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SBS Transit
Company type Public Subsidiary
SGX: S61
IndustryPublic transport
PredecessorAmalgamated Bus Company
Associated Bus Services
United Bus Company
Founded1 July 1973; 50 years ago (1973-07-01) (as Singapore Bus Services)
1 November 2001; 22 years ago (2001-11-01) (as SBS Transit)
Area served
Key people
Bob Tan Beng Hai [1] (Chairman)
Jeffrey Sim [2] [3] (Group CEO)
ServicesBus & rail services
RevenueIncrease S$1.19 billion (2017)
Increase S$59.3 million (2017)
Increase S$47.1 million (2017)
Number of employees
10,239 (2017)
Parent ComfortDelGro Corporation (75%)
Subsidiaries SBS Transit Rail Pte Ltd

SBS Transit Ltd ( abbreviation: SBS or SBST) is a multi-modal public transport operator in Singapore operating bus and rail services. With a majority of its shares owned by Singaporean multinational transport conglomerate ComfortDelGro Corporation at 75%, it was formerly known as Singapore Bus Services before rebranding to SBS Transit on 1 November 2001.

It is the largest public bus operator in Singapore, as well as one of the two major operators of Singapore's rail services along with SMRT Corporation. It has a fleet of 3,656 buses and operates 261 routes, as of 2015. [4]


Singapore Bus Services (1973 - 2001)

Singapore Bus Services Limited was established on 1 July 1973 when the regional bus companies Amalgamated Bus Company, Associated Bus Services and United Bus Company (which were in turn results of amalgamations of privately run Chinese bus companies of the 1960s in 1971) agreed to merge their operations with each taking shareholdings of 53%, 19% and 28% respectively in the new company. [5] [6] [7] The government-sanctioned merger was undertaken to improve service standards of the bus transport system. The company was replaced by the Singapore Bus Service (1978) Limited on 17 February 1978, which was then listed on the Stock Exchange of Singapore (SES) on 26 June the same year. [8] [9] [10]

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. [11] [12] 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 1992, SBS were reorganised under a new subsidiary SBS Bus Services Pte Ltd. [10] On 12 November 1997, Singapore Bus Services (1978) Limited was renamed DelGro Corporation, with SBS Bus Services Pte Ltd listed separately as Singapore Bus Services Limited on 10 December that year. [13]

SBS also operated taxis as SBS Taxis. SBS Taxis merged with Singapore Commuter and Singapore Airport Bus Services on 1 July 1995 to form CityCab, which remained part of DelGro Corporation. [14] [15] [16]

SBS Transit (2001 - present)

On 1 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. [10]

On 29 March 2003, DelGro Corporation merged with Comfort Group to form ComfortDelGro Corporation. [10] [17] ComfortDelGro Corporation owns 75% of the shares in SBS Transit.

On 18 January 2003, SBS Transit commenced operating the Sengkang LRT, followed by the North East MRT line on 20 June the same year. [18] SBS Transit commenced operating the Punggol LRT on 29 January 2005, followed by the Downtown MRT line on 22 December 2013. [19]



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 September 2023, 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. [20] It was announced in 2018 by LTA that SBS Transit had won the subsequent package, the Bukit Merah Bus Package. [21]

In 2023, it was announced that SBS Transit retained the Bukit Merah Bus Package for its second term, but lost the bid for Jurong West Bus Package, which was awarded to SMRT Buses. [22]


A MAN A22 bus that was transferred to SBS Transit from SMRT Buses in 2018 as part of the Seletar Bus Package
The three-door MAN A95 demonstrator, which was introduced in late 2015 and is currently operated by SBS Transit since 2018

As at December 2019, SBS Transit operated more than 3,500 buses. [23]

SBS Transit operates a mix of single decker, double decker and articulated buses. [24]

Single deckers

Double deckers

Articulated buses

A 1989 Scania N113CRB still bearing the original SBS livery at Bedok Bus Interchange.
SBS Transit purchased 12 Volgren-bodied CNG Volvo B10BLE buses.

