Launch of Inaugural RailTech Grand Challenge in Conjunction with Annual Singapore BusTech Grand Challenge

News Releases 25 Nov 2023 Singapore RailTech Grand Challenge Singapore BusTech Grand Challenge

        The third Singapore BusTech Grand Challenge and the inaugural Singapore RailTech Grand Challenge took place today at the Institute of Education (ITE) West College.  Acting Minister for Transport, Mr Chee Hong Tat, attended the event and presented awards to winning bus and rail teams.

2.       Organised by the Singapore Bus Academy (SGBA)[1] and NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), the BusTech Grand Challenge aims to celebrate the deep technical skills among bus technicians and emphasise the importance of capability building in the bus sector. This year, LTA and the Singapore Rail Academy[2] also organised the inaugural RailTech Grand Challenge, to similarly recognise rail technicians for their technical mastery and contributions to the rail industry. Through such competitions, we recognise the important roles played by public transport workers, and encourage more students to join the local rail and bus industry.

Gearing up for electrification of public buses

3.       The student category of this year’s BusTech Grand Challenge focused on the electrification of Singapore’s vehicle population, a key strategy in the Singapore Green Plan 2030. Specifically, students were challenged to develop a prototype of a functional Battery Management System (BMS). The BMS monitors and controls the performance of the rechargeable battery in electric vehicles. Eight teams of students from six Institutes of Higher Learning (IHL) – ITE College West, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore Institute of Technology, Singapore Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic participated in the challenge. The judges evaluated each team’s proposal based on its viability, functionality, originality and ability to convey the concepts and rationale behind their design.

4.       The bus technicians category saw the participation of eight teams from all four public bus operators. Competing in teams of two, they were tested on their knowledge and mastery of common maintenance tasks spanning electrical and mechanical systems, as well as diagnostic and theoretical aspects. Technicians were assessed on several factors including their technical skills and knowledge, competence in diagnosing the problems and compliance with safety requirements through hands-on and written tasks. This year, there was an emphasis on electrical systems and electric-bus related tasks to prepare our technicians for the progressive electrification of our public bus fleet. SGBA had worked with Original Equipment Manufacturers[3] and IHLs[4] to develop the tasks for the different stations in this challenge.

Recognising technical skills across the rail industry

5.       In the inaugural RailTech Grand Challenge, rail technicians and ITE students were challenged to complete tasks across three different rail systems: signalling, power and rolling stock. Nine teams comprising ITE students and rail technicians from SMRT and SBS Transit (SBST) worked together on a series of hands-on tasks. The teams were judged based on their technical skills and competency in tasks such as modifying signalling circuits and conducting maintenance on a current collector device. The mixed team composition of rail technicians and ITE students helped foster industry partnership and collaboration and allowed both technicians and ITE students to demonstrate their skillsets.

6.       In tandem with these Challenges, and as part of the ongoing Public Transport Workers’ Appreciation Month, e2i and LTA are co-organising a Public Transport Career Fair on 29 November 2023 at the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability to promote career prospects within the sector. The event will showcase more than 400 job vacancies from the four public transport operators – Go Ahead Singapore, SBST, SMRT and Tower Transit Singapore, featuring roles spanning from Assistant Engineers, Station Managers, Bus Captains, Bus Technicians to Technical Officers. Visit to find out more.


About LTA

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is a statutory board under the Ministry of Transport, which spearheads land transport developments in Singapore.  As the agency responsible for planning, designing, building and maintaining Singapore’s land transport infrastructure and systems, we aim to bring about a greener and more inclusive public transport system, complemented by convenient options to walk and cycle from their homes or to their destinations. We leverage technology to strengthen our rail and bus infrastructure and provide exciting options for future land transport. For more information, please visit the website at

About NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i)

e2i is the empowering network for workers and employers seeking employment and employability solutions. e2i serves as a bridge between workers and employers, connecting with workers to offer job security through job-matching, career guidance and skills upgrading services, and partnering employers to address their manpower needs through recruitment, training and job redesign solutions. e2i is a tripartite initiative of the National Trades Union Congress set up to support nation-wide manpower and skills upgrading initiatives. For more information, please visit

[1] The Singapore Bus Academy was set up in 2016 by the LTA as a centralised academy offering enhanced training to bus professionals. It is also a dedicated career resource centre for the public bus industry, offering interested applicants information on career options and proficiency requirements.

[2] The Singapore Rail Academy was established in 2017 by the LTA to uplift the capability development for rail engineering, operations and maintenance. The Academy collaborates with rail operators, education institutions and other key industry partners to skill, up-skill and re-skill rail engineers and technicians.

[3] These comprise BYD Singapore, Yutong, TNT Surveillance, Luminator Technology Group, ST Engineering, Mobility Services and Volvo.

[4] The IHLs supporting the BusTech Challenge on the station tasks were ITE College West, Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Republic Polytechnic.

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