LTA Media Statement on Bus Service 167

News Releases 28 Nov 2023 bus services Thomson-East Coast Line

LTA had earlier announced changes to several bus services from 10 December, to reallocate finite bus resources by reducing duplication with Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) service: LTA | Ridership on TEL almost tripled with introduction of TEL3

In reviewing Services 75, 162/M and 167, we looked at the availability of alternative services. This includes the TEL, which offers a faster travel option for many commuters, after accounting for waiting times and time taken for transfers. This is especially for commuters on longer journeys, such as those travelling from Sembawang and Upper Thomson to the city area who can enjoy average time savings of about 15 mins. Since the opening of TEL, we have seen more commuters shifting their travel to the MRT, while ridership for parallel bus services has dropped significantly.

We have also ensured that bus alternatives remain available. These include Services 196 and 970 for Service 75, Services 54, 143, 166 and 980 for Service 162/M, and Services 143, 166, 196 and 980 for Service 167. For example, users of Service 162/M travelling from Upper Thomson Road to Novena are able to take Services 166 and 980.

We will increase the frequency of Service 980, which serves a similar sector between Sembawang and Novena as Service 167.

Segments of the routes with stronger demand or unique connectivity are also retained. Service 859 will be amended to ply Canberra Link and Sembawang Road in place of Service 167, while Service 121 will be amended to link Cantonment Road with Outram Park MRT Station in place of Service 75.

With these changes, most affected commuters will still have both MRT and bus options after the adjustment to Services 75, 162/M and 167. Nonetheless, we understand that some commuters may need more time to adjust, and to try out the new travel routes. This is especially so for Service 167, where the change is more extensive.

Hence, LTA will retain Service 167 for now and operate it at 30-minute intervals throughout the day. We will proceed with the amendments to Services 121 and 859, and will increase the frequency of Service 980 as per the earlier announcement.

The adjustments to all bus routes will now take place from 17 December 2023 onwards.

We seek commuters’ understanding that it is not always possible to preserve direct bus connections for every journey. This is not the best use of our limited resources.  As new transport options such as the TEL and other MRT lines become available, and when Singaporeans move into new estates and workplaces, new bus services will be required for these new routes. LTA will continue to review our bus network and reallocate our finite resources as required, so that we can serve the travelling needs of commuters from all parts of Singapore.

Travel Time Savings with TEL



Current Travel Time via Bus

Travel time via Bus-TEL *

Travel time savings

Sembawang Road

Shenton Way




Upper Thomson Road

Orchard Road




Cantonment Road


Upper Bukit Timah Road





*The total travel time is computed based on an average during the peak period, and is inclusive of all transfer times such as walking and waiting for the next bus or train.
**all travel time in minutes

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