Category Archives: SBS Transit

Information relating to SBS Transit

SMRT Bus Service 859A / 859B

SMRT Bus Service 859A and 859B are supplementary trunk routes from Sembawang Interchange and looping at Admiralty Link, passing through Sembawang Crescent and Canberra Road. Service 859A operates the counter-clockwise loop, while Service 859B operates the clockwise loop.

Both routes duplicate their parent Service 859 and were introduced in their present form under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP). They were launched on Sunday, 17 August 2014.

SMRT MAN NL323Fs (SMB3005C and SMB3041Y) on Service 859A & 859B

Route Information
Service SMRT Bus Service 859A
(Counter-clockwise loop)
SMRT Bus Service 859B
(Clockwise loop)
Route Sembawang Bus Interchange
↺ Admiralty Link (Loop)  WAB_logo_20px
Sembawang Bus Interchange
↺ Admiralty Link (Loop)  WAB_logo_20px
Passes Through Canberra Rd, Admiralty Dr, Sembawang Cres Sembawang Cres, Admiralty Dr, Canberra Rd,
Route Length 5.1 km 5.0 km
Travelling Time 20 mins 20 mins
Operator Information
Current Operator SMRT Buses
Current Depot Woodlands Bus Depot (WLDEP)
Current Fleet MAN NL323F MAN NL323F
Shifts 2AM-2PM (2 buses) 2AM-2PM (2 buses)
Departure Times from T1 0550 – 0050 (Weekdays & Sat)
0605 – 0050 (Sundays & PHs)
0530 – 2350 (Daily)
Frequency Loop Service* Loop Service*
0630-0830: 10 – 26 min
0831-1659: 10 – 30 min
1700-1930: 10 – 30 min
After 1930: 10 – 28 min
0630-0830: 08 – 20 min
0831-1659: 08 – 26 min
1700-1930: 08 – 19 min
After 1930: 10 – 26 min
Notes* Departure times are staggered with Service 859.

History:

  • 2014 (17 Aug): Service 859A amended to its present form and Service 859B introduced under the BSEP. Both routes are wheelchair-accessible at introduction.

Supplementary services 859A and 859B duplicate the routing of their parent Service 859, serving within the Sembawang housing estate. Both routes serve in opposite directions, with Service 859A taking the counter-clockwise loop and Service 859B taking the clockwise loop. The initiative to convert Service 859A to a full-day bus route, combined with the introduction of Service 859B, was part of the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP) which aims to increase bus capacity and current bus service levels.

Service 859A was previously a shortworking trip service terminating at Opp Blk 315, Sembawang Vista (outside Sembawang Interchange), operating from 12:00am to 12:50am after the last bus of Service 859 towards Yishun has departed. The new Service 859A is a supplementary bus service (having been converted to full-day operations), and will be be extended to terminate within Sembawang Bus Interchange.

Service 859B is the new supplementary bus service identical in routing to Service 859A, but running in the opposite direction, supplementing Service 859 in the direction of Sembawang Int. The route will call at all existing bus stops similar to Service 859.

The A and B suffixes used do not represent these routes as shortworking trips, but as route variants of Service 859. Such route numbering is similar to the Green and White plates (G/W suffix) used on SBS Transit feeder routes to indicate different directions of travel.

LTA/SMRT Joint News Release

Both routes will be launched on Sunday, 17 August 2014, to improve bus connectivity within the Sembawang estate and aid with high passenger loading on Service 859. The routes will connect to public amenities such as Canberra Community Club, Sembawang Library, Sembawang Mart, Sembawang MRT Station, Sembawang Secondary School and Sun Plaza.

Route Variants:

  • Service 859Sembawang Bus Interchange ↔ Yishun Bus Interchange

Fare: Charges basic fares. Refer to Fare Table.

Fleet: Services 859A and 859B operate on MAN NL323F buses under the BSEP scheme.

Route Information:

SMRT Bus Service 859A
SMRT Bus Service 859B
      • Sembawang Vista (Sembawang Int)
      • Sembawang Dr (opp Sun Plaza)
      • Sembawang Way (opp Sembawang Stn)
      • Canberra Rd (Blk 351 CP)
      • Canberra Rd (Blk 424A CP)
      • Admiralty Link (opp Blk 491)
      • Admiralty Link (Blk 404A CP)
      • Sembawang Dr (Blk 405)
      • Admiralty Dr (bet Blks 357/359)
      • Sembawang Cres (Blk 335)
      • Sembawang Cres (Sembawang Sec Sch)
      • Sembawang Cres (bet Blks 325/326)
      • Sembawang Dr (Blk 328)
      • Sembawang Vista (opp Blk 315)
      • Sembawang Vista (Sembawang Int)
      • Sembawang Vista (Sembawang Int)
      • Sembawang Dr (Blk 317)
      • Sembawang Cres (opp Blk 325)
      • Sembawang Cres (opp Sembawang Sec Sch)
      • Sembawang Cres (opp Blk 336A CP)
      • Admiralty Dr (Blk 474)
      • Sembawang Dr (Blk 478)
      • Admiralty Link (Blk 482A CP)
      • Admiralty Link (Blk 491)
      • Canberra Rd (Blk 508 CP)
      • Canberra Rd (Blk 502A)
      • Sembawang Way (Sembawang Stn)
      • Sembawang Dr (Sun Plaza)
      • Sembawang Vista (Sembawang Int)
Service 859A and 859B at a glance

Service 859A and 859B at a glance

Operator History:

  • 2014 – Present: SMRT Buses Ltd

The Bus Service Operating License (BSOL) for this route will be renewed in 2016. 

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Gallery:

SMB3005C on Service 859A

SMB3006A on Service 859A

SMB3041Y on Service 859B

SMB3042U on Service 859B

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External Links & References:

Back to Bus Services
Back to Bus Articles

SBS Transit Service 131M

SBS Transit Service 131M is a supplementary trunk service plying from Bukit Merah Interchange and looping at Bukit Purmei Avenue, passing through Lower Delta Road. It will launch on Monday, 25 August 2014, and replaces Feeder 275 by duplicating its route entirely and operate only during the peak hours.

