Category Archives: SBS Transit

Information relating to SBS Transit

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, and the 30th service 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.

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 is the thirtieth (30th) bus service to be 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It is worth noting that 143M’s catchment is similar to the old Feeder 331 which looped at Teban Gardens and was withdrawn due to duplication with Services 51, 79 and 143.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:

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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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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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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
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.

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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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References:

Back to Bus Models
Back to Bus Articles

Scania K310UD

Scania K310UD

SBST Scania K310UD (SBS7888K)

Other names KUD, K310
Manafacturer Scania AB
Bodywork Gemilang Coachworks
Year 2008–
Local Operators SBS Transit
Technical Data
Length 12m
Width 2.55m
Entry Low Entry
Engine Scania DC9 18 310
Gearbox ZF 6HP602CN
Emission Standard Euro IV (EGR)

The Scania K310UD (K-Series 310-bhp Urban Double-deck) is a low-entry wheelchair-accessible double-decker transit bus built by Scania AB. Commonly referred to as the “KUD”, the chassis is manufactured in Europe, and the bodywork supplied by Gemilang Coachworks of Malaysia.

Currently, Singapore’s major bus operator, SBS Transit, is the only operator of Scania K310UDs in Singapore, with a single demonstrator unit to date.

Technical Information:

The Scania K-series is the successor of the Scania L-series and the Scania 4-series. Variants of this chassis can be used as coaches, intercity buses, or urban buses. These include the KUA (Urban Articulated), KUB (3-axle Urban Single deck), KUD (3-axle Urban Double deck), KIB (Intercity Bus) and the KEB (high-end coach). Engine options cover a range of horsepower ratings, from the lowest of 230hp, to the most powerful of 470hp. The full range of engine options is never offered for a particular chassis; for example, the 230hp engine is only available for the KUB chassis.

Unique features of the Scania K-series is the longitudinally, straight-up mounted, inline-cylinder engine located at the rear. The K-series is available with the 9-litre 5-cylinder engine or the 12-litre 6-cylinder engine. Both use Exhaust Gas Re-circulation (EGR) technology to achieve the Euro IV rating. Euro V-rated engines feature both a larger bore and a longer stroke.

SBS Transit K310UD demonstrator (SBS7888K)

Following the successful large intake of the Scania K230UB, SBS Transit acquired a Scania K310UD for demonstration purposes. It was registered as SBS7888K on 26 Mar 2010, during which the Euro V Batch 2 Scania K230UBs were being registered.

Basic Specifications:

  • Scania DC9 18 310 engine
    Inline 5-cylinder turbocharged, 8.867 litres, 310bhp
  • Euro-V compliant
    Exhaust Gas Re-circulation (EGR) technology, doing away with the need for diesel exhaust fluids.
  • ZF Ecomat 6HP602CN gearbox
    Six-speed automatic.
  • Gemilang Coachworks Bodywork
    Custom bodywork designed, built and assembled by Gemilang Coachworks of Malaysia, who also supplied body kits for the Scania K230UBs.
  • Hanover Electronic Display Signages (EDS)
    Orange LED matrix design
  • Carrier air-conditioning unit

The bodywork installed on SBS7888K was the first double-deck bodywork developed by Gemilang Coachworks. The bus was a ‘free gift’ to SBS Transit, paid for by Scania AB after the large number of orders for the Scania K230UB, unlike other demonstrators who are brought in for a trail period only. Similar to the K230UBs, the K310UD is a low-entry bus equipped with one wheelchair bay and a manual ramp. The bus debuted on Service 133M, later transferred to Service 133 and is now a common sight on Service 25.

Additional Specifications:

SBS7888K has a licensed capacity of 132 passengers, inclusive of 55 upper deck seating, 28 lower deck seating, 49 passengers and one wheelchair.

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Gallery: (click for larger image)

SBST Scania K310UD

SBS7888K - Service 70

SBS7888K – Service 70

SBS7888K - Service 70M

SBS7888K – Service 70M

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References:

Back to Bus Models
Back to Bus Articles

Volvo B9TL

Volvo B9TL

SBS Transit Volvo B9TL Wright

Other names B9, CDGE, Wright
Manafacturer Volvo Buses
Bodywork ComfortDelGro Engineering
Wrightbus Limited
Gemilang Coachworks
Year 2006, 2010 –
Local Operators SBS Transit
Technical Data
Length 12m
Width 2.55m
Entry Low Entry / Low Floor
Engine Volvo D9A300 EM-EC01
Volvo D9B310 EC06B
Gearbox Voith DIWA 864.3
Voith DIWA 864.5
ZF Ecomat 6HP602
ZF EcoLife 6AP 1410B
Emission Standard Euro III / V (SCR)

The Volvo B9TL is a rear-engined low-floor double-decker transit bus built by Volvo Buses since 2002. It is the successor to the older Volvo B10TL “Super Olympian” and the Volvo B7TL. The bus is popular in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Singapore.

