduction of the BCM, some SBS Transit bus services were taken over by Tower Transit Singapore (Bulim Bus Package) and Go-Ahead Singapore (Loyang Bus Package). As of 16 June 2019, there are 222 wheelchair-accessible bus services that SBS Transit operates.

SBS Transit later became the first local operator to win a tender under the BCM in April 2017, and began operating the Seletar Bus Package on 18 March 2018.[12] It was announced in 2018 by LTA that SBS Transit had won the subsequent package, the Bukit Merah Bus Package.[13]


As at December 2018, SBS Transit operated more than 3,400 buses.[14]

Historical Fleet[edit]

When operations commenced in July 1973, SBS operated 2,079 single deck buses including Albion Viking VKs, Ashok Leylands and Mercedes-Benz OF1413s.[15][16]

In June 1977, double deck buses were introduced when the first of 220 Duple Metsec and Walter Alexander bodied Leyland Atlanteans entered service.[17][18] In 1979, it ordered 200 New Zealand Motor Bodies bodied Volvo B57s.[19][20] In the 1980s, SBS purchased Leyland Olympians, Mercedes-Benz O305s, Scania N113s and Volvo B10Ms.[21][22][23][24]

Purchases in the 1990s included Dennis Darts, Mercedes-Benz O405s and Volvo Olympians.[25][26][27] In the early 2000s, Dennis Trident 3 and Volvo B10BLEs were purchased.[16]

Current fleet[edit]

SBS Transit operates a mix of single decker, double decker and articulated buses.[28]

Single decker[edit]
Double decker[edit]


SBS Transit operates Ang Mo Kio, Bedok North, Bukit Batok, Hougang, Seletar, Soon Lee and Ulu Pandan bus depots. Some of the latest additions were also used for Bus Service Enhancement Programme since 17 September 2012.[30]

Mass Rapid Transit[edit]

SBS Transit has been the operator of the North East line since 20 June 2003 and the Downtown line since 22 December 2013.[31]

The North East line is the third line in Singapore, and also the world's first fully underground and automated rapid transit line. The line is 20 km long with 16 stations. The operating license was awarded to SBS Transit in order to foster competition with SMRT Trains and to create multi-modal public transport companies, each specialising in their own district. SBS Transit's contract runs until 31 March 2033.[32][33]

The North East Line connects central Singapore to the north-eastern part of the island. Transfers to the North South line are provided at Dhoby Ghaut, East West line at Outram Park and Circle line at Serangoon, Dhoby Ghaut and HarbourFront. The line is operated by 25 Alstom Metropolis C751A and 18 Alstom Metropolis C751C trains.[34][35]

The Downtown line is the fifth line in Singapore. With 34 stations, the 42 kilometre long line is Singapore's longest fully underground and automated rapid transit line. It was completed on 21 October 2017.[36]

The Downtown line connects the north-western and central-eastern to the new downtown. Transfers to this line from the North East line are available at Chinatown and Little India, the North South line at Newton, the Bukit Panjang LRT at Bukit Panjang LRT station, the East West line at Bugis, Tampines and Expo, the Circle line at MacPherson, Bayfront, Promenade and Botanic Gardens. A fleet of 92 Bombardier Movia C951 trains operate the line.[37]


Class Image Maximum Speed (km/h) Trains Cars Lines served Built Introduction into service
Design Service


C751A front.jpg 100 90 25 150 North East Line 2000 - 2003 20 June 2003


C751C-Interior.JPG 100 90 18 108 2014 - 2015 1 October 2015


Bombardier MOVIA C951.jpg 90 80 92 276 Downtown Line 2012 - 2016 22 December 2013

Light Rail Transit[edit]

SBS Transit also operates two LRT lines. The Sengkang LRT line and Punggol LRT line provides feeder connections in the estate to the two North East line stations. Both lines have a total of 29 stations, including Sengkang and Punggol stations. SBS Transit's contract runs until 31 March 2033.[32][33]


Class Image Maximum Speed (km/h) Trains Cars Lines served Built Introduction into service
Design Service


Crystalmover meridian.jpg 80 70 41 41 Sengkang LRT
Punggol LRT
2001 - 2003 18 January 2003