Route Information
Route Bukit Merah Bus Interchange ↺ Bukit Purmei Avenue (Loop)  WAB_logo_20px
Passes Through Lower Delta Rd
Route Length 4.2km
Travelling Time 25mins
Operator Information
Current Operator SBS Transit
Current Depot Ayer Rajah Bus Park (ARBP)
Current Fleet Uses buses from Service 131:
Volvo B10M Mark IV
Scania K230UB
Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaro
Shifts TBC
Departure Times from T1 Weekdays:
0640hrs – 0910hrs,  1710hrs – 1940hrs
Frequency (TBC) Loop Service
0630-0830: TBC
0831-1659: TBC
1700-1930: TBC
After 1930: TBC

History:

  • 2014 (25 Aug): Introduced from Bukit Merah Interchange to Bukit Purmei Avenue, operating during weekday peak hours only

Supplementary Service 131M serves residential estates and schools around Bukit Purmei and Lower Delta Road with connections to Jalan Bukit Merah Bukit Merah Town Centre. It duplicates its parent Service 131 along its entire route, and enhances connectivity for Bukit Purmei residents.

Introduced as a replacement for Service 275, the route duplicates Service 275 entirely. Ever since Service 131 was amended to ply Bukit Purmei Avenue in both directions in 2005, both Service 131 and 275 have been duplicating each other, and as such, Service 275 was made to operate at low frequencies (until its BSEP addition in 2013). To better utilize resources, Service 275 was withdrawn entirely, and Service 131M introduced to take its place, operating only during the peak hours where additional resources are better utilized.

SBST Release Poster

SBST Release Poster

As a variant of Service 131, this service is wheelchair-accessible as of introduction.

Route variants:

  • Service 131: St. Michael’s Bus Terminal ↔ Bukit Merah Bus Interchange

Fare: Charges normal fares for trunk services. See Fare Table.

Fleet: Service 131M’s fleet consists of buses from Service 131, namely Volvo B10M Mark IV, Scania K230UB and Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaro buses.

Route Information:

Loop Service
  • Bt Merah Int
  • Bt Merah Ctrl
  • Henderson Rd
  • Jln Bt Merah
  • Lower Delta Rd
  • Bt Purmei Ave
  • Lower Delta Rd
  • Jln Bt Merah
  • Henderson Rd
  • Bt Merah Ctrl
  • Bt Merah Int
Service 131M at a glance

Service 131M at a glance

Operator History:

  • 2014 – Present: SBS Transit Ltd

The Bus Service Operating License (BSOL) for this route will be renewed in 2016.

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External Links:

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References:

Back to Bus Services
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SBS Transit Feeder 386

SBS Transit Feeder 386 is a residential feeder route connecting Punggol Bus Interchange & MRT to Edgefield Plains. This is the thirtieth (30th) bus service to be rolled out under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP), as well as the fourth feeder service after 803. It was launched on Sunday, 17 August 2014.

SBST Mercedes-Benz Citaro (SBS6468X) – Service 386

Route Information
Route Punggol Temporary Bus Interchange ↺ Edgefield Plains (Loop)
Passes Through Punggol Ctrl
Route Length 3.6 km
Travelling Time ~15 mins (Scheduled)
Operator Information
Current Operator SBS Transit
Current Depot Hougang Bus Depot (HGDEP)
Current Fleet Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaro
Shifts Daily: 2AM-2PM (2 buses)
Departure Times from T1 0545 – 0035 (Daily)
Frequency Loop Service
0630-0830: 10 – 10 mins
0831-1659: 10 – 14 mins
1700-1930: 10 – 10 mins
After 1930: 10 – 15 mins

History:

  • 2014 (17 Aug): Introduced as a feeder service from Punggol to Edgefield Plains under LTA’s Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP)

Service 386 provides residents at Edgefield Plains with greater connectivity to Punggol MRT Station and Bus Interchange, along with other amenities in the neighborhood. The new route will also benefit 3 schools in the developing estate, namely Edgefield Primar School, Punggol View Primary School and Punggol Secondary School. This is the thirtieth (30th) bus service to be introduced under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP), as well as the fourth feeder service after 803.

The stretch of Edgefield Plains which Service 386 plies is not served by existing bus routes, and is surrounded by existing and upcoming residential developments. Apart from existing housing developments around Punggol Central and Punggol Drive, the route serves new Built-to-Order (BTO) flats at the far end of Edgefield Plains, namely Waterway Banks and Waterway Ridges.

LTA/SBST Joint News Release

With a route length of less than 4 km, Service 386 is the shortest BSEP route to be introduced so far, with only 8 enroute stops excluding the bus interchange.

Fares: Fares for Feeder services are capped at 3.2km. See Fare Table.

Fleet: Service 386′s fleet comprises of BSEP Mercedes-Benz Citaros. These buses were registered with the 63XX registration plates onwards and their purchase funded by the BSEP scheme.

 

 

Route Information:

Loop Service
  • Punggol Pl (Punggol Temp Int)
  • Punggol Ctrl (Opp Blk 293)
  • Punggol Ctrl (Punggol Sec Sch)
  • Edgefield Plains (Punggol Sec Sch)
  • Edgefield Plains (Blk 672A)
  • Edgefield Plains (Blk 670A)
  • Edgefield Plains (Opp Punggol Sec Sch)
  • Punggol Ctrl (Edgefield Pri Sch)
  • Punggol Ctrl (Blk 298)
  • Punggol Pl (Punggol Temp Int)
Service 386 at a glance. Click for larger image.

Service 386 at a glance. Click for larger image.

Operator History:

  • 2014 – Present: SBS Transit Ltd

The Bus Service Operating License (BSOL) for this route will be renewed in 2016.

