Girish Mahajan (Editor)

SBS Transit

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Type  Public company
Industry  Public Transport
Traded as  SGX: S61
Headquarters  Singapore
Founded  1973 (as Singapore Bus Service) 2001 (as SBS Transit)
Key people  Lim Jit Poh (Chairman) Kua Hong Pak (Deputy chairman) Gan Juay Kiat (CEO)

SBS Transit Limited (SGX: S61) is a public transport operator in Singapore. Its major competitor in Singapore's transport system is SMRT Corporation, which also operates bus, rail, taxi and other transport services.


The company (organisation) was formed as a separately listed subsidiary in November 1997 under the name of Singapore Bus Service, although it can trace its history back to the formation of Singapore Bus Service in 1973 with the merger of three bus companies. On 1 November 2001, the company's name was changed to SBS Transit Limited to reflect its status as a bus and rail operator. It is a subsidiary of ComfortDelGro.


Singapore Bus Service (SBS) was initially formed in 1973 with the merger of three private bus companies. The government-sanctioned merger was undertaken to improve service standards of the bus transport system.

With the shift towards the creation of multi-modal transport companies, Singapore Bus Service changed its name to DelGro Corporation in November 1997. Bus operations were hived-off to a fully owned subsidiary called Singapore Bus Services Limited, which was separately listed on the Singapore Exchange.

In November 2001, Singapore Bus Services Limited was renamed as SBS Transit Limited when the company formally became a multi-modal transport operator with the impending opening of the Sengkang LRT Line.

On 29 March 2003, DelGro Corporation merged with Comfort Group to form ComfortDelGro. SBS Transit remains a subsidiary of the merged company.

In 2003, SBS Transit started operating the North East Line of the Mass Rapid Transit network in addition to its existing bus operations.

On 29 August 2011, SBS Transit was given the operation license for the Downtown Line, which started on 22 December 2013.


SBS Transit's primary business is providing public transport services in Singapore. Its more notable operations are the following.

  • Bus operations in Singapore, comprising a fleet more than 3,000 buses, serving the entire island.
  • Rapid transit operations along the North East Line and the partially opened Downtown Line of the MRT network.
  • Light rail operations and manages the 29 stations along the Sengkang and Punggol LRT lines.
  • Bus fleet

    SBS Transit operates 75% of the scheduled bus market share in Singapore with more than 300 bus services and a total fleet of more than 3,000 buses. It consists of the largest depots, Ang Mo Kio, Bedok North, Bukit Batok Bus Depot, Hougang and Soon Lee. Some of the latest additions were also used for Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP) since 17 September 2012.

    Three models, all wheelchair accessible and are either Euro IV or Euro V compliant, currently form the majority of SBS Transit's fleet:

    Bus models

    SBS Transit operates a mix of single and double decker buses.

    Double decker buses

  • Dennis Trident 3 (Duple Metsec DM5000)
  • Scania K310UD (Gemilang Coachworks)
  • Volvo B9TL (PSV / ComfortDelGro Engineering)
  • Volvo B9TL (Wright Eclipse Gemini II)
  • Volvo B9TL (Gemilang Coachworks)
  • Volvo Super Olympian (B10TL) (Volgren CR222LD)
  • Volvo B10TL (PSV / ComfortDelGro Engineering)
  • Volvo Olympian 3-Axle (Walter Alexander Royale)
  • Rigid/Single decker buses

  • Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaro (Evobus)
  • Scania K230UB (Gemilang Coachworks)
  • Volvo B7RLE (Soon Chow)
  • Volvo B10BLE (Volgren CR222L)
  • Volvo B10M Mark IV (Duple Metsec DM3500)
  • Bus routes

    SBS Transit operates many different types of bus routes and bus services, taking up the majority of the pie of Singapore's duopoly bus system in almost all areas of Singapore, with the notable exception of the North and Northwest areas, where bus services are mainly run by its competitor, SMRT Buses. However, with the current Bus Contracting Model, selected number of existing services run by SBS Transit will be handed over to the newer operators, namely Tower Transit and Go-Ahead. As of 25 January 2016, there are 219 wheelchair-accessible bus services that SBS Transit operates.

    Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)

    SBS Transit is the operator of the North East Line (NEL) since 20 June 2003 and Downtown Line from 22 December 2013.

    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 given 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. The tender spans from 2003 to 2033.

    As the name implies, 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 rolling stock used are Alstom Metropolis C751A and the newer fleet addition of Alstom Metropolis C751C.

    The Downtown Line (DTL) is the fifth line in Singapore. With 34 stations, the 42 km-long line will be the world's longest fully underground and automated rapid transit line when completed in 2017.

    The Downtown Line will connect residents staying in the north-western and central-eastern to the new downtown. Transfers to this line from the North East Line will be available at Chinatown and Little India, the North South Line at Newton and Bukit Panjang (Bukit Panjang LRT Line), the East West Line at Bugis, Tampines and Expo, the Circle Line at MacPherson, Bayfront, Promenade and Botanic Gardens. The rolling stock used is Bombardier MOVIA C951.

    Fleet details

    The trains are classified as contracts unlike countries which uses class.*

    2012 train service breakdown

    A major breakdown occurred on 15 March 2012 affected 90,000 commuters due to a power supply problem in the tunnel at Outram Park station. This caused train services to be disrupted, between 06:30 to 16:35, on NEL between Harbourfront and Dhoby Ghaut stations. Subsequently, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) intends to impose financial penalties amounting to S$400,000 (approximately US$315,000) on SBS Transit for the disruption.

    Light Rail Transit (LRT)

    In addition to the North East Line and Downtown Line, SBS Transit also operates two LRT lines. The Sengkang LRT Line and Punggol LRT Line provides a feeder connection in the estate to the two NEL Stations. Both lines have a total of 29 stations, including Sengkang and Punggol stations.

    Key operating statistics (2004 till 2013)

    Monthly ridership for bus and rail


  • Rail ridership includes North East Line (NEL), Sengkang LRT and Punggol LRT rides.
  • The Sengkang LRT and NEL commenced revenue service on 18 January 2003 and 20 June 2003 respectively. The Punggol LRT began service on 29 January 2005.
  • Monthly rail ridership exceeded 10 million for the first time in December 2007.
  • References

    SBS Transit Wikipedia