SBS Transit is the sole operator of the Volvo B9TL in Singapore, with 200 units delivered in 2006 with their own bodywork designed by ComfortDelGro. More deliveries are ongoing since 2010 with over 400 buses delivered, built with the Wright bodywork. As of 2013, a Gemilang-bodied B9TL is being built to supplement the intake of new buses.

Design:

The Volvo B9TL chassis was designed based on the existing Volvo B7TL. A key difference from its B7TL and B10TL predecessors is its new 9.3-liter engine originally designed by Renault Trucks. The larger engine delivers more horsepower, an advantage over the Volvo B10TL which was notorious for its poor performance on steep ascents. Another major design change over the B10TL was the relocation of the water tank from the front of the bus (near the right front wheel) to the rear, next to engine components.

The B9TL was initially offered only in a 12-meter 3-axle format. The 2-axle variant was introduced in 2006 to fully replace the B7TL, with various chassis lengths available (10.3m, 10.4m and 10.6m).

The driveline comprises a Euro III-compliant Volvo D9A engine (rated at 300 or 340 horsepower), which was later replaced by the Euro V-compliant Volvo D9B engine, which relies on Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology, requiring the need for diesel additive fluids such as AdBlue. Two versions were offered – the D9B260 rated at 260-horsepower for the 2-axle version, and a higher powered D9B310, rated at 310-horsepower, for the 3-axle version. Transmission options include a ZF 5/6-speed gearbox or a  Voith 4-speed gearbox. Wheel rims are typically supplied by Alcoa.

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SBS Transit Volvo B9TL – ComfortDelGro bodywork

SBS Transit Prototype WAB B9TL

In late 2004, SBS Transit placed orders for 150 Volvo B9TL chassis at a cost of S$71 million on 28 December 2004, with an option for 50 more units. They were going to be fitted with bodywork from ComfortDelgro Engineering (CDGE), a branch of SBS Transit’s parent company ComfortDelgro. A trial bodywork had previously been tested on a Volvo B10TL (SBS9889U), developed by SBS in cooperation with PSV International. The new bodywork was ready to be refitted for use on the Volvo B9TL.

On 15 February 2006, a prototype bus was unveiled, a Volvo B9TL with a zero-step entrance, a manual wheelchair ramp and other wheelchair-friendly features. As Singapore’s first Wheelchair-Accessible Bus (WAB), they were going to pave the way for more WABs and a more disabled-friendly transport system. The launch date was delayed from April to June to prepare bus stops for wheelchair boarding and alighting activities. Finally, on 27 June 2006, SBS Transit Service 21 became the first wheelchair-accessible bus service with 10 Volvo B9TL CDGEs in its fleet.

Volvo B9TL debuts on Service 21

Later in 2006, SBS Transit exercised its options for an additional 50 more buses at a cost of S$29 million, soon after putting its first B9TLs into operation, bringing the total fleet size to 200. These B9TLs come with the same Euro III-compliant Volvo D9A300 engine, but a four-speed Voith gearbox instead of the six-speed ZF. All units were registered just days before the government-set deadline for Euro-IV compliant diesel engines. The Volvo B9TL CDGE was registered from SBS7300P to SBS7499A.

Basic Specifications:

  • Volvo D9A300 EM-EC01 engine
    Turbocharged & intercooled, inline 6-cylinder, 9364cc, 300hp (220kW)
    Euro III-compliant
  • ZF Ecomat 6HP602 gearbox (149 units) – Six-speed automatic
  • Voith DIWA 864.3 gearbox (50 units) – Four-speed automatic
  • ZF EcoLife 6AP 1410B gearbox (1 unit) – Six-speed automatic
  • ComfortDelGro Engineering Bodywork
    Bodywork designed, supplied and assembled locally by ComfortDelGro Engineering, SBS Transit’s engineering branch.
  • LECIP Electronic Display Signages (EDS)
    Orange LED matrix design, installed in 2011
  • Denso air-conditioning, rear-mounted

Unlike most SBS (or CDGE) assembled buses which have their bodywork kits shipped in completely knocked down (CKD) form, CDGE bodied these buses themselves completely, hence these buses were fully constructed in Singapore. The Government had subsidized the cost of fitting the bus with wheelchair-friendly equipment such as the manually operated wheelchair ramps. Each bus has one wheelchair bay.

Additional features:

The Volvo B9TL CDGE has a licensed passenger capacity of 124 passengers, consisting of 53 upper deck seating, 27 lower deck seating and 44 standing passengers. An interesting feature at the upper deck are two rows of three longitudinal aisle-facing seats, located in front of the rearmost row of seats.

The bus was also equipped with safety features such as throttle interlocking, which prevents the bus from moving off when doors are opened. Doors will not open above 5kmh not close if the wheelchair ramp is still deployed. Additional blinkers on the offside of the bus makes the bus more visible to oncoming traffic as it exits a bus bay.

Volvo B9TL CDGE fitted with LECIP EDS

In 2011, SBS Transit replaced the traditional plastic destos with Electronic Display Signages (EDS) by LECIP on their Volvo B9TL CDGEs. SBS7392Z was the first bus to receive it, and all other CDGE B9TLs followed suit. The upgrade consists of three sets of electronic displays, for the front, side and rear of the bus. The new LECIP EDSes had route numbers that were considerably smaller, but eventually accepted by many commuters.