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Gallery:

Unofficial route poster by Omnibology - SG

Unofficial route poster by Omnibology – SG

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History:

  • 2014 (17 Aug): Introduced as a feeder service from Punggol to Edgefield Plains under LTA’s Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP)

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External Links:

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References:

Back to Bus Services
Back to Bus Articles

SBS Transit Service 143M

SBS Transit Service 143M is a trunk service plying between Jurong East Interchange and looping at Pandan Gardens, passing through Jurong Town Hall Road and Teban Gardens. It is a route variant of Service 143, introduced under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP).

SBST Volvo B9TL Wright (SBS3387R) – Service 143M

Route Information
Route Jurong East Bus Interchange ↺ Jurong Town Hall Road  WAB_logo_20px
Passes Through Jurong Town Hall Rd, Tehan Gardens
Route Length 9.9km
Travelling Time 35mins
Operator Information
Current Operator SBS Transit
Current Depot Soon Lee Bus Park (SLBP)
Current Fleet Volvo B9TL
Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaro
Shifts 4 buses
Departure Times from T1 Weekdays & Sat: 5:30am – 12:50am
Sundays/PHs: 5:50am – 12:50am
Frequency (TBC) Loop Service
0630-0830: 08 – 28 mins
0831-1659: 07 – 30 mins
1700-1930: 10 – 22 mins
After 1930: 10 – 26 mins

LTA Joint News Release

History:

  • 2014 (18 May): Introduced between Jurong East Int and Pandan Gardens under the BSEP.
  • 2014 (24 Aug): Calls at Blk 411, West Coast Road

Service 143M provides residents of Teban Gardens and Pandan Gardens with greater connectivity to Jurong East MRT and Interchange, along with other amenities in the neighborhood. The route serves Teban Gardens Market and Food Centre, Commonwealth Secondary School and Jurong Regional Library, along with JCube, Jem and Westgate malls near Jurong East Interchange. This bus service is introduced under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP), as well as the first M-suffixed service under the BSEP.

The service duplicates Service 143, relieving demand and improving reliability of bus services for commuters. By looping at Pandan Gardens, it strengthens bus connections there in addition to existing Services 51 and 143. With Service 143 being frequently affected by inconsistent arrivals, 143M would be a welcomed relief for regular commuters between Pandan Gardens and Jurong East.

It is worth noting that 143M’s catchment is similar to the old Feeder 331 which looped at Teban Gardens and was withdrawn due to duplication with Services 51, 79 and 143. The late operating hours of this service will result in withdrawal of Shortworking Trip 143A.

This service is wheelchair-accessible as of introduction.

Route variants:

  • Service 143: Toa Payoh Bus Interchange  Jurong East Bus Interchange

Special Departures:

  • Jurong Town Hall Road (C’wealth Sec Sch)  Jurong East Bus Interchange
    Weekdays & Saturdays: 0530hrs, 0540hrs
    Sundays & Public Holidays: 0530hrs, 0543hrs, 0556hrs

Fare: See Fare Table.

Fleet: Service 143M’s fleet consists of Volvo B9TL Wrights and Mercedes-Benz Citaros under the BSEP scheme.

Route Information:

Loop Service
  • Jurong East Temp Int
  • Jurong Gateway Rd
  • Jurong East Ctrl
  • Jurong Town Hall Rd
  • Teban Gdns Rd
  • West Coast Rd
  • Pandan Gdns
  • Jurong Town Hall Rd
  • West Coast Rd
  • Teban Gdns Rd
  • Jurong Town Hall Rd
  • Jurong East Ctrl
  • Jurong East Temp Int

Service 143M at a glance

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External Links:

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References:

Back to Bus Services
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SBS Transit Service 121

SBS Transit Service 121 is a residential trunk route from New Bridge Road Ter and looping at Telok Blangah Rise, passing through Ganges Avenue, Tiong Bahru MRT, Kim Tian Road and Telok Blangah Way / Crescent / Rise. This is also the twenty-fifth bus service to be introduced under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP).

SBS Transit Mercedes-Benz Citaro (SBS6349E) – Service 121 (Photo: Poh Kai Wen)

Route Information
Route New Bridge Road Bus Terminal ↺ Telok Blangah Rise (Loop)
Passes Through Ganges Ave, Tiong Bahru MRT, Kim Tian Rd, Telok Blangah Way / Crescent / Rise
Route Length 13.4km
Travelling Time 60mins
Operator Information
Current Operator SBS Transit
Current Depot Ang Mo Kio Bus Depot (AMDEP)
Current Fleet Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaro
Shifts About 8 buses
Departure Times from T1 0600 – 2330 (Daily)
Frequency (TBC) Loop Service
0630-0830: 09 – 10 mins
0831-1659: 10 – 14 mins
1700-1930: 10 – 14 mins
After 1930: 10 – 13 mins
LTA-SBST Joint News Release

LTA-SBST Joint News Release

History:

Service 121 provides residents of Telok Blangah, Kim Tian and Havelock with greater connectivity to Tiong Bahru and Outram Park MRT Stations, along with other amenities in the vicinity. It is the twenty-fifth (25th) bus service to be introduced under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP), and the second new BSEP service originating from New Bridge Road after Service 120.

The inter-town service improves on existing bus connections between the estates at Telok Blangah Way / Crescent / Rise, Kim Tian and Ganges Avenue, and providing the much-needed bus connection between the estates and Tiong Bahru MRT Station. The service also calls at a new pair of bus stops along Kim Tian Road, which had no bus services plying the stretch in recent times.

For the Telok Blangah Estates, Service 121 closely duplicates the existing Feeder Service 272, which did not connect to any MRT station. Residents will enjoy better connectivity to Tiong Bahru MRT with the new service, which is also expected to relieve demand on Service 195.

SBS Transit’s press release sums up the new service:

“SBS Transit Bus Service 121 is a new trunk service that will operate from Sunday, 16 March 2014. Service 121 will directly connect commuters from Ganges Avenue, Kim Tian Road and Telok Blangah Crescent/Rise to Tiong Bahru and Outram Park MRT stations.

