SBS Transit

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SBS Transit
Public company
Traded asSGX: S61
FoundedJuly 1, 1973; 45 years ago (1973-07-01) (as Singapore Bus Service)
FounderAmalgamated Bus Company
Associated Bus Services
United Bus
Key people
Lim Jit Poh (Chairman)
Yang Ban Sek (Deputy chairman)
Yang Ban Sek (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 and services. Majority 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 in January 2006
Duple Metsec bodied Dennis Dart in January 2009
Gemilang Coachworks bodied Scania K310UD in April 2016
Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B9TL in November 2017
Gemilang Coachworks bodied Scania K230UB in August 2011
Mercedes-Benz Citaro in October 2016
Wright Gemini bodied Volvo B9TL in Land Transport Authority green livery 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]

Since 1983, a series of operational transfers took place. SBS Transit gave up its Sembawang (1983), Woodlands (1983), Bukit Panjang (1995), Choa Chu Kang (1999) and Bukit Batok (2000) routes to SMRT Buses, Jurong East (2016) to Tower Transit Singapore, and Pasir Ris (2016) and Punggol (2016) to Go-Ahead Singapore, in exchange for the Sengkang and Punggol (1999) routes, and also Yishun (2018) from SMRT Buses. The Sengkang and Punggol routes were previously operated by SBS Transit until they were transferred to TIBS (now known as SMRT Buses) in 1995.[6][7]

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 ComfortDelgro Taxis, which had a different livery as SBS buses. ComfortDelgro 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]



SBS Transit had originally operated all of the routes as a sole operator from 1973 to 1983, where several routes were transferred to SMRT Buses, Tower Transit Singapore and Go-Ahead Singapore. SBS Transit does not operate interchanges at Sembawang (except 117), Woodlands (except 161 and 168), Choa Chu Kang, Bukit Panjang, Bukit Batok (except 852), Pasir Ris (except 5, 21, 58 and 88), Punggol (except 50 and 117) and Jurong East (except 51, 52, 105, 160 and 197).[12] As of 27 May 2018, there are 222 wheelchair-accessible bus services that SBS Transit operates.[13]

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.[14] It was announced in 2018 by LTA that SBS Transit had won the subsequent package, the Bukit Merah Bus Package.[15]


As at December 2017, SBS Transit operated more than 3,200 buses.[16]

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.[17][18]

In June 1977, double deck buses were introduced when the first of 220 Duple Metsec and Walter Alexander bodied Leyland Atlanteans entered service.[19][20] In 1979, it ordered 200 New Zealand Motor Bodies bodied Volvo B57s.[21][22] In the 1980s, SBS purchased Leyland Olympians, Mercedes-Benz O305s, Scania N113s and Volvo B10Ms.[23][24][25][26]

Purchases in the 1990s included Dennis Darts, Mercedes-Benz O405s and Volvo Olympians.[27][28][29] In the early 2000s, Dennis Trident 3 and Volvo B10BLEs were purchased.[18]

Current fleet[edit]

SBS Transit operates a mix of single decker, double decker and articulated buses.[30]

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.[32]

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.[33]

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.[34][35]

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 Alstom Metropolis C751A and Alstom Metropolis C751Cs.[36][37]

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.[38]

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 C951s operate the line.[39]


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.[34][35]


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. ^ Bus Interchanges/Terminals
  13. ^ All SBS Transit services are wheelchair-accessible The Straits Times (23 November 2018)
  14. ^ "LTA Awards Third Bus Package to SBS Transit Ltd". Land Transport Authority. 19 April 2017.
  15. ^ SBS Transit wins Bukit Merah bus package for S$472 million Channel NewsAsia 23 February 2018
  16. ^ Annual report for year ended 31 December 2017 SBS Transit
  17. ^ "So slow merger gets Nov 1 deadline" The Straits Times 26 October 1973 page 9
  18. ^ a b Bus Memory Lane SBS Transit
  19. ^ "Double Deckers" Business Times 14 June 1977 page 11
  20. ^ "SBS spends $40m on double-deckers" Business Times 29 November 1978 page 2
  21. ^ Volvos for Singapore Commercial Motor 8 December 1979
  22. ^ "SBS buys 200 Volvo buses" The Straits Times 29 September 1980
  23. ^ "SBS to take up option for another 100 buses" Business Times 15 July 1986 page 15
  24. ^ Two firms may share SBS orders] The Straits Times 24 December 1979 page 8
  25. ^ Biggest Alexander order Commercial Motor 20 August 1983
  26. ^ "SBS buys 200 bus chassis" Business Times 11 October 1988 page 2
  27. ^ Dennis Dart SBS Transit
  28. ^ Mercedes-Benz O405 SBS Transit
  29. ^ "SBS buys 300 more buses for $86m" Business Times 28 May 1994 page 23
  30. ^ "In Pictures: Bus Models". Land Transport Guru. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  31. ^ More SBS Transit Volvo B9TLs Coach & Bus Week 11 July 2014
  32. ^ "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.
  33. ^ Land Transport Masterplan: Downtown Line Stage 1 to open on Dec 22 The Straits Times 7 October 2013
  34. ^ a b North East Line, Sengkang and Punggol LRTs to move to new financing framework Channel NewsAsia 14 February 2018
  35. ^ a b Final Singapore metro lines transferred to new concession model Metro Report International 16 February 2018
  36. ^ First North East Line trains arrive in Singapore International Railway Journal 23 July 2014
  37. ^ Driverless trains delivered to Singapore Railway Gazette International 23 July 2014
  38. ^ A sneak peak at Downtown Line 3's stations The Straits Times 25 September 2017
  39. ^ 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

External links[edit]

Media related to SBS Transit at Wikimedia Commons