On 7 March 2010, SBS7440T from service 25 was burnt beyond repair in a fire at Ang Mo Kio Bus Depot. It was de-registered several months later, making it the first Volvo B9TL in Singapore to be deregistered.

SBS7321D had its ZF 6HP602 gearbox replaced with a ZF EcoLife 6AP 1410B gearbox for reasons unknown. The same gearbox is fitted to Batch 1 Volvo B9TL Wrights (see below).

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SBS Transit Volvo B9TL – Wright Eclipse Gemini II bodywork [Overview]

The Volvo B9TL Wright is among the most common bus models in Singapore, and introduced into service in different batches. Here, we lay down the differences between each batch for the subsequent article.

The most common bus reference site for Singapore buses, sgwiki.com buses, uses a different format of classifying buses by batch. However, the authors believe that the following is a superior method for the batch classification of the Volvo B9TL Wright:

Batch Reg. No. Notes
Batch 1 SBS7500D – SBS7686B 150 units ; Sep 2010 – Aug 2011
ZF EcoLife 6AP 1410B gearbox
Low-entry
Batch 2 SBS7700T – SBS7729L 30 units; Sep 2011 – Dec 2011
Voith DIWA 864.5 gearbox
Low-entry
Batch 3 SBS3000G – SBS3299L, SBS3600A onwards Deliveries are ongoing. Registration started in Nov 2011, expected completion beyond 2015
Voith DIWA 864.5 gearbox
Fully Low-floor
BSEP Batch SBS3300R onwards Deliveries are ongoing. Registration started in Nov 2011, expected completion beyond 2015
Mix of low-floor and low-entry
Specifications identical to several buses of previous batches

In this format, we put more emphasis on technical specifications rather than separating ‘batches’ by their date of introduction.

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SBS Transit Volvo B9TL – Wright Eclipse Gemini II bodyworkBatch 1

In August 2009, SBS Transit placed orders for 150 more Volvo B9TLs with the Wright Eclipse Gemini II (nicknamed WEG2) bodywork produced by Wrightbus of Northern Ireland. Registered from 13 Sep 2010 to 26 Aug 2011, they were part of a fleet renewal programme costing $87 million.

The B9TL Wright had previously been popular with bus operators in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom, with a good reputation for reliability and emission standards. The buses would be registered from SBS7500D – SBS7686B, excluding registration numbers containing “4” in the third and fourth digit.

SBS Transit Volvo B9TL Wright – Nearside

Volvo B9TL Wright – Offside

Basic Specifications:

  • Volvo D9B310 EC06B engine
    Turbocharged & intercooled, 9364cc, 310hp (228kW)
  • Euro-V compliant
    Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology requiring diesel exhaust fluids such as AdBlue.
  • ZF EcoLife 6AP 1410B gearbox
    Six-speed automatic
  • Wright Eclipse Gemini II Bodywork
    Body kits supplied by Wrightbus of United Kingdom in CKD (complete knock-down) form, assembled locally by SBS Transit’s technical counterpart, ComfortDelgro Engineering
  • Hanover Electronic Display Signages (EDS)
    Orange LED matrix design.
  • Carrier Sutrak air-conditioning, rear-mounted

SBS7500D, assembled in UK

SBS7500D, the Volvo B9TL Wright prototype, was assembled by Wrightbus in Northern Ireland and shipped completely-built-up (CBU) to Singapore, where it was used as a reference unit for the local assembly of other WEG2 kits.

Built to Hong Kong specifications, an opaque sticker was placed over the upper deck window, where a TV screen would have been installed. Also, a rectangular depression was cut out at the rear, where buses in HK would have fixed their registration plates. Finally, the interior flooring differs from other Wrights. Minor differences aside, technical specifications of SBS7500D are identical to other Batch One B9TL Wrights.

Additional Specifications:

Another Batch 1 Wright

The Volvo B9TL Wright has a licensed capacity for 131 passengers, comprising of 55 upper deck seating, 27 lower deck seating and 49 standing passengers, with a single wheelchair bay. Step free access is available from entry to exit door. Safety features include electronically-controlled air suspension, automatic brakes (when doors are open), anti-lock braking system (ABS) and traction control.

The first batch of Volvo B9TLs are also the last batch to use six-speed ZF gearboxes. Subsequent batches of Volvo B9TLs would all use four-speed Voiths. Although the ZF offers smoother acceleration and performs better at highway speeds, the Voith offers faster initial pickup and lower service intervals.

Many buses were modified with a rear cooling fan on the engine cover to help dissipate heat from the engine.

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SBS Transit Volvo B9TL – Wright Eclipse Gemini II bodyworkBatch 2

In September 2010, SBS Transit placed orders for a further 300 units of Volvo B9TLs with the Wright Eclipse Gemini II bodywork produced by Wrightbus. 30 of them were built to similar interior configurations as the Batch 1 Wrights, and these were registered as SBS7700T – SBS7729L, from 21 Sep 2011 – 30 Dec 2011.

