1. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will build a new bus depot off Jurong West Avenue 2. This will be the first depot that LTA is developing and funding, as part of the review of the enhanced structural assistance that Government is providing the bus industry announced in Committee of Supply (COS) 2012. The depot is intended for SMRT Buses Ltd, to accommodate the additional buses that it is bringing in over the next few years. The operator’s existing bus depots and bus park are reaching full capacity, and the new facility is necessary to support the higher number of buses as the overall bus capacity is progressively increased under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP).
2. The LTA is calling a tender today to invite contractors to submit their cost proposals to build the new bus depot. The tendering process will allow the most cost-efficient contractor to win the rights to build the depot.
3. The new bus depot is scheduled to be completed by 2015 and will accommodate about 500 buses. It will also be equipped with facilities for daily bus operations, bus repair/ maintenance and a rest area for bus drivers.
4. When completed, the bus depot will be handed over to SMRT Buses Ltd for outfitting and preparatory works before operations can commence.
5. The move is in line with the Government’s announcement at the Committee of Supply 2012 to fund the development and land cost for bus depots and bus parking infrastructure, and lease these to bus operators at a nominal fee. This helps lower the entry barriers for new operators when we introduce contestability in the bus industry, as bus parking and depots are key infrastructure for running bus services.
6. Under this framework, the LTA has developed and handed over one bus park at Upper Changi Road East (operated by SBS Transit) and another at Woodlands (operated by SMRT) in January 2013. Each bus park can accommodate about 200 to 300 buses.