When SBS was first formed in 1973, it inherited a wide variety of buses of various makes from its Chinese predecessors. Examples of such buses included the Albion Viking VK, Mercedes-Benz LP1113 and OF1413 and Nissan Diesel RX102K3 with small numbers of Ford R192 and 226, Seddon, Fargo-Kew, Bedford and Austin. [26] Most of these buses were bodied by local coachbuilder Soon Chow although some were bodied by other companies such as Supreme Star and Strachan. [27] Subsequent models that were purchased by SBS included Berliet and Guy Victory in the 1970s and the Volvo B57 and Mercedes-Benz OF1417 in the 1980s, the latter which were bodied by foreign coachbuilders like New Zealand Motor Bodies and Hawke Coachwork. [26]

In 1976, SBS purchased its first 20 Leyland Atlantean AN68 buses to evaluate the suitability of double-decker bus operation, with the buses first entering service on 13 June 1977. [26] Following the success of the trial, SBS ordered another 500 Leyland Atlantean AN68 buses from 1978 up to 1984, all of which were either bodied by Metal Sections or Walter Alexander Coachbuilders; SBS also conducted comparative trials of double-decker buses of other makes, namely the Leyland Olympian, Volvo Ailsa B55, Scania BR112DH, Dennis Dominator, Dennis Trident 3, Mercedes-Benz O305 and Volvo B10MD Citybus. [28] In 1984, SBS purchased another 200 Leyland Olympian and 200 Mercedes-Benz O305 double-decker buses. [28] SBS also conducted an evaluation of air conditioned buses (namely the ex-Singapore Airport Bus Services Mercedes-Benz OF1413 coaches) that year and conducted similar trials with other bus models like the Nissan Diesel U31S and Renault PR100 before its first bulk order for 50 Scania N113CRB buses in 1989. [26] [28]

In the 1990s, some bus makes on the roads included the Volvo B10M, Scania N113CRB, Mercedes-Benz O405, Leyland and Volvo Olympian and Dennis Dart. [29] SBS also conducted trials of high capacity single decker buses, namely a superlong Volvo B10M Mark IV, an articulated Volvo B10MA and an articulated Mercedes-Benz O405G, in 1996 although the trial did not succeed. [28] The first low-floor bus, a Volgren-bodied Volvo B10TL demonstrator was brought to SBS by Volvo Buses for trial purposes in 1999. After its successful trial, 51 Volvo B10TL chassis were further brought in by SBS Transit. 50 buses are bodied by Volgren between 2002 and 2003 while 1 remaining chassis is being reserved for a ComfortDelGro Engineering bodywork, which entered revenue service by 2005. The first wheelchair-accessible bus was also brought into service in 2006. SBS Transit CNG buses began service in 2002. Hybrid and electric buses came into foray since 2019, although small-scale trials began in 2010.

In 2020 to 2021, a unit of Mercedes-Benz Citaro C2 Hybrid, SG4004B, was brought in for trial purposes and was loaned from Daimler South East Asia under a Special Purpose License. The bus was on revenue service from 9 March 2020 to 8 March 2021 on 93 & 272 with SBS Transit under the Ulu Pandan Depot.

All single-decker Volvo B10BLE CNG buses were retired in 2019 except for the first two units which had been preserved, after that, both Volvo B10TLs and Volvo B9TL CDGEs were retired early and scrapped. Only 20 Volvo B9TL CDGE buses remained in operation until late September 2023 when they reached the end of their lifespan, with the last day of service being 22 September. [30]

In March 2024, several units of the Scania K230UB (Euro IV and V) buses were transferred to SMRT Buses from SBS Transit for some testings at Woodlands Depot before the Jurong West Bus Package begins operations in September that year.


