Licensing of Buses

LTA licenses the following types of bus services:

1. Basic Bus Services

Basic bus services in Singapore include trunk, feeder, and intra-town services. Such bus services are operated daily, throughout the entire day and at specified headway.

Currently, the Basic bus services are provided by two bus operators, SBS Transit Ltd (SBST)  and SMRT Buses Ltd (SMRTB). Tower Transit Singapore Pte Ltd and Go-Ahead Group plc will also operate basic bus services in 2016. Each of these bus operators are assigned with separate areas of responsibility for bus operations.

Each bus operator is required to:

  • Meet the mobility needs of commuters within its own Area of Responsibility in planning and operating its bus services; and
  • Comply with the Quality of Service (QoS) standards.

2. Basic-Plus Bus Services

Basic-Plus bus services serve selected niche markets and charge fares that are different from Basic bus services. These services are only operated by the two bus operators, SBS Transit Ltd (SBST) and SMRT Buses Ltd (SMRTB).

The routings of a Basic-Plus bus service generally fall within the Area of Responsibility issued to the particular Basic bus service operator.

Examples of such services include the Express and Fast Forward services.

3. Supplementary Bus Services

Supplementary bus services complement Basic bus services by providing additional capacity primarily during peak hours. These services are provided by private bus operators such as private-hire or school bus operators. Such services are also known as Scheme B bus services.

4. Premium Bus Services

Premium bus services provide an alternative passenger transport to a Basic bus service, or train service on a rapid transit system. The fares are at least 1.5 times higher than the equivalent Basic bus service and/or train service on a rapid transit system. Such bus services are operated by both private bus operators and Basic bus service operators.

Please click here for the list of premium bus services currently in operation. You may also submit your suggestion for a new premium bus service in the same link.

5. Shuttle Bus Services

Shuttle bus services are niche services distinct from Basic bus services. They cater to the transport needs of local communities by providing connections to nearby transport nodes, amenities and developments.

Shuttle bus services are required to meet the following requirements:

  • The bus service is allowed up to 3 intermediate stopping points between the start and end points. Each stopping point could include a group of developments in close proximity.
  • Within the catchment of its stopping points, the bus service is allowed to duplicate up to 40% of the connections provided by Basic bus service or train service on a rapid transit system. The catchment area of a point is defined as one within 200m of that point.

6. Cross-border Bus Services

Cross-border bus services are services that operate between Singapore and Johor Bahru in Malaysia and have two or more stopping points in Singapore.

7. Little India Bus Services

Little India bus services are services that operate between dormitories of foreign workers and Little India. Such bus services are operated on Sundays or public holidays.

8. Temporary Bus Services

Temporary bus services are services that operate for a period of no more than six months.

9. Special Bus Services

Special bus services are services that provide ad-hoc services for special events and during festive periods.