Operating daily from 6.00am to 11.30pm from New Bridge Road Bus Terminal, SBS Transit Bus Service 121 will ply Outram Road, Zion Road, Ganges Avenue, Lower Delta Road, Tiong Bahru Road, Kim Tian Road, Jalan Bukit Merah, Lower Delta Road and Telok Blangah Way, before looping back via Telok Blangah Crescent and Telok Blangah Rise. As Zion Road is one-way, the service will ply Outram Road in the return direction.

Besides enhancing connectivity to key transport nodes such as Tiong Bahru and Outram Park MRT stations, the new bus service will also provide residents with convenient access to amenities like Singapore General Hospital, Outram Polyclinic, SAFRA Mount Faber, Tiong Bahru Plaza, markets and food centres along Jalan Bukit Merah and Telok Blangah Crescent, as well as schools such as Radin Mas Primary School and CHIJ St. Theresa’s Convent.

SBS Transit Bus Service 121 is the 25th new bus service to be rolled out under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP).”

Special Departures:

  • Telok Blangah Way (Blk 27)  New Bridge Road Ter
    Weekdays & Sat: 0545hrs – 0620hrs
    Sundays/PHs: 0600hrs – 0620hrs

Fare: See Fare Table.

Fleet: Service 121′s fleet comprises of  Mercedes-Benz Citaros under the BSEP scheme.

Route Information:

Loop Service (via Telok Blangah Rise)
  • New Bridge Road Ter
  • Eu Tong Sen St
  • Outram Rd
  • Tiong Bahru Rd
  • Zion Rd
  • Ganges Ave
  • Lower Delta Rd
  • Kim Tian Rd
  • Jln Bukit Merah
  • Lower Delta Rd
  • Telok Blangah Way
  • Telok Blangah Cres
  • Telok Blangah Way
  • Telok Blangah Rise
  • Telok Blangah Rise
  • Lower Delta Rd
  • Jln Bukit Merah
  • Kim Tian Rd
  • Tiong Bahru Rd
  • Lower Delta Rd
  • Ganges Ave
  • Havelock Rd
  • Outram Rd
  • New Bridge Rd
  • New Bridge Road Ter
Service 121 at a glance

Service 121 at a glance. Click for larger image.

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Gallery: (click for larger image)

SBS6432Z

SBS6433X

SBST Mercedes-Benz Citaro (SMB6438H) - Service 121

SMB6438H

Service 121 @ Kim Tian Road

(Photos: Poh Kai Wen)

Unofficial route poster by Omnibology – SG

Operator History:

  • 2014 – Present: SBS Transit Ltd

The Bus Service Operating License (BSOL) for this route will be renewed in 2016. 

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External Links & References:

Back to Bus Services
Back to Bus Articles

Bus Service Reliability Framework

UPDATED: 16 Jun 2014

The Bus Service Reliability Framework (formerly known as Quality Incentive Framework) was announced by LTA in January 2014. Described as a carrot-and-stick approach, it aims to improve the en-route reliability of bus services. The trial involves monitoring 22 bus services over a period of 2 years and compliments the existing Quality of Service (QoS) Standards which applies to all bus services.

Overview:

Under the BSRF, bus operators will be are provided with monetary incentives to minimise instances of irregular and prolonged waiting times. To resolve such issues, operators are required to enhance their en-route management of bus operations. This involves greater vigilance on the part of Operations Control Centers (OCCs) to make appropriate interventions.

To maintain headway, OCCs will take on a greater role in guiding buses along various routes, which includes making more frequent contact with bus drivers, regulating bus travelling speed and reducing long gaps between consecutive buses. On some occasions, buses may have to wait at a bus stop for a minute or two in order to avoid bus bunching further down the route.

The trial will involve 22 bus services for a period of 2 years. This applies to seven SMRT bus services — 176, 184, 188, 302, 858, 901 and 911 — from Feb 3. It will then be applied to eight SBST services — 3, 17, 39, 52, 228, 241, 242 and 325 — by March. The remaining seven services (SBST Services 51, 154, 292, 354 and SMRT Services 189, 853 and 962) will join the trial on 23 June 2014.

Bus Service Reliability Framework:  Services under the trial 

SBS Transit (12 services):
3, 17, 39, 51, 52, 154, 228, 241, 242, 292, 325 and 354

SMRT Buses (10 services):
176, 184, 188, 189, 302, 853, 858, 901, 911 and 962

Each 0.1-minute (or six seconds) of deviation in the arrival at each bus stop will be compared to a baseline for the respective route, which categories bus routes on their fleet size. Operators face anywhere between a monthly incentive amount of $6,000 or a penalty of $4,000 per 0.1 minute of outperformance or underperformance respectively.

Monitoring reliability:

EWT Performance in 2013

EWT Performance in 2013

Under BSRF, bus operators will be rewarded or penalised based on how regular the bus arrival intervals are at bus stops measured by an indicator known as Excess Wait Time (EWT). The EWT score is a reflection of the overall performance of a bus service and is measured at a number of selected bus stops en-route.

EWT, which is a measure of commuters’ waiting time, compares how the actual waiting time (AWT) of commuters deviates from the scheduled waiting time (SWT). Essentially, EWT is calculated with using the AWT subtracted from the SWT.

A perfect EWT score of 0 minute means that the bus service arrived on time according to schedule for every bus trip during the entire period the service runs. However, in reality, an EWT score of 0 minute is impossible to attain given the nature of bus operations, which is dependent on traffic conditions on the road. Hence, an EWT score of 1 minute is considered good while an EWT score of 2 minutes is considered satisfactory. The lower the EWT score, the better the bus service’s reliability. Longer bus routes tend to have poorer regularity and reliability (due to the compounding effects of traffic conditions) and hence higher EWT scores.

Each bus service has its own existing “baseline” EWT depending on the current performance and the characteristics of the route. Typically, a long trunk route will have a higher existing “baseline” EWT. The EWT of a particular bus service can be improved if bus arrivals at each bus stop become more regular and more evenly spaced. A lower EWT means fewer instances of bus bunching and as a result, commuters should generally experience more regular waiting times and greater ease in boarding as the passenger load will be spread more evenly across the various bus trips.