SBS Transit operates

Ang Mo Kio Bus Depot

Bedok North Bus Depot

Bukit Batok Bus Depot

Hougang Bus Depot

Seletar Bus Depot

Soon Lee Bus Depot

Ulu Pandan Bus Depot

Some of the latest additions were also used for Bus Service Enhancement Programme since 17 September 2012. [31]


Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)

SBS Transit manages two of Singapore's six MRT lines in the network, the North East Line (NEL) since its opening on 20 June 2003 and the Downtown Line (DTL) since its opening on 22 December 2013. [32]

The NEL currently has 19.2 km and 16 stations, running from HarbourFront in the south-west to Punggol in the north-east. As of 2023, the NEL uses a fleet composed of three very similar series of 49 Alstom Metropolis train-sets, dubbed C751A, C751C and C851E by SBS Transit. [33] [34] The operating license for the NEL 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. In 2018, it has been confirmed that SBS Transit's contract for maintaining the NEL would last until 31 March 2033. [35] [36]

The NEL was Singapore's third metro line and the city's first automated and driverless system. At times, it has been referred to as "the first driverless heavy metro line in the world" or the "world's first fully automated and driverless high-capacity rapid transit line" by some [37] [38] Whereas driverless metro systems have existed long before (notably the Lille Metro since 1983, the Vancouver Skytrain since 1985 and the Kelana Jaya Line and Paris Metro Line 14 since 1998), the NEL is the first application of a fully automated and driverless metro system with heavy rail characteristics such as an overhead catenary (in contrast to earlier systems using third rail) and 1,435 mm standard-gauge (in contrast to earlier systems featuring smaller rail profiles). Till today, it is the only MRT line in singapore using the overhead catenary electrical system while the rest of Singapore's MRT uses third rail.

The DTL currently has 41.9 km and 34 stations as of October 2017, running from Bukit Panjang station in the north-west to Expo station in the east via the Central Area. The DTL is fully automated and driverless as well and consists of a fleet of 92 Bombardier Movia C951/C951A trainsets. [39]


Name Image Maximum Speed (km/h) Trains built Cars built Cars per set Lines served Built Number in service Introduction into service
Design Service
C751A 100 90 25 150 6 North East Line 2000 – 2003
2019 – 2026 [nb 1]
25 20 June 2003
C751C 18 108 2014 – 2016 18 1 October 2015
C851E 6 36 2020 6 28 July 2023
C951(A) 90 80 92 276 3 Downtown Line 2012 – 2017 92 22 December 2013
  • The trains are classified as contracts unlike other countries which use "class".

Light Rail Transit (LRT)

Out of three LRT lines in Singapore, two of which are maintained by SBS Transit, namely, the Sengkang LRT line and Punggol LRT line (SPLRT). Both lines are served to provide feeder connections in their respective towns to two northernmost stations of the North East line. As of 2016, those lines use a fleet composed of two series of Crystal Mover APMs, namely the C810 and C810A, all summing up to 57 sets [40] and is expected to increase in the future with the introduction of C810D APMs. [41] The fleet serves a total of 29 stations on both lines, including Sengkang and Punggol stations. In 2018, it has been confirmed that SBS Transit's contract for both LRT lines would run until 31 March 2033. [35] [36]


Name Image Maximum Speed (km/h) Trains built Cars per set Lines served Built Number in service Introduction into service
Design Service
C810 80 70 41 1 or 2 Sengkang LRT
Punggol LRT
2000 – 2003 41 18 January 2003
C810A 16 2012 – 2016 16 5 April 2016
C810D 34 2 2024 – 2027 0 From 2025 onwards
  • The trains are classified as contracts unlike other countries which use "class".


Out of ten operational rail depots in Singapore, SBS Transit maintains three, namely:

  • Sengkang Depot which houses NEL and SPLRT trains. The depot is undergoing an expansion program which is targeted for completion on 2027 in order to accommodate more trains, after being in operation since 2003.
  • Tai Seng Facility Building which houses some trains of DTL.
  • Gali Batu Depot which houses the majority of DTL trains. It has undergone expansion towards the end of 2010s.
  • East Coast Integrated Depot which is expected to house DTL trains upon its opening in 2026.


  1. ^ Refurbishment.


