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.
|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)|
|Current Operator||SMRT Buses|
|Current Depot||Ang Mo Kio Bus Depot (AMDEP)
Bulim Bus Depot (BUDEP)
|Current Fleet||Alexander Dennis Enviro 500
|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
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 By 2012, most of the articulated buses have been withdrawn in favor of wheelchair-accessible rigid buses.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.
|Direction 1||Direction 2|
- 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.
- 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
- Refer to this article
- 2003: Amended to present routing. No significant route changes since 2003.