Tower Transit Systems has recently just won the tender of bus service provision at the west side of Singapore. The London-based bus operator is a subsidiary of Transit Systems, an Australian-based public transport company. Tower Transit Systems will create another subsidiary, called the Tower Transit Singapore, after announcements were made about its winning bid of the bus route tender which was called in April 2013 by the Land Transport Authority.
26 bus routes serving Bukit Batok, Jurong and Clementi will be based in Bulim bus depot at Jurong West Avenue 2. The bus depot will be opened on 17 August 2015, with bus number 77 and 106 being the key tenants of Bulim Bus Depot. The depot is able to accommodate about 500 buses and will serve as a maintenance center, bus interchange and a rest zone for bus drivers.
The Bulim bus depot is created to support the higher number of buses which are funded by the taxpayers-funded $1.1 billion Bus Services Enhancement Programme (BSEP) announced in 2012. According to the Minister of Transport Lui Tuck Yew, the BSEP was created to improve bus services and defray the cost of bus operations.
It is unknown if the $1.1 billion Singaporean taxes will be channeled to help the foreign bus operator, Tower Transit, to defray bus operation costs. In a press release by Land Transport Authority, the LTA said that bus depots will be “handed over” to bus operators:
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.
Do you think it is right for LTA to “hand over” a tax-funded bus depot over to private bus operators to make profits out from Singaporeans?