TIBS Holdings

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Trans Island Bus Services
Public limited company (Ltd.)
Industry Public transport
Fate Merged with SMRT Corporation
Founded Singapore, 31 May 1982
Defunct 10 May 2004
Headquarters Ang Mo Kio, Singapore
Number of employees
2,000 (2000)

Trans-Island Bus Services (TIBS) was formerly a public transport operator in Singapore. It was incorporated on 31 May 1982 by a firm of Singapore Shuttle Bus as a second full-day run bus service, following public transportation market liberalisation reform approved by parliament. The legislature thereafter proposed the formation of another public bus service provider to establish a duopoly, which would compete with Singapore Bus Services (now SBS Transit) in 1981. TIBS Holdings' core businesses were subsumed by SMRT Corporation on 10 May 2004 following merger.[1]


TIBS began its services on 3 April 1983 with 37 Hino RK176 buses plying on Services 160 (now renumbered to 980) and 167 which taken over from Singapore Bus Services, followed by the rest of the services in the northern areas, when the government gave the company exclusive operating rights in the northern towns of Sembawang, Woodlands and Yishun. Its buses were coloured distinctly in pale beige with yellow and orange lines and the uniforms are yellow flowers.

On 12 March 1987, TIBS acquired Singapore Shuttle Bus Pte. Ltd., a bus operator with limited routes serving mainly the city area. The next day, on 13 March, TIBS became a public listed company on SESDAQ.

On 2 May 1990, TIBS Taxis Pte. Ltd., a subsidiary of TIBS, was formed to operate taxi services. It was the only company in Singapore to operate a fleet of entirely large capacity taxis. It also operates the world-famous London taxis.

Another subsidiary, TIBS Motors Pte. Ltd., was set up in 1990 to provide workshop services and carry out business as a distributor and agent for some motor vehicles.

In 1991, TIBS underwent a restructuring, bringing its subsidiaries under TIBS Holdings Ltd..

In 1995, as part of the government's plan to make the local bus system more competitive, 16 SBS services were handed over to TIBS Holdings (TIBS) along with the tender to operate bus services along the Bukit Panjang Bus Package as well as the Punggol Bus Package (was renamed to Sengkang-Punggol Bus Package in 1997). These bus packages were set up in 1992 to hive off operations. Services affected were 5, 59, 75, 82, 103, 163, 171, 176, 177, 179, 184, 187, 214E, 214W, 343 and 344.[2]

In 1996, TIBS began operations at the now closed Woodlands Regional Bus Interchange, Singapore's first underground bus interchange, and TIBS began the use of bendy buses - which is Mercedes-Benz O405Gs.

In 1999, SBS Transit was awarded both bus and train services in the entire north-east corridor with the North East Line, Sengkang LRT and Punggol LRT by the Land Transport Authority, both based in Sengkang.[3] Eight bus services affected in the bus tender of Sengkang and Punggol were transferred to SBS Transit respectively.[3] Affected services switched colours on bus stop plates (red to yellow for SBS to TIBS and yellow to red for TIBS to SBS). In return, TIBS was awarded to operate bus services in the north-west corridor towns of Choa Chu Kang and Bukit Batok, where the handover was done in stages together with the opening of Bukit Panjang LRT.[3]

  • Phase 1: Service 190 was briefly handed over and downgraded from almost full double decker fleet to 14 to 15 single deckers and 26 bendies fleet, mainly that they do not have a double decker fleet until 2014. In return, services 864, 865 and 866 were handed over to SBS, renumbered to 80, 85 and 86. Service 85 was withdrawn in view of the North East Line rationalisation.
  • Phase 2: Services 185, 300, 302 and 307 were handed over. Service 82 was handed over to SBS and shortened to Serangoon Bus Interchange due to the North East Line rationalisation.
  • Phase 3: Services 67, 172, 175 and 188 were only handed over and 172 was shortened to Choa Chu Kang because it duplicates service 67, and was handed over when Bukit Panjang LRT was opened. Services 103, 163, 820 and 821 were handed over to SBS and route 103 was shortened to Serangoon Bus Interchange due to the North East Line rationalisation, and merged with 378 and 379 to form Serangoon to Seletar Aerospace Park (extended to Yishun in 2015) service.
  • Phase 4: Services 77, 189, 361, 365 and 367 were handed over first when TIBS started operations in Bukit Batok.
  • Phase 5: Services 61, 106 and 173 were the last services to be handed over mainly due to extra time involved, including their route extensions for service 61, and agreements with the bus depots. Service 106 was upgraded to Quality Incentive Contract in July 2003 and discontinued between Serangoon/Serangoon Gardens and Dhoby Ghaut, diverted to Marina Centre.

In 2001, it merged with Singapore MRT[1] and became a subsidiary of the SMRT Corporation.

On 10 May 2004, in a S$2.5 million rebranding exercise the name "TIBS" was changed to SMRT Buses Limited (bus services) and SMRT Taxis (taxi services). The livery of all buses were subsequently painted to red from yellow. The bus stop plates were changed from yellow to grey in a transition period. At time of merger, TIBS was operating a majority of Mercedes-Benz O405 and O405G buses, a minority of Scania L113CRL, Dennis Lance and DAF SB220 buses, and a handful of Japanese buses.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "TIBS Merger". SMRT Corporation. Retrieved 11 December 2015. 
  2. ^ "TIBS to take over in Bt Panjang, Jalan Kayu". Straits Times. Factiva. 26 June 1995. 
  3. ^ a b c Kuar, Karamjit (21 May 1999). "SBS to run North-East line - Tibs to merge with SMRT". Straits Times. Factiva.