Volvo B9TL Wright – Batch 2

Basic Specifications:

  • Volvo D9B310 EC06B engine
    Turbocharged & intercooled, 9364cc, 310hp (228kW)
  • Euro-V compliant
    Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology requiring diesel exhaust fluids such as AdBlue.
  • Voith DIWA 864.5 gearbox
    Four-speed automatic
  • Wright Eclipse Gemini II Bodywork
    Body kits supplied by Wrightbus of United Kingdom in CKD (complete knock-down) form, assembled locally by SBS Transit’s technical counterpart, ComfortDelgro Engineering
  • Hanover Electronic Display Signages (EDS)
    Orange LED matrix design.
  • Carrier Sutrak air-conditioning, rear-mounted

The only technical difference between Batch 1 and Batch 2 Wrights is the Voith DIWA 864.5 gearbox in place of the ZF EcoLife 6AP 1410B gearbox. The low-entry chassis meant that there was a step on the lower deck between the exit door and the lower deck seating. From Batch 3 onwards, chassis were of the low-floor version.

Although very similar, the lower deck interior flooring has slight modifications as compared to the Batch 1 to accommodate more equipment.

Additional Specifications:

Batch 2 Wright with full-body advertising

Similar to Batch 1 Wrights, Batch 2 Wrights have a licensed capacity for 131 passengers, comprising of 55 upper deck seating, 27 lower deck seating and 49 standing passengers, with a single wheelchair bay. Step free access applies from entry to exit door. Safety features include electronically-controlled air suspension, automatic brakes (when doors are open), anti-lock braking system (ABS) and traction control.

Many buses were modified with a rear cooling fan on the engine cover to help dissipate heat from the engine.

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SBS Transit Volvo B9TL – Wright Eclipse Gemini II bodywork – Batch 3

In September 2010, SBS Transit placed orders for a further 300 units of Volvo B9TLs with the Wright Eclipse Gemini II bodywork produced by Wrightbus, but changed their specifications to a fully-low-floor design, featuring zero-step access from the entrance to the rear row of seats for the remaining 270 units. This specification remains unchanged ever since 2011. In July 2012, a further 550 more units were ordered, some of which will be registered under the BSEP batch.

To differentiate them from the Batch 2 Wrights, these buses were registered as SBS3000G – SBS3299L and SBS3600A onwards in numerical order. Deliveries are expected to be completed in 2015, with at least 750 units delivered of this specification.

Volvo B9TL – Batch 2B

Volvo B9TL – Batch 3

Basic Specifications:

  • Volvo D9B310 EC06B engine
    Turbocharged & intercooled, 9364cc or 9368cc, 310hp (228kW)
  • Euro-V compliant
    Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology requiring diesel exhaust fluids such as AdBlue.
  • Voith DIWA 864.5 gearbox
    Four-speed automatic
  • Wright Eclipse Gemini II Bodywork
    Body kits supplied by Wrightbus of United Kingdom in CKD (complete knock-down) form, assembled locally by SBS Transit’s technical counterpart, ComfortDelgro Engineering
  • LECIP or Hanover Electronic Display Signages (EDS)
    Orange LED matrix design.
  • Carrier Sutrak air-conditioning, rear-mounted

The initial plan for SBS Transit was to acquire 270 units of this specification (SBS3000G to SBS3269Z). However midway through delivery, 30 buses of this batch were diverted to the then-newly-launched Bus Services Enhancement Programme (BSEP), for deployment on new BSEP routes, as well as the service enhancement of existing routes. This left 240 buses in the batch.

However, in July 2012, SBS Transit placed orders for a further 550 units of Volvo B9TLs with identical specifications, renewing the deliveries of Batch 3 buses. Deliveries are ongoing and expected to be completed in 2015. Again, in July 2014, a further 415 units were announced to add on to the Batch 3 Wrights.

These were the first batch of B9TL Wrights to feature LECIP EDS units. All of these buses have identical technical specifications, but registered in different phases.

Additional Specifications:

Another Batch 3 – SBS3269Z

With the new fully-low-floor chassis, the interior configuration was modified. Four of the original side-facing seats were converted into two sets of forward facing seats located behind the exit door. A larger EDS was installed on the nearside of the bus. Licensed carrying capacity increased from 131 to 133 passengers, comprising of 55 upper deck seating, 27 lower deck seating, 51 standing passengers and a single wheelchair bay.

Many buses were modified with a rear cooling fan on the engine cover to help dissipate heat from the engine.

SBS3189X and all buses registered after SBS3761T in numerical order are fitted with a Hanover EDS similar to the Batch 1 and 2 Wrights. All other Batch 3 Wrights have LECIP EDS units.

Engine Specification change:

Although the normal Volvo D9B310 EC06B engine is 9364cc, SBS Transit brought in 30 buses with a modified 9368cc engine instead. 20 units were registered for the Batch 3 (SBS3240E – SBS3259C), and 10 units for the BSEP Batch (SBS3330D – SBS3339E).

