You Can Soon Book SBS & SMRT Buses Like Grab In Joo Koon & Marina-Downtown Area

If you’re familiar with Grab services, you’d know how GrabShuttle works.

You need a ride to a destination, you walk to a bus stop and you book a ride. Then, a bus appears like the magic school bus.


But guess what? If you happen to be in the Joo Koon or Marina-Downtown area, you can do that soon. With SBS Transit buses. And later, SMRT buses.


LTA running 6-months trial for on-demand bus services

In Aug 2018, LTA announced that they’ll be starting on-demand bus trials soon. And fast forward four months later, it became a reality.

On 3 Dec, LTA announced that they’ll be starting the trials on 17 Dec 2018 in two areas: Joo Koon and Marina-Downtown

The trial will kick off in two parts. 

The first part of the trial will start on 17 Dec 2018 and end on 15 Jun 2019. Commuters can arrange for pick-up and drop-off with SBS buses at the following timing:

  • Weekdays: 11 am to 3 pm (Both Marina-Downtown and Joo Koon)
  • Weeknights: 8.30 to 11.30 pm (Joo Koon) / 8.30 to 11.45 pm (Marina-Downtown)

Along the following route:

Joo Koon

Image: LTA


Image: LTA

The second part of the trial will kick off on 4 Jan and end on 15 Jun 2019.

For the second phase, commuters will be able to book SMRT buses from the Central Business District (CBD):

Image: LTA

To Bedok

Image: LTA

And Tampines via Geylang

Image: LTA

The service will be available from 11.30 pm to 2 am in one direction only.

So don’t gong-gong try to book a ride from Tampines to CBD area hor.

The BusGo & BusNow App

So how do you do it? For people looking to use the new service in Joo Koon, you’d have to download the BusGo app on your phone.

And if you’re looking to use the service in the Marina-Downtown area, you’ll need to download the BusNow app instead.

Besides booking your bus, the app also allows you to key in a landmark, show you the way to walk to the bus stop and real-time information on bus location and arrival time.

And the best part? You can do group bookings and request for wheelchair space through the app too.

How does it work?

Here’s how you use the app:

Input pick-up and drop-off points > e-boarding ticket issued > show bus driver your e-boarding ticket for entry

If your booking is confirmed, no changes can be made to it. For those who miss their buses, you’d have to re-book your ride again.


Just take note that you have to tap your EZ-Link card as per normal when you board and alight from the bus.

Fares are fixed at the following prices:

Weekday services

  • Before 29 Dec: $0.77 (EZ-Link card) / $1.40 (cash)
  • After 29 Dec: $0.83 (EZ-Link card) / $1.50 (cash)

Night services

  • $4.50

Usual bus services will be affected

During the duration of this trial, expect to see lesser regular bus services.


Services 253, 255 and 257 in Joo Koon will operate in intervals of 30 minutes instead of their usual 15 minutes.

And bus service 400 and 402 in Marina-Downtown will operate at intervals of 40 minutes instead of 20 minutes.

As for night service NR7, it’ll be suspended during the trial.

Like what a wise man once said, the future is really here. It’s 2082 now, isn’t it?

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