EWT will be measured during both peak and off-peak hours from Mondays to Fridays, excluding Public Holidays. This will include satellite-based global positioning system data that track public buses, the ticketing system, as well as on-site audits.

Improving reliability:

EWT Baselines for Mar 2014

EWT Baselines for Mar 2014

Under the BSRF, bus operators are given monetary incentives to reduce their EWTs. Reducing EWTs is operationally challenging and additional resources will be required, such as boosting the number of staff at OCCs to manage bus services and having standby buses to be deployed mid-route if there are delays to buses which are already en-route.

Incentives are calibrated in accordance with the efforts and operational costs involved in improving the reliability of the services. Operators are rewarded only when they achieve improvements in bus service regularity, and are penalized if the service is not so. Similar incentive-penalty schemes have been practised in other cities. The BSRF system, including the relative quanta of incentives and penalties, was modeled after London which has successfully implemented a similar programme for over 12 years.

To allow bus operators to adjust to the new framework, a transition period from 3 February until 31 May 2014 monitors EWTs without offering any incentives or penalties.

OCCs can regulate bus speeds by having the bus slow down or hold at bus stops for short intervals, generally no more than about a minute or so and only if it does not cause any obstruction. All buses are already required to adhere to speed limits on the roads, as well as being installed with speed limiters that prevent them from going beyond 60km/h.

The BSRF trial allows LTA to better understand bus reliability improvements that can be made on different types of routes, as well as the BSRF’s effectiveness to get bus operators to improve service reliability, complemented by other regulatory measures such as more strictly enforcing bus lanes and enhancing bus priority schemes and measures. The 22 bus services selected for the trial provide a balance of high frequency feeder and trunk routes with some reliability issues.

Incentive and Penalties:

Incentive amounts are calibrated in accordance to the effort and therefore operational costs involved in improving the EWT performance of a bus service. For example, as it is operationally more challenging to manage and regulate the bus arrival intervals of a larger bus fleet, higher incentives are allocated to services with larger fleet sizes. This also translates to higher penalties for underperformance of services with larger fleet sizes.

For each 0.1 minute outperformance or underperformance in EWT score when compared to the baseline, the following monthly incentive and penalty quantum will apply:

Fleet Size category < 10 buses 10 to <20 buses ≥ 20 buses
Incentive Amount $2,000 $4,000 $6,000
Penalty Amount $1,300 $2,600 $4,000

As BSRF is a significant change to bus operations, there will be no incentives nor penalties until end of May 2014 to allow PTOs time to adjust. Incentives and penalties will be assessed and paid out to the bus operators on a 6-monthly basis, after the phase-in period.

Concerns:

Safety concerns were raised after the announcement of the BSRF , notably as to whether the penalty framework would lead to unsafe driving since bus drivers may be pressured to keep to their schedule. Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew assured that the BSRF is unlikely to encourage unsafe driving behaviour from bus drivers as the BSRF works by having buses slow down to even out arrival times, instead of speeding up.

In addition, safety will be ensured with speed limiters on buses restricted to 60kmh, and disciplinary actions will be taken against drivers who are found driving recklessly. As operators continue to comply with QoS Standards on accident rates (<0.75 per 100,000 km per month), LTA will closely monitor the trend on BSRF services.

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Trial Results:

Jun 2014 BSRF results. Image from LTA FB.

Jun 2014 BSRF results. Image from LTA FB.

Initial results for the BSRF were released on 16th Jun 2014.

For SMRT Buses, all 4 trunk services (Services 176, 184, 188 & 858) have seen improvements in their Excess Wait Time (EWT) compared to 2013. Results for its feeder bus services (Services 901, 911 & 302) have been mixed. Exact scores are reflected in the table on the right.

The 8 SBS Transit bus services which were included in the BSRF trial in March & April have also shown improvements across the board in their EWT scores. This means that the actual waiting times of the bus services are now closer to their scheduled waiting times, with lesser instances of bus bunching.

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Gallery:

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External Links & References:

Back to Bus Services
Back to Bus Articles

Rail Bridging Services

Rail Bridging Services (or MRT/LRT shuttle buses) are emergency bus services which  are provided in the event of a rail disruption. When a section of the rail network is suspended, these buses would ferry affected commuters between affected stations, hence minimizing the impact of rail disruptions on commuters. 

Route Information
Route Plies between affected stations along the rail network
Passes Through All train stations along the affected stretch
Fares Free travel
Operator Information
Current Operator SBS Transit / SMRT Buses
Current Depot No restrictions
Current Fleet Any available buses
Shifts 
Frequency Loop Service
Not fixed

History:

SMRT Rail Bridging Shuttle

Rail bridging services are a necessary part of rail operations in the event of a service disruption. Due to the high density of urban rail lines, existing modes of public transport are usually unable to cope with the surge of stranded commuters. As such, rail operators are obliged to arrange for shuttle buses that ferry commuters between affected stations.

Due to the multi-modal nature of local Public Transport Operators (PTOs) SBS Transit and SMRT, either operator is responsible for the organization of bus bridging services when their network is affected.

Deployment:

In the past, LTA required PTOs to activate rail bridging services when rail services are expected to be suspended for over an hour. In recent years, buses have been activated at the onset of a disruption and the first buses arrive at affected stations within half an hour after the start of a disruption.

In response to a disruption, buses plying nearby bus routes can be taken out of revenue service to be quickly deployed on the rail bridging service. Subsequently, more buses can be sent from nearby bus depots (or pulled from other bus services) to supplement the buses already running on the shuttle.

Restrictions on buses deployed to rail bridging shuttles are usually dependent on surrounding roads. SBS Transit has not deployed double-deck buses on shuttle routes yet, possibly due to the risk of low headroom when plying certain roads along the route. SMRT frequently deploys articulated buses on its shuttle routes, but however, certain areas like Changi Airport basement cannot accommodate such long buses and hence relies on regular 12m rigid buses.

