Bus Contracting Model

A bird's eye view of the multi-modal system

Over the decades, Singapore's public bus system has evolved to become more reliable, connected and integrated with the larger land transport landscape. LTA's Bus Contracting Model (BCM) is part of these efforts to improve bus services.

Adopted on 1 September 2016, the BCM brings all public buses and related infrastructure, such as integrated transport hubs, under the ownership of the government. Under the model, LTA assumes the central role of planning bus services, while public transport operators bid for the right to operate the bus routes in a package.


Bus operators are paid fees to run bus routes at service standards set by LTA. The tendering process drives competition in the bus industry and encourages operators to be more responsive to changes in ridership and commuter needs. This in turn raises the reliability of bus services and improves waiting times for commuters. The model also spurs operators to invest in recruitment, staff training, upgrading and professionalising the bus workforce.

There are currently 14 bus packages operated by four bus operators in Singapore – SBS Transit, SMRT Buses, Tower Transit Singapore, and Go-Ahead Singapore – with the latter two joining the industry after the introduction of the BCM.

Bus Contracting Benefits

Public bus operators are required to comply with the following Quality of Service Standards to ensure reliability and safety.

  • To ensure reliability, at least 96% of the scheduled mileage for each bus service must be operated every month; and
  • For safety, the number of accidents per 100,000 bus-km must be less than 0.50 per month.

As part of the Bus Service Reliability Framework, the reliability of a bus service is assessed using either the Excess Wait Time or On Time Adherence metric.

BSRF Table

Bus schedules and journey times are planned based on the characteristics of individual bus routes, such as commuters’ travel patterns and traffic conditions along the bus route. In addition, bus captains adjust their travelling speed to maintain regular intervals between buses plying the same service.

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