New bus depot in Pasir Panjang to be ready by 2029
A new bus depot that can house 550 buses will be built on the site of the former Pasir Panjang Distripark in Harbour Drive.
Construction is expected to begin in 2024 and be completed by 2029, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) told The Straits Times.
When ready, the new depot, which sits on an approximately 4ha site – the equivalent of just over 5½ football fields – is expected to support buses operating in the southern region of Singapore, LTA said.
The authority had called a tender last Thursday to build a depot on the Pasir Panjang site, which has been vacant since 2017.
In 2021, the site was identified as a possible alternative temporary distribution site in the event of disruption to Singapore’s food supply chain. Responding to queries, the Singapore Food Agency told ST that it is reviewing plans for when the site becomes unavailable in 2024.
Today, the area surrounding the unused warehouse units appears to be used for parking by those who use the Pasir Panjang Ferry Terminal or who work in the area.
The bus depot will consist of a seven-storey main building, multi-storey quarters for transport workers and other ancillary buildings, LTA said.
The main building will house facilities needed for daily bus operations, repair, maintenance and parking, as well as chargers for electric buses. There will be a solar photovoltaic panel system fitted on its roof.
When completed, the depot will be handed over to the relevant public transport operator for outfitting and preparatory work, LTA said.
Under the bus contracting model, which was adopted in September 2016, all public buses and related infrastructure, including depots, are owned by the Government.
LTA plans the bus services, and public transport operators bid for the right to run services along the bus routes. The bus companies are paid fees to run the bus routes such that service standards set by LTA are met.
There are currently four bus operators running 14 packages of routes. According to past reports, such contracts have a stipulated duration of five to seven years.
Buses operating in the southern region of Singapore include those plying 17 routes in the Bukit Merah package.
The contract for the Bukit Merah package is due to expire in 2024, the same time as the 26 bus routes in the Jurong West package. Both packages are currently held by SBS Transit. LTA has yet to award the new contract, the tender for which was called in November 2022.
The bus routes under the Bukit Merah package serve Bukit Merah town and the Central Business District. Buses plying these routes are currently supported by the Ulu Pandan Bus Depot, which started operations in 2018.
In 2016, LTA received permission from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to use a site in Business Park Drive for the Ulu Pandan Bus Depot for 10 years ending Dec 31, 2025.
Currently, under the URA’s master plan, the area in Business Park Drive is zoned as a reserved site that is not slated for any specific use.
When asked, LTA did not comment on the plans for the Ulu Pandan Bus Depot after 2025.