Route:

Rail bridging shuttles do not have a fixed route; they simply call at affected stations along the rail network. However, PTOs do train their drivers for emergency shuttle routes and may provide route diagrams for bus drivers to follow. Every station on the rail network has designated bus stops where commuters can board the shuttle buses and continue their journey. Such information can be found pasted around train stations. Certain bus interchanges near MRT/LRT stations have dedicated boarding berths for emergency shuttle services.

Regular Bus Services:

At the onset of a disruption, regular bus services calling at affected stations are the fastest way for affected commuters to continue their journey. Under a new agreement by both PTOs, all bus services calling at an affected station offers free travel for commuters boarding at that stop, regardless of operator.

Fares: Free travel for all commuters.

Notable occurrences (unplanned):

  • 15th & 17th Dec 2011: A five-hour and seven-hour delay along the North-South Line between Marina Bay and Ang Mo Kio on both days were the worst disruptions to hit SMRT in over 20 years. Despite the large number of buses deployed, the large scale disruption was difficult to contain.
  • 15th Mar 2012: The North-East Line between Dhoby Ghaut and HarbourFront was suspended for almost 12 hours after a fault discovered in the early hours was not resolved until 4:35pm in the afternoon. Rail bridging services were running throughout the morning and afternoon to ferry affected commuters.

Notable occurrences (planned):

  • 12th & 19th Sep 2010: Train services were suspended on both Sundays between Jurong East and Clementi (on the East-West Line) and between Jurong East and Bukit Batok (on the North-South Line) respectively due to track modification works for the Jurong East Modification Project (JEMP). SMRT deployed large numbers of shuttle buses on both days.
  • 18th Dec 2011: Following the major disruptions of 15th & 17th Dec, the North-South Line, East-West Line and Changi Airport Extension were suspended on Sunday morning as engineers carried out a detailed inspection of the entire train network in what was likely the largest-scale planned shutdown of the train network. SBS Transit provided bus bridging services along the full stretch of the East-West Line, as well as the Changi Airport branch line. SMRT provided bus briding services along the whole North-South Line.

Occurrences in 2014:

  • 11 Jan 2014: Train service between Yew Tee and Woodlands on the North-South Line were disrupted for about two hours, leading to deployment of shuttle buses between affected stations.
  • 22 Jan 2014: Train service between Tanah Merah and Pasir Ris on the East-West Line were disrupted for about an hour due to a trackside fault. Shuttle bus deployed between affected stations but train service resumed shorter afterwards.
  • 7 Mar 2014: A short disruption on the full stretch of the Downtown Line lead to activation of shuttle buses for around half an hour of downtime.
  • 22 Mar 2014: A short disruption between Dhoby Ghaut and Sengkang on the North-East Line led to activation of shuttle buses, however most buses were withdrawn before starting on shuttle service as the fault was quickly resolved.
  • 6 Apr 2014: 1.5hr Service disruption between Potong Pasir and Dhoby Ghaut along the NEL.
  • 21 Aug 2014: Nine-hour disruption along the North-East Line between Sengkang and Punggol led to shuttle buses being deployed between Buangkok and Punggol.

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Gallery:

East-West Line

SBS8662M – EWL Shuttle

SBS8221C – EWL Shuttle (CGA Branch)

SMB1326P – EWL Shuttle

TIB1100X – EWL Shuttle

North-South Line
North-East Line

SBS2790R – NEL Shuttle

SBS6146A – NEL Shuttle

SBS905R – NEL Shuttle

Circle Line
Downtown Line

SBS6100G – DTL Shuttle

Bukit Panjang LRT
Sengkang & Punggol LRT

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Training Bus

Training Buses are buses from various transport operators (SBS Transit and SMRT) that have been delegated to driver training duties. Bus Operators (PTOs) maintain a small fleet of such buses specifically for full-time training use, however other buses may be used.

SMRT Mercedes-Benz O405 Training Bus

Driver training encompasses a few disciplines. In its most basic form, drivers are trained for the basic operation of buses before they can acquire their license. During the training phase, specialized training buses will be used. These buses are usually modified from their revenue service counterparts, with additional L-plate holders (which indicates under instruction), safety cameras mounted on the bus exterior, and an additional seat fitted beside the driver’s cab for the driving instructor. This additional features are not compulsory; ordinary revenue service buses can also be used as training buses when not deployed on the roads.

At the end of basic training, bus captains working for public bus companies have an Omnibus Driver’s Vocational Licence, valid only while the holder is an omnibus driver with SBS Transit Ltd or SMRT Buses Ltd.

Apart from basic training, bus and route familiarization may also utilize training buses. Bus drivers receiving additional training for the operating of new bus models (or high-capacity buses) undergo additional training which usually does not require the need for specially retrofitted training buses. Currently, SBS Transit and SMRT allow drivers (who have been with the company for a few years) to undergo additional training for the operation of double-deck and/or bendy buses, which require additional care while handling.

Next, route familiarization trains drivers on existing or new bus routes, ensuring that they are familiar with the route before the drivers can be deployed on service. It can be conducted with or without the need for dedicated training buses. Sometimes, route familiarization can be conducted whilst on revenue service (with a route instructor).

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SBS Transit Employee Bus Service

Employee Bus Services (commonly abbreviated EB) are non-scheduled bus services mostly plying between bus depots and housing estates or dormitories. They primarily serve SBS Transit staff members, mostly Bus Captains, as a means of getting to and from work during the after-hours when public transport ceases to operate. They are similar to SMRT’s Worker’s Transport services.

SBST Mercedes-Benz Citaro (SBS6685K) – Employee Bus EB10

Route Information
Route Plies between bus depots and housing estates / dormitories
Passes Through Calls at enroute stops; no fixed route
Fares Free travel
Operator Information
Current Operator SBS Transit
Current Depot All depots
Current Fleet Any available bus, usually single-deck buses
Shifts 

Employee bus services are numbered with the prefix “EB”, followed by a number. The exact number of EB services are unknown, but the lowest and highest numbers spotted so far are EB1 and EB51.

These services do not ply fixed routes, but they do have specific areas of coverage. Hence, they benefit SBS Transit employees which live around the area. As a company shuttle bus, travel is free but only available to employees of SBS Transit. Some EBs also ply between bus depots and bus parks.