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SBS Transit Volvo B9TL – Wright Eclipse Gemini II bodywork – BSEP Batch

For background information on the BSEP, read the Bus Services Enhancement Programme article.

The BSEP Batch comprises of all Volvo B9TL Wrights that are under the Bus Services Enhancement Programmed (BSEP). Purchase of these buses are fully paid for by the Government, inclusive of maintenance costs of the bus for the next ten years from initial registration. They were registered as SBS3300R onwards, and deliveries are expected until 2015.

Volvo B9TL – BSEP Batch

Volvo B9TL – BSEP Batch

Basic Specifications:

  • Volvo D9B310 EC06B engine
    Turbocharged & intercooled, 9364cc or 9368cc, 310hp (228kW)
  • Euro-V compliant
    Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology requiring diesel exhaust fluids such as AdBlue.
  • Voith DIWA 864.5 gearbox
    Four-speed automatic
  • Wright Eclipse Gemini II Bodywork
    Body kits supplied by Wrightbus of United Kingdom in CKD (complete knock-down) form, assembled locally by SBS Transit’s technical counterpart, ComfortDelgro Engineering
  • LECIP Electronic Display Signages (EDS)
    Orange LED matrix design.
  • Carrier Sutrak air-conditioning, rear-mounted

Technical specifications of the BSEP Batch Wrights are identical to the Batch 3 Wrights.

The initial 30 buses under the BSEP Batch were diverted orders from the 300 buses SBS Transit has announced in September 2010 (Batch 3) to speed up the registration process and acquire a small pool of buses to kickstart the new BSEP routes. Later orders did not interfere much with SBS Transit’s deliveries. All of these buses have identical specifications to the Batch 3, but registered in different phases.

Additional Specifications:

Similar to Batch 3 Wrights, BSEP Wrights have a licensed capacity for 133 passengers. Step free access applies from entry to exit door. Safety features include electronically-controlled air suspension, automatic brakes (when doors are open), anti-lock braking system (ABS) and traction control.

Under the BSEP, these buses are subject to strict deployment regulations, such as being barred from company advertising, and deployment only on BSEP bus routes or enhanced bus routes under the BSEP scheme. Additional onboard equipment installed by LTA can track bus positioning and passenger loading statistics in real time.

Engine Specification change:

Although the normal Volvo D9B310 EC06B engine is 9364cc, SBS Transit brought in 30 buses with a modified 9368cc engine instead. 20 units were registered for the Batch 3 (SBS3240E – SBS3259C), and 10 units for the BSEP Batch (SBS3330D – SBS3339E).

Several units from SBS3385X onwards were fitted with Hanover EDS units.

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SBS Transit Volvo B9TL – Gemilang Coachworks bodywork

In 2013, it emerged that SBS Transit was engaging Malaysian bus builder Gemilang Coachworks to design and assemble a new bodywork for the Volvo B9TL. Gemilang had previously designed and assembled its own bodywork for the Scania K230UB and Scania K310UD.

Intended for launch in December 2013, the first unit failed LTA road tests. The first demonstrator unit, SBS7777Y, was registered on 22 Jan 2014 and debuted on 17 Feb 2014, running on Service 7.

Volvo B9TL Gemilang (Nearside)

Volvo B9TL Gemilang (Offside)

Basic Specifications:

  • Volvo D9B310 EC06B engine
    Turbocharged/intercooled, 9364cc, 310hp (228kW)
  • Euro-V compliant
    Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology requiring diesel exhaust fluids such as AdBlue.
  • Voith DIWA 864.5 gearbox
    Four-speed automatic
  • Gemilang Coachworks Bodywork
    Body designed and assembled by Gemilang Coachworks of Malaysia. Delivered completely-built-up to SBS Transit.
  • LECIP Electronic Display Signages (EDS)
    Orange LED matrix design.
  • Denso air-conditioning, rear-mounted

Technical specifications of the Gemilang B9TL are similar to the other fully-low-floor B9TL Wrights.

The demonstrator unit SBS7777Y is the first SBS Transit bus to be fitted with Daytime Running LED lamps. Ster NewCity seats are also new to the Gemilang B9TL, with previous generations of buses fully relying on Vogelsitze. Licensed capacity is 133 passengers, comprising of 55 upper deck seating, 27 lower deck seating and 51 standing passengers.

