SMRT Bus Service 61

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SMRT Bus Service 61 is a trunk route linking Bukit Batok with Eunos via Ulu Pandan, Queenstown, HarbourFront, Chinatown, Bugis, Bendemeer, MacPherson and Ubi. At 38.8km in its longest direction, it is the among the longest bidirectional trunk routes in Singapore.
^ SMRT Dennis Enviro500 (SMB5047T) – Service 61, with advert wrap for PERI

Route Information
Route Bukit Batok Bus Interchange ↔ Eunos Bus Interchange 
Passes Through Ulu Pandan, Queenstown, HarbourFront, Chinatown, Bugis, Bendemeer, MacPherson, Ubi
Route Length 38.8km (D1) | 35.8km (D2)
Travelling Time 130mins
Operator Information
Current Operator SMRT Buses
Current Depot Ang Mo Kio Bus Depot (AMDEP)
Bulim Bus Depot (BUDEP)
Current Fleet Alexander Dennis Enviro 500
Mercedes-Benz O405G
Mercedes-Benz OC500LE
MAN NL323F
Departure Times from T1 0530 – 2330 (Daily)
Departure Times from T2 0530 – 2330 (Weekdays, Saturdays)
0545 – 2330 (Sundays/PH)
Frequency Direction 1 Direction 2
0630-0830: 07 – 09 mins
0831-1659: 11 – 14 mins
1700-1930: 10 – 13 mins
After 1930: 10 – 15 mins
0630-0830: 09 – 13 mins
0831-1659: 09 – 15 mins
1700-1930: 09 – 13 mins
After 1930: 11 – 15 mins

Route History

Service 61 is a lengthy inter-town route serving residential, suburban and central areas of Bukit Batok, Ulu Pandan, Holland, Tanglin Halt, HarbourFront, Chinatown, Clarke Quay, Bugis, Kallang/Geylang Bahru, MacPherson Estate, Ubi and Eunos. It does not ply any expressways, unusual for trunk services of such length. At 38.8km in its longest direction (towards Eunos), it is the longest distance covered per direction for any bi-directional route in Singapore.

The lenghty nature of its route is a remnant of its long history where bus routes in the past were usually very long to serve more residential areas with connections to the City Centre, maximizing their catchment areas and hence profitability. The presence of many more alternative routes today has diminished the role of Service 61 as a crucial connection between the City and outlying housing estates.

Since there are no morning mid-route departures (“downroutes”), the first buses arrive Bukit Batok quite late into the morning (around 7am) and cannot benefit those who commute short distances at either end. Demand is spread evenly throughout, and this route mainly shuttles commuters over shorter distances throughout various points of the route.

Formerly operating with a large fleet of articulated buses, Service 61 has experienced declining demand with the opening of the MRT Circle Line. By 2012, most of the articulated buses have been withdrawn in favor of wheelchair-accessible rigid buses.

This service is also the sole route serving Commonwealth Drive and surrounding estates.

Fare: Charges fares for regular trunk services. See Bus Fares for exact fares.

Fleet: Service 61’s fleet comprises Mercedes-Benz O405G, OC500LE, Citaro, MAN A22 and Alexander Dennis Enviro500 buses. Additional buses were added under the BSEP scheme.

Route Information:

Direction 1 Direction 2
Bt Batok Int

Bt Batok East Ave 3

Bt Batok East Ave 6

Jln Jurong Kechil

Bt Timah Link

Jln Anak Bt

Clementi Rd

Ulu Pandan Rd

Holland Rd

Holland Ave

Commonwealth Dr

Queensway

Alexandra Rd

Telok Blangah Rd

Kg Bahru Rd

Eu Tong Sen St

Hill St

Victoria St

Kallang Rd

Lavender St

Kallang Bahru

Geylang Bahru

Bendemeer Rd

Serangoon Rd

MacPherson Rd

Aljunied Rd

Merpati Rd

Circuit Rd

Ubi Ave 2

Eunos Link

Jln Eunos

Changi Rd

Jln Turi

Eunos Int

Eunos Int

Sims Ave

Jln Eunos

Eunos Link

Ubi Ave 2

Lor Bengkok

Circuit Rd

Pipit Rd

Circuit Rd

Mattar Rd

Aljunied Rd

MacPherson Rd

Bendemeer Rd

Geylang Bahru

Kallang Bahru

Lavender St

Crawford St

North Bridge Rd

South Bridge Rd

Neil Rd

Kg Bahru Rd

Telok Blangah Rd

Alexandra Rd

Queensway

Commonwealth Dr

Commonwealth Ave

Holland Ave

Holland Rd

Ulu Pandan Rd

Clementi Rd

Upp Bt Timah Rd

Jln Jurong Kechil

Bt Batok East Ave 6

Bt Batok East Ave 3

Bt Batok Int

Operator History:

1971 – 1973: Associated Bus Services Pte Ltd

1973 – 2000: Singapore Bus Services Ltd

2000 – 2004: Trans-Island Bus Services Ltd

2004 – Present: SMRT Buses Ltd

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

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History:

1971 (11 Apr): Introduced between MacPherson Est and Alexandra Rd/Pasir Panjang Rd, operated by Associated Bus Services

1971 (???): Extended to Ulu Pandan Ter

1987 (27 Sep): Extended to Bukit Batok Int

1991: Extended to Eunos Int

2000 (03 Sep): Handed to Trans-Island Bus Service (TIBS)

2003 (04 May): Amended to ply Geylang Bahru, Bendemeer Rd and Whampoa East instead of Jln Kolam Ayer.

2011 (26 Jun): Amended to ply along Lor Bengkok instead of Circuit Link due to the DTL construction works.

2011 (03 Dec): Designated wheelchair-accessible bus route (WAB)

Sep 2012: Service improvement under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP)

2014 (17 Nov): Alexander Dennis Enviro500 double-deck buses deployed

Past Routings:

Refer to this article

2003: Amended to present routing. No significant route changes since 2003.

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Gallery:

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Video:

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External Links:

TransitLink E-Guide

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References:

http://sgwiki.com/wiki/Buses

Back to Bus Services
Back to Bus Articles

4 thoughts on “SMRT Bus Service 61

  1. Do you have a schedule what time to expect the double decker bus to service? I plan to take d double decker service cross island from bukit batok , not sure how long to expect to wait for it

    • Missing the good ol’ days eh, Karl? When I was a kid Route 61 used to be dominated by double deckers. I will always remember the Leyland Atlanteans and the subsequent Volvo Olympians (both bi- and tri-axle variants) that used to serve. When Tibs took over the double deckers saw their duties allocated to the then-brand new Mercedes O405Gs with the Ferrari-designed body kits.

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