EB services are part of SBS Transit’s internal bus operations and detailed information is unavailable to the public. As such, deployments and routings are largely based on observations.

It is worth a mention that Singapore Bus Service (SBS) did publish a full list of their EB services in a 1984 issue of their Busway magazine, from EB1 through EB51. The routes details are now obsolete and we have yet to find up-to-date publicly released information pertaining to EB services (which is unlikely to be released in the first place).

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Volvo B10TL

Volvo B10TL

SBS Transit Volvo B10TL

Other names Super Olympian, VSO
Manafacturer Volvo Buses
Bodywork Volgren CR221LD
ComfortDelGro Engineering
Year 1999–
Local Operators SBS Transit
Technical Data
Length 12m
Width 2.55m
Entry Low Floor
Engine Volvo D10A-285
Gearbox Voith DIWA 863.3
ZF 4HP 500
ZF 5HP 590
Emission Standard Euro II

The Volvo B10TL, commonly known as the Volvo Super Olympian, is a rear-engined low-floor double-decker transit bus built by Volvo Buses since 1998. It is the successor to the three-axle Volvo Olympian, while the two-axle version was relaced by the Volvo B7TL. Designed for the oriental market, the bus was highly popular in Hong Kong, with many units exported there.

SBS Transit is the sole operator of the Volvo B10TL in Singapore, with 51 units delivered between 1999 and 2002. 50 units were built with bodywork by Volgren of Australia, and one unit was bodied by ComfortDelGro Engineering, a subsidary of SBS Transit’s parent company ComfortDelGro.

Design:

The Volvo B10TL chassis was designed based on its predecessor, the Volvo Olympian. The front radiator was moved behind the front axle to free up space for rear components. To further lower the chassis, dropped axles were implemented; however they also removed the passive steering function of the middle axle (which was present in the Volvo Olympian). As such, Volvo B10TLs display noticeable tyre screeching from the middle axle while nagivating tight corners.

The original passive suspension system has been upgraded to an electronically-controlled semi-active suspension. A unique feature of the bus is that after turning, the suspension unit does not automatically stabilize until the bus becomes stationary. Until then, the bus will slant towards the left or right.

Volvo Super Olympians were offered with the Euro II-compliant Volvo D10A-285 engine delivering 285 horsepower, coupled with Voith and ZF gearbox options. A Euro III-compliant version (Volvo D10A-285 ECO1) was offered from Year 2000 onwards. The engine was less powerful compared to the 305-horsepower Cummins M11-305E used on the Neoplan Centroliners and the Dennis Trident 3 (which came out two years earlier), or the 335 horsepower of the later Cummins ISMe Euro III used on later batches of the Dennis Trident 3. As such, they were notorious for their slower acceleration and poor hill-climbing abilities.

The chassis was compatible with various bodyworks, such as the Alexander ALX500, Volgren CR221LD, Volgren CR223LD and the Wright Explorer. Chassis lengths of 10.6m, 11.3 and 12.0m were offered, but no orders were placed for the 11.3m version.

Initially, the Super Olympian chassis were built in Volvo’s factory in Irvine, Scotland. After the closure of the factory in mid-2000, production was moved to Wrocław, Poland.

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SBS & SBS Transit:

Singapore Bus Service (SBS) took delivery of its first Volvo B10TL in 1999, registered as SBS9888Y and bodied by Volgren. A later 50 units were brought in between 2002 and 2003, when SBS had already rebranded itself to SBS Transit. These production batch buses were fitted with Volgren bodywork, and assembled locally (with the exception of one). Finally, the last B10TL chassis was reserved to be fitted with a prototype bodywork developed by SBS Transit in cooperation with PSV international and built by Comfort DelGro Engineering (SBS Transit’s engineering wing). It entered service in 2005 as SBS9889U, the last Volvo B10TL to be registered.

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SBS Volvo B10TL Volgren-bodied Demonstrator (SBS9888Y)

In 1999, Volvo brought in a demonstrator Volvo B10TL for Singapore Bus Services (SBS) for trail purposes. Registered as SBS9888Y, it was the first low-floor double-decker bus to be introduced in Singapore, and a showcase for the next-generation double deckers to come. The bus was registered on 1 Nov 1999.

SBS9888Y in SBS era, from gakei.com

SBS9888Y desto in SBST livery

Basic Specifications:

  • Volvo D10A-285 engine
    Euro II-compliant, 285-bhp, 8268cc.
  • ZF Ecomat 5HP 590 gearbox
    Five-speed automatic.
  • Volgren CR221LD Bodywork
    Bodywork was supplied and assembled by Volgren of Australia, of the CR221LD build. Shipped completely-built-up (CBU) to Singapore.
  • Denso air-conditioning unit
  • Mobitec Electronic Display Signages (EDS)
    Green flipdot matrix design, removed in 2005

Launched as “Singapore’s First Low-floor Superbus”, SBS9888Y’s chassis was assembled at Volvo’s UK plant in Irvine, Scotland, and bodied by Volgren in Dandenong, Australia, and finally shipped completely built up to Singapore. The body was a CR221LD demonstration model, arranged with 55 upper deck seats, 28 lower deck seats and standing space for 42 passengers.

The bus originally served on SBS’s flagship route Express 502, until the route was shortened due to NEL rationalization, and re-deployed to other routes. The Mobitec flip-dot EDS was removed in November 2005 after it was deemed unserviceable, and the bus reverted to using plastic destos. However, the black border around the EDS was retained and remained as a distinguishing feature from the subsequent production batch Volvo B10TLs.

In the early hours of 7 March 2010, SBS9889Y was burnt down in a fire at Ang Mo Kio bus depot, along with five other double-decker buses. It was deregistered a year later.

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SBS Volvo B10TL Volgren-bodied Production Batch (SBS9800A – SBS9849K)

After the successful trail of SBS9888U, Singapore Bus Services placed orders for a subsequent batch of 51 Volvo B10TLs chassis in 2001. 50 of them were produced under the Production Batch. They were registered between 4 Apr 2002 and 11 Apr 2003 as SBS9800A – SBS9849K.