  1. ^ Ng, Hong Siang (29 April 2021). "SBS Transit appoints former SMRT board member as new chairman". CNA. Archived from the original on 29 April 2021. Retrieved 5 May 2021.
  2. ^ SBS Transit (1 January 2023). "SBS Transit Announces Leadership Change". SBS Transit. Archived from the original on 5 May 2021. Retrieved 21 March 2023.
  3. ^ "SBS Transit Singapore".
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Merger plan by the 3 bus firms". The Straits Times. Singapore. 14 April 1973. p. 15.
  6. ^ "Bus firms agree to a big merger". New Nation. Singapore. 26 May 1973. p. 2.
  7. ^ "Better deal for bus commuters". The Straits Times. Singapore. 1 July 1973. p. 1.
  8. ^ "Conversion of SBS into a public company" (PDF). Singapore Government - The Ministry of Communications and the Ministry of Finance. 20 March 1978. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 January 2024.
  9. ^ "Active Trading in SBS Shares". The Straits Times. Singapore. 27 June 1978. p. 1.
  10. ^ a b c d "Proposed merger of Comfort Group Ltd and DelGro Corporation Limited" (PDF). Zaobao. Comfort Group Limited and DelGro Corporation Limited. 21 November 2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 March 2022. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  11. ^ "Tibs takes over services". The Straits Times. Singapore. 11 August 1995. p. 32.
  12. ^ "Tibs and SBS in routes swap". Business Times. Singapore. 15 July 1999.
  13. ^ "SBS Limited changes its name to DelGro". The Straits Times. 13 November 1997. Archived from the original on 25 September 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  14. ^ "New cab fleet". The New Paper. Singapore. 19 May 1995. p. 4.
  15. ^ "SBS, ST Automotive sign deal to merge taxi arms". The Straits Times. Singapore. 19 May 1995. p. 19.
  16. ^ "Milestones". ComfortDelgro Taxi. Archived from the original on 6 December 2019. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  17. ^ Corporate Profile Archived 28 August 2018 at the Wayback Machine ComfortDelGro
  18. ^ SBS Transit Celebrates First Anniversary of North East Line Archived 29 August 2018 at the Wayback Machine SBS Transit 20 June 2004
  19. ^ SBS Transit selected to operate Downtown Line Archived 29 August 2018 at the Wayback Machine Metro Report International 30 August 2011
  20. ^ "LTA Awards Third Bus Package to SBS Transit Ltd". Land Transport Authority. 19 April 2017. Archived from the original on 20 April 2017. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  21. ^ SBS Transit wins Bukit Merah bus package for S$472 million Archived 23 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine Channel NewsAsia 23 February 2018
  22. ^ Lee, Nian Tjoe (18 August 2023). "SBS Transit retains Bukit Merah bus package, loses Jurong West package to SMRT". The Straits Times. ISSN  0585-3923. Retrieved 28 March 2024.
  23. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 November 2021. Retrieved 29 May 2020.{{ cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title ( link)
  24. ^ "In Pictures: Bus Models". Land Transport Guru. Archived from the original on 16 August 2016. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  25. ^ More SBS Transit Volvo B9TLs Archived 29 August 2018 at the Wayback Machine Coach & Bus Week 11 July 2014
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  30. ^ "Farewell. Volvo B9TL (CDGE) Buses". Land Transport Guru. 21 September 2023. Retrieved 2 October 2023.
  31. ^ "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.
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  41. ^ "MHI Receives Follow-up Order for 8 Two-Car Trains for Sengkang-Punggol LRT (SPLRT) — Additional 16 Cars to Boost Capacity of SPLRT Serving Sengkang and Punggol Districts —". Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. 9 May 2023.

Further reading

  • 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  978-1-900515-75-7.
  • Davis, Mike; Phillips, Ron (2005). Singapore Buses Volume 1 Singapore Bus Service Part 2: Double and Single-Deck Buses from the 1980s to 2005. DTS Publishing (published 2006). ISBN  978-1-900515-26-9.

External links