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Additional Specifications

Volvo B9TL
Batch Registration Engine Gearbox Introduced Retired Bodywork
CDGE SBS7300P – SBS7499A Volvo D9A300 EM-EC01 ZF Ecomat 6HP602 (150),
Voith DIWA 864.3 (50)
2006 - ComfortDelGro Engineering
1 SBS7500D – SBS7686B Volvo D9B310 EC06B ZF EcoLife 6AP 1410B 2010-2011 - Wrightbus
2 SBS7700T – SBS7729L Voith DIWA 864.5 2011 -
3 SBS3000G – SBS3299L,
SBS3600A onwards
2011-2015 -
BSEP SBS3300R onwards 2013-2015
 
 
GML SBS7777Y Volvo D9B310 EC06B Voith DIWA 864.5 2014- - Gemilang Coachworks

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Summary of SBS Transit Wright B9TL Batch deliveries separated by time period:

August 2009

  • Original order of 150 units

September 2010

  • Original order of 300 units
  • Later split into Batch 2 (30 units), Batch 3 (240 units) and BSEP Batch (30 units)
  • Midway into Batch 2A delivery, SBST changed chassis configuration into a full-low-floor version, hence the remaining 270 units are fully-low-floor.
  • Out of the remaining 270 units, 30 units are funded by the BSEP scheme

July 2012

  • Original order of 550 units
  • Split into Batch 3 (400 units) and BSEP Batch (150 units)
  • BSEP buses are funded under the BSEP scheme

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Volvo B10M-60 (Mark IV)

Volvo B10M Mark IV

SBS Transit Volvo B10M MkIV

Other names Mark 4
Manafacturer Volvo Buses
Bodywork PSV International
Duple Metsec
Walter Alexander
Year 1994 -
Local Operators SBS Transit
Technical Data
Length 12m
Width 2.55m
Entry High floor
Engine Volvo THD101GD
Volvo THD102KF
Gearbox Voith DIWA 381.4
Voith DIWA 863.3
ZF 4HP500
Emission Standard Euro I

The Volvo B10M-60 Mark IV is a mid-engined single-decker transit bus built by Volvo Buses, as part of the B10M line of bus chassis. Commonly referred to as the “Mark 4″, it is the successor of the Volvo B58. Like other Volvo buses, the chassis was manufactured in Sweeden.

Singapore Bus Services (SBS) acquired 475 of such buses between 1994 and 1997, with four different variants of bodywork, namely the PSV, DM, Strider and DM3500. In addition, SBS trailed two demonstrators of this model with extended lengths, both of which were not successful.

Volvo B10M Mark IV – PSV / Soon Chow

In 1993, Singapore Bus Services (SBS) purchased 20 units of the Volvo B10M Mark IV for use on shuttle bus services in Sentosa. Registered as private buses (SH-plate), they were operated by subsidiary company SBS Leisure within Sentosa Island, bearing yellow and green liveries and a Mobitec Flip-dot Electronic Destination Signage (EDS).

SBS chose the 245-horsepower 9603cc Volvo THD102KF engine for this batch of Mark IVs, a slight downgrade from the 273-horsepower Volvo THD101GD engines in the Mark III. The gearbox used was a three-speed automatic Voith DIWA 381.4. Bodywork was supplied by PSV International and assembled by local bus bodybuilder Soon Chow Workshop Pte Ltd. Air-conditioning units were supplied by Sutrak.

SBS Leisure Services:

SBS Leisure operated the Sentosa shuttles with the PSV Mark IVs until their contract with Sentosa terminated in 2004. Ten of the buses were re-registered as SBS8019X – SBS8028U, continuing in numerical order after the Dennis Darts. Their EDSes were removed, and painted with normal SBS livery and entered revenue service. The remaining ten retained their private registration plates, and seven of them were sold to A&S Transport Pte. Ltd.

While SBS8024E and SBS8025C were converted to training buses for Hougang Depot, the remaining eight PSV Mark IVs spent the remainder of their lifespan on Service 78 under Soon Lee Bus Park. With the entire fleet doing revenue service on Service 78, special deployments of these buses to other bus services were sought after by bus enthusiasts.

Nearing their 15-year lifespan, some PSV MkIVs received a refurbishment to extend their lifespan by two years, including the two training buses in Hougang Depot. The last of them retired in 2011.

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Volvo B10M Mark IV – Duple Metsec

In 1995, Singapore Bus Services (SBS) further purchased another 115 units of the Volvo B10M Mark IV. Registered as SBS882U – SBS996C between Aug 1994 and Apr 1996, they were in direct numerical continuation after the Volvo B10M Mark III. These batch of buses come in two engine and two gearbox variants.

Volvo B10M Mark IV – Duple Metsec

Basic Specifications:

  • Volvo THD101GD engine [8 units]
    9600cc, 273hp (204 kW) @ 2200rpm
  • Volvo THD102KF engine [107 units]
    9603cc, 245hp (183 kW) @ 2200rpm
    Euro-I Compliant
  • Voith DIWA 381.4 gearbox [15 units]
    Three-speed automatic
  • ZF 4HP 500 gearbox [100 units]
    Four-speed automatic
  • Duple Metsec Bodywork
    Chassis built in Europe, bodywork supplied by Duple Metsec of UK. Assembled locally by SBS Engineering Pte Ltd.
  • Sutrak air-conditioning, roof mounted

The Volvo B10M MkIV was part of a large fleetwide expansion and renewal scheme by SBS. An improvement over the Mark III, most of these buses were fitted with the 245bhp Volvo THD102KF intercooled engines, meeting the Euro 1 emission regulations set by the European Union. A small number was fitted with the older 276bhp Volvo THD101GD engine, which was not intercooled.