80 70 16 16 2012 - 2016 5 April 2016


  1. ^ "Merger plan by the 3 bus firms". The Straits Times. Singapore. 14 April 1973. p. 15.
  2. ^ "Bus firms agree to a big merger". New Nation. Singapore. 26 May 1973. p. 2.
  3. ^ "Better deal for bus commuters". The Straits Times. Singapore. 1 July 1973. p. 1.
  4. ^ "Active Trading in SBS Shares". The Straits Times. Singapore. 27 June 1978. p. 1.
  5. ^ a b c d Corporate Profile ComfortDelGro
  6. ^ "Tibs takes over services". The Straits Times. Singapore. 11 August 1995. p. 32.
  7. ^ "Tibs and SBS in routes swap". Business Times. Singapore. 15 July 1999.
  8. ^ "New cab fleet". The New Paper. Singapore. 19 May 1995. p. 4.
  9. ^ "SBS, ST Automotive sign deal to merge taxi arms". The Straits Times. Singapore. 19 May 1995. p. 19.
  10. ^ SBS Transit Celebrates First Anniversary of North East Line SBS Transit 20 June 2004
  11. ^ SBS Transit selected to operate Downtown Line Metro Report International 30 August 2011
  12. ^ "LTA Awards Third Bus Package to SBS Transit Ltd". Land Transport Authority. 19 April 2017.
  13. ^ SBS Transit wins Bukit Merah bus package for S$472 million Channel NewsAsia 23 February 2018
  14. ^
  15. ^ "So slow merger gets Nov 1 deadline" The Straits Times 26 October 1973 page 9
  16. ^ a b Bus Memory Lane SBS Transit
  17. ^ "Double Deckers" Business Times 14 June 1977 page 11
  18. ^ "SBS spends $40m on double-deckers" Business Times 29 November 1978 page 2
  19. ^ Volvos for Singapore Commercial Motor 8 December 1979
  20. ^ "SBS buys 200 Volvo buses" The Straits Times 29 September 1980
  21. ^ "SBS to take up option for another 100 buses" Business Times 15 July 1986 page 15
  22. ^ Two firms may share SBS orders] The Straits Times 24 December 1979 page 8
  23. ^ Biggest Alexander order Commercial Motor 20 August 1983
  24. ^ "SBS buys 200 bus chassis" Business Times 11 October 1988 page 2
  25. ^ Dennis Dart SBS Transit
  26. ^ Mercedes-Benz O405 SBS Transit
  27. ^ "SBS buys 300 more buses for $86m" Business Times 28 May 1994 page 23
  28. ^ "In Pictures: Bus Models". Land Transport Guru. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  29. ^ More SBS Transit Volvo B9TLs Coach & Bus Week 11 July 2014
  30. ^ "Improvements to more than 50 bus services, better connectivity with five new bus services by end 2012". PublicTransport@SG. 13 September 2012. Archived from the original on 21 September 2012.
  31. ^ Land Transport Masterplan: Downtown Line Stage 1 to open on Dec 22 The Straits Times 7 October 2013
  32. ^ a b North East Line, Sengkang and Punggol LRTs to move to new financing framework Channel NewsAsia 14 February 2018
  33. ^ a b Final Singapore metro lines transferred to new concession model Metro Report International 16 February 2018
  34. ^ First North East Line trains arrive in Singapore International Railway Journal 23 July 2014
  35. ^ Driverless trains delivered to Singapore Railway Gazette International 23 July 2014
  36. ^ A sneak peak at Downtown Line 3's stations The Straits Times 25 September 2017
  37. ^ Bombardier delivers first Downtown Line train Metro Report International 15 October 2012

Further reading[edit]

  • Ilsa Sharp, (2005), SNP:Editions, The Journey — Singapore's Land Transport Story. ISBN 981-248-101-X
  • York, FW; Davis, Mike; Phillips, Ron (2005). Singapore Buses Volume 1 Singapore Bus Service Part 1: Early Single-Deck Buses and the First Double-Deckers. DTS Publishing. ISBN 9781900515757.
  • Davis, Mike; Phillips, Ron (2006). Singapore Buses Volume 1 Singapore Bus Service Part 2: Double and Single-Deck Buses from the 1980s to 2005. DTS Publishing. ISBN 9781900515269.

External links[edit]

Media related to SBS Transit at Wikimedia Commons