Last Updated: 30 May 2022

School bus services

Learn about the school bus services provided and payment schedule for bus fares.


The Information Notice Board for School Bus Services (IBSB) is a platform for schools to invite bids for the provision of school bus services. This one-stop portal allows bus companies and individual school bus operators to view and participate in bids on a competitive basis, based on their understanding of individual schools’ requirements and needs. Schools will award contracts to the bus operators who can best meet the needs. The IBSB provides details of school bus operators and the bus fares charged. This provides more transparency and useful information for both parents and bus operators.

Payment schedule for bus fares

It is an industry practice to charge school bus fares on 12-month basis. Parents are also required to pay fees in advance in January (for December), in May (for June) and in October (for November). This has given rise to confusion and financial hardship for some parents. Under the enhanced process, a 9-month payment schedule has been introduced to spread the yearly total amount equally over 9 payments from Jan to May, and July to October. No payments will be required for the months of Jun, November and December.

Parents pay the same total amount for a year whether they are on the 9-month or 12-month payment schedule. The example below shows how the total annual fees of $1,080 are collected through these two payment schedules:

 Month  12-months 9-months  
 Jan  $180 Pay Dec fare in advance  $120  Payments will spread equally over 9 months 
 Feb  $90    $120 
 Mar  $90    $120 
 Apr  $90    $120 
 May  $180 Pay Jun fare in advance $120 
 Jun  0     0
 July  $90    $120 
 Aug  $90    $120 
 Sep  $90    $120 
 Oct  $180 Pay Nov fare in advance   $120 
 Nov  0    0
 Dec  0    0
 Total  $1,080    $1,080 

Frequently asked questions

1. Why parents are required to pay bus fares for the whole year including those months which are school holidays?

During school holidays, bus operators continue to incur the bulk of their operational costs, such as drivers’ wages, vehicle maintenance and depreciation costs, parking charges, insurance premium and road tax.

2. Why my child needs to pay a higher monthly bus fare under the 9-month payment schedule?

Though your child pays a higher monthly bus fare under the 9-month payment schedule, he needs to pay for 9 months instead of 12 months, and the he total amount payable by him will be the same as that for another child who is under the 12-month schedule.

3. What do I gain for joining the 9-mth payment schedule for my child?

Under the 9-month payment schedule, though you pay a higher monthly fare, there will be no advance payments needed and you need not have to remember which months to make such payments. This will also help to ease the cash flow problem, if any, for months where fares of 2 months have to be paid; and avoids the situation when parents find it difficult to claim refunds from operators for the advance payment made whenever there is a school transfer or early termination.

4. My neighbour’s child is studying in another school in the same neighbourhood. Why his school bus fare is lower than my child’s fare?

Individual bus operators determine the bus fares based on a number of considerations such as bus capacity, number of students taking school buses, distance travelled, insurance premium, etc. Thus, school bus fares varies from school to school. 

5. Why is there different pricing for buses of different sizes?

Charges for small buses are generally higher as students enjoy more benefits such as mandatory installation of seat belts, one-to-one seating, easier access to pick up points and shorter journey time. On the other hand, the number of students a small bus can take is much fewer than that a big bus.

6. Why there is no school bus attendant on big buses?

LTA has ruled that only a bus with 30 seater or more is required to have a school bus attendant.