The radiator of the bus was moved from the front to the side, just before the front wheelarch. This made it a distinguishing feature of the model. Currently, they typically serve on short and medium-haul routes which have not been declared WAB.

Additional features:

External advertising boards on SBS957R

The Volvo B10M MkIV has a licensed capacity for 82 passengers, comprising of 50 seated and 32 standing passengers

Some MarkIV DMs were fitted with external advertising boards, such as SBS885P, SBS896H, SBS906M, SBS919B, SBS921T and SBS957R. Known as “skyliners”, they pop out of the bus and charge special advertising rates. These mobile billboards are maintained by Moove Media, the advertising arm of ComfortDelGro Corporation, SBS Transit’s parent company.

In addition, SBS910A has a modified seating configuration, with a long side-facing seat for three people at the nearside of the bus, in place of two front-facing seats for four people. An advantage of this design is more legroom for commuters, as the Mark IV DM has notoriously small legroom for some seats. SBS984L has grills on the offside of the bus, unlike most Mark IVs which have them on the nearside.

  • Buses with Volvo THD101GD: [8 units]
    SBS883U, SBS885P, SBS887J – SBS889D, SBS894M, SBS903X – SBS904T
  • Buses with Volvo THD102KF: [107 units]
    SBS882Y, SBS884S, SBS886L, SBS890Z, SBS891X – SBS893R, SBS895K – SBS902Z, SBS905R – SBS906M, SBS907K – SBS996C
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  • Buses with Voith DIWA 381.4 gearbox [15 units]
    SBS883U – SBS889D, SBS891X – SBS894M, SBS903X – SBS906M
  • Buses with ZF 4HP 500 gearbox [100 units]
    SBS882Y, SBS890Z, SBS895K – SBS902Z, SBS907K – SBS996C

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Volvo B10M Mark IV – Walter Alexander Strider

In 1995, Singapore Bus Services (SBS) further purchased another 150 units of the Volvo B10M Mark IV. Registered as SBS1896B – SBS1999M, they were a direct continuation of the Volvo B10M Mark III. The remaining buses were registered as SBS2593T – SBS2688D, a numerical continuation after the Mercedes-Benz O305s. Buses were registered from 26 Oct 1995 to 24 Feb 1997.

Volvo B10M MkIV – WA Strider

Basic Specifications:

  • Volvo THD102KF engine
    9603cc, 245hp (183 kW) @ 2200rpm
    Euro-I Compliant
  • ZF 4HP 500 gearbox
    Four-speed automatic
  • Walter Alexander AF-type Bodywork
    Chassis built in Europe, bodywork supplied by Walter Alexander Coachbuilders of Scotland. Assembled locally by SBS Engineering Pte Ltd. The iconic AF-type “Strider” bodywork earned them the popular nickname “Striders
  • Sutrak air-conditioning, roof mounted

The difference in registration numbers do not represent a different batch; SBS simply did not want to continue the registration after 1999M in conflict with their retired Albion Vikings  and OF1413 using the numbers in the past.

Currently, they typically serve on short and medium-haul routes which have not been declared WAB.

Additional features:

External advertising boards on SBS1908B

The Volvo B10M MkIV Strider has a licensed capacity for 84 passengers, comprising of 48 seated and 36 standing passengers

Some MkIV Striders were fitted with external advertising boards, such as SBS1908B, SBS1985C, SBS1988U, SBS2608K and SBS2619D. Known as “skyliners”, they pop out of the bus and charge special advertising rates. These mobile billboards are maintained by Moove Media, the advertising arm of ComfortDelGro Corporation, SBS Transit’s parent company.

In addition, SBS1973L had CCTV cameras installed at the rear for safer reversing, and SBS2652G had solar panels installed on the roof. SBS1992G was sold to National Library Board and converted to a mobile library nicknamed “Molly”, now registered as XD5296A.

The last four registered Striders, SBS2685L to SBS2688D, were JB-registered to replace the retiring Volvo B10M MkIIIs on cross-border routes.

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Volvo B10M Mark IV – Duple Metsec DM3500

In 1996, Singapore Bus Services (SBS) purchased 150 more units in its final batch of the Volvo B10M Mark IV orders. Registered as SBS2689B – SBS2838M from Aug 1997 to Dec 2000, they were a direct continuation of the Volvo B10M Mark IV Striders.

Volvo B10M MkIV – Duple Metsec DM3500

Basic Specifications:

  • Volvo THD102KF engine
    9603cc, 245hp (183 kW) @ 2200rpm
    Euro-I Compliant
  • Voith DIWA 381.4 gearbox
    Three-speed automatic
  • Duple Metsec DM3500 Bodywork
    Chassis built in Europe, bodywork supplied by Duple Metsec of UK in the DM3500 variant.
  • Sutrak air-conditioning, roof mounted
    Exceptions include SBS2750G (using Webasto) and SBS2810S & SBS2838M (using Carrier)

Currently, they typically serve on Premium routes, as well as short and medium-haul routes which have not been declared WAB.