Volvo B10TL Super Olympian (SBS9809B) - Fast Forward 10e

Volvo B10TL – LECIP EDS

Volvo B10TL – Desto

Basic Specifications:

  • Volvo D10A-285 engine
    Euro II-compliant, 285-bhp, 8268cc.
  • Voith DIWA 863.3 original gearbox (43 units)
    Three-speed automatic, only differing technical aspect from SBS9888Y.
  • ZF Ecomat 4HP500 gearbox (7 units)
    Four-speed automatic, replaced original Voith.
  • Volgren CR221LD Bodywork
    Bodywork supplied by Volgren of Australia, assembled locally by Soon Chow + SBS Engineering Pte Ltd.
  • Denso air-conditioning unit
  • LECIP Electronic Display Signages (EDS)
    Orange LED matrix design, installed in 2011/2012.

Unlike SBS9888Y, these buses were not equipped with Electronic Display Signages (EDSes), relying on the traditional plastic destination plate instead. The gearbox was also changed from the ZF 5HP 590 to the Voith DIWA 863.3 for all units (however, some buses were later fitted with ZF gearboxes).

SBS9810X was built at Irvine, Scotland, but following the plant’s closure, the remaining units were built at another Volvo plant in Wroclaw, Poland. All buses were built with the Volgren CR221LD in completely knocked down (CKD) kits and assembeld locally by SBS Engineering Pte Ltd at Defu; however SBS9810X is an exception and was fully assembled in Australia. In the process, it was fitted with a Transit Media EDS unit. SBS9800A is the other exception, having been assembled by Soon Chow.

SBS9800A entered service in April 2002, but the remaining 49 buses of the Production Batch would only enter service in April 2003.

Additional Specifications:

The Volvo B10TL has a licensed capacity of 125 passengers, with 55 upper deck seating, 28 lower deck seating, and 42 standing passengers. Despite the low-floor design, wheelchair ramps were never installed, unlike the other Volvo B10TLs in Hong Kong.

Seven of the Volvo B10TLs had their original Voith DIWA 863.3 gearbox replaced with the four-speed ZF Ecomat 4HP500 gearbox. They were SBS9805L, SBS9806J, SBS9812R, SBS9817C, SBS9825D, SBS9827Z & SBS9834C.

In Dec 2011, SBS9822L was the first Volvo B10TL of the Production Batch to receive an EDS upgrade, with a LECIP EDS similar to those installed on the Batch 3 Volvo Olympians.  The upgrade was short-lived; about a week later, the EDS was changed for a larger LECIP EDS, of similar size to SBS9810X’s original EDS. Eventually, all Production Batch B10TLs received this upgrade, including SBS9810X, which had its original Transit Media EDS replaced.

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SBS Transit Volvo B10TL CDGE-bodied demonstrator (SBS9889U)

After the successful trail of SBS9888U, SBS placed orders for a subsequent batch of 51 Volvo B10TLs. Although 50 of them were produced under the Production Batch, the last unit was retained by SBS Transit (re-branded from SBS in late 2001) to be fitted with a prototype bodywork. It was registered on 1 Mar 2005 as SBS9889U.

SBS9889U unrefurbished

SBS9889U refurbished under BRBP

Basic Specifications:

  • Volvo D10A-285 engine
    Euro II-compliant, 285-bhp, 8268cc.
  • Voith DIWA 863.3 gearbox
    Three-speed automatic
  • ComfortDelgro Engineering (CDGE) Bodywork
    Designed and built in conjunction with PSV International. Built and assembled locally, it was to serve as the design basis for the first batch of Volvo B9TLs bodied by CDGE.
  • Denso air-conditioning unit
  • LECIP Electronic Display Signages (EDS)
    Orange LED matrix design

This bus was registered on 1 March 2005 as SBS9889U, making it the last non-wheelchair-accessible bus in SBS Transit’s fleet, as well as the bus with the largest registration number in numerical order. It was fitted with a Transit Media EDS unit for the front and side, but never received a rear EDS.

SBS9889U was bodied with a prototype bodywork designed by SBS Transit in cooperation with PSV International. Completed in 2003, the bus did not see revenue servince until 21 March 2005, making its debut on Service 147. The prototype bodywork was to be a platform for the later CDGE-bodied Volvo B9TLs.

Originally with a blue-themed interior, the bus was refurbished in 2012 with SBS Transit’s signature yellow and red seat covers. That same year, the EDS was reformatted to show route details in addition to scrolling between the two end termini of a particular route.

In early 2014, the Transit Media EDS units were replaced with a LECIP EDS unit, identical to the small-font units used on the CDGE-bodied Volvo B9TLs.

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Additional Specifications:

The Volvo B10TL has a licensed capacity of 121 passengers, with 55 upper deck seating, 27 lower deck seating, and 39 standing passengers. Despite the low-floor design, wheelchair ramps were never installed, unlike other Volvo B10TLs in Hong Kong.

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Comparison Table:

SBS Transit Scania K230UB
Production Batch Volgren Demonstrator CDGE Demonstrator
Registration SBS9800A – SBS9849K SBS9888Y SBS9889U
Quantity 50 1 1
Registration Period 9800A: 4 Apr 2002
9801Y – 9849K:
17 Feb 2003 – 11 Apr 2003
1 Nov 1999 1 Mar 2005
Bodywork Volgren CR221LD ComfortDelGro Engineering
Technical
Engine Volvo D10A-285 (Euro II)
Displacement 8268 cc
Power/torque 285 hp (210kW) @ 2000 rpm / 1200 Nm @ 1450 rpm
Transmission Voith DIWA 863.3 (43)
ZF 4HP 500 (7)
ZF 5HP 590 Voith DIWA 863.3
Passenger Capacity* U55/L28 + S42 U55/L27 + S39
EDS LECIP None
Previously: Mobitec Flipdot
LECIP
Previously: Transit Media

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