Additional features:

The Volvo B10M MkIV has a licensed capacity for 87 passengers, comprising of 46 seated and 41 standing passengers.

External billboard advertising

Some MkIV DM3500s were fitted with external advertising boards, such as SBS2691T, SBS2722M and SBS2826Y Known as “skyliners”, they pop out of the bus and charge special advertising rates. These mobile billboards are maintained by Moove Media, the advertising arm of ComfortDelGro Corporation, SBS Transit’s parent company.

In addition, SBS2754X had out-swinging plug doors for the exit doors, instead of the traditional in-swinging leaf doors. SBS2779A was equipped with an orange Transit Media Electronic Display Signage (EDS), which was removed some time in 2010.

75 buses of this batch were SPAD-registered in 2011 to replace the retiring Volvo B10M MkIIIs on cross-border routes. They have since been replaced by SPAD-registered Scania K230UBs in 2014.

Two DM3500s also had complete interior makeovers. These ‘concept buses’ were fully refurbished with special interior layouts as part of long-term advertising. SBS2696E was converted into Nokia Music Mobile buses, with side facing seats, armchairs and a mock-up bar (SBS2779A and SBS2812L only bore the advert). SBS2837R was converted into a HP concept bus featuring seats with headrests, and various HP products displayed in the interior. For pictures, check out the sgbuses.com gallery here and here.

Volvo B10M-60 Mark IV
Registration Engine Gearbox Introduced Retired Bodywork
SBS8019X – SBS8028U Volvo THD102KF Voith DIWA 381.4 1993 2011 PSV International
SBS882U – SBS996C Volvo THD101GD (8),
Volvo THD102KF (107)
Voith DIWA 381.4 (15),
ZF 4HP 500 (100)
1994-1996 - Duple Metsec
SBS1896B – SBS1999M; SBS2593T – SBS2688D Volvo THD102KF ZF 4HP 500 1995-1997 - Walter Alexander Strider
SBS2689B – SBS2838M Voith DIWA 863.3 1996-1997 - Duple Metsec DM3500
Volvo B10M-70 Mark IV
SBS997A Volvo THD102KF ZF 4HP 590 1995 2012 Duple Metsec
Volvo B10MA-60 Mark IV (Articulated)
SBS998Y Volvo THD102KF ZF 4HP 590 1996 2006 Duple Metsec

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Additional section: Volvo B10M-70 Mark IV – Duple Metsec Superlong 14.5m (SBS997A)

In 1995, with the delivery of Volvo B10Ms under way, SBS also introduced a three-axle version of the same chassis. Registered on 14 Oct 1995 as SBS997A, it was 14.5 metres long, the longest rigid bus in Singapore.

SBST Volvo MkIV Superlong – Service 83

Like its other Mark IV cousins, the bus was fitted with the similar 245hp Volvo THD102KF engine, but coupled to a ZF 4HP 590 gearbox. The bodywork was built by Duple Metsec, arranged for 62 seated and 48 standing passengers. It was unique in having a tapered rear end which reduced risk of accident while turning around corners. As such, the rear row was reduced to four seats across. At introduction, the bus was equipped with an Electronic Display Signage (EDS) from Mobitec, of the green flip-dot kind.

The bus made its debut on 19th October 1995, operating on Service 76 on a six-month trial which also covered Servces 107 and 174. The bus was later retained and settled on Service 62 for much of its lifespan, before being redeployed to Service 83 for its last few years. The bus was deregistered on 13 October 2012, scrapped after its 17-year lifespan.

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Additional section: Volvo B10MA-60 Mark IV – Duple Metsec Articulated (SBS998Y)

Following SBS997A, SBS introduced another Volvo B10M demonstrator, now even longer. Registered on 02 Apr 1996 as SBS998Y, the 19-metre long articulated bus was labelled as ‘Asia’s Longest Bus’.

Like its other Mark IV cousins, the bus was fitted with the similar 245hp Volvo THD102KF engine, but coupled to a ZF 4HP 590 gearbox. The bodywork was built by Duple Metsec, arranged for 54 seated and 93 standing passengers. Like SBS997A, the bus had a tapered rear end which reduced risk of accident while turning around corners. As such, the rear row was reduced to four seats across. Like SBS997A, the bus was equipped with flip-dot EDS from Mobitec.

SBS998Y was a trailer bendy, meaning that the mid-underfloor engine delivered driving power to the middle axle, and not the rear axle as most commonly used most articulated buses in Singapore (especially the Mercedes-Benz O405G pusher bendy). With the rear axle available for steering, the trailer section could more closely follow the front section while turning; however this design had its flaws. Like all trailer bendies, SBS998Y was very difficult to reverse park and had to have special easily-accessible parking lots drawn out for the bus at interchanges. It remains today as the only trailer bendy to be deployed in Singapore.

Throughout its lifespan, the bus was delegated to Bedok North Depot, serving Services 18 and 290. It was deregistered and sold to Bayes Coachlines (New Zealand) in 2006, with SBS Transit’s other bendy, SBS999U.

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References:

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