City Shuttle Service (CSS)

City Shuttle Service (CSS) was a group of bus services operated by Singapore Shuttle Bus Private Limited, then a subsidiary of SMRT Corporation. These services were in operation between 15 May 1975 and 28 April 2007.

Kampong Java Fringe Carpark

A CSS Leyland 900FG at Kampong Java Fringe Carpark

A Brief History:

With the introduction of the Singapore Area Licensing Scheme (which charged drivers a fee to enter the Downtown commercial district) in 1975, City Shuttle Services (CSS) were introduced as an initiative by the Government. The CSS aimed to reduce traffic congestion in the city as part of a Park and Ride scheme, by encouraging drivers to park their vehicles outside the city and transfer to connecting bus routes (such as CSS services) into the city. It was hoped that drivers would embrace the initiative by providing low fares and good service.

In reality, the CSS initiative was a failure. People who could afford a car were affluent enough to pay the congestion charge, or simply chose to drive into the City outside of peak hours. Subsequent years saw the withdrawal of low-demand routes, and others were extended into the heartlands, offering quick bus connections to the City. However, low demand forced the eventual withdrawal of all CSS routes, and the last was withdrawn in 2007.

Brief Timeline:

  • 1975 (15 May): Eleven CSS services introduced, numbered in numerical order. Operated by NTUC Comfort and Singapore Shuttle Bus (SSB)
  • 1976: CSS services extended to HDB housing estates, CSS 10 and 11 are withdrawn
  • 1987 (12 Mar): SSB is acquired by Trans-Island Bus Services (TIBS)
  • 1988 (25 Jun): CSS 1, 4 and 9 are withdrawn
  • 1990: CSS 6 is withdrawn, leaving SSB running the remain CSS services
  • 1995: CSS accepts Transitlink farecards. Original 25-seater buses were replaced with newer 12m buses.
  • 1997 (03 Nov): CSS Services renamed with the 60X designation
  • 2001 (09 Jul): SMRT acquires and merges TIBS and SSB
  • 2001 (End): CSS 602 is withdrawn together with NAC buses, all remaining CSS routes were fully air-conditioned
  • 2003 (02 Aug): CSS 607 is withdrawn
  • 2003 (30 Nov): CSS 603 is withdrawn
  • 2004 (05 Sep): CSS 605 is withdrawn
  • 2007 (28 Apr): CSS 608 is withdrawn. The era of CSS services is over.

Detailed History:

Lineup of CSS buses

Lineup of CSS buses. Click for larger image.

The City Shuttle Service (CSS) was introduced in 1975 as an initiative by the Government. At the time, the Singapore Area Licensing Scheme was introduced, which was a urban congestion pricing scheme that charged drivers a fee for entering the Central Business District (CBD). Hence, the CSS aimed to reduce traffic congestion in the city as part of a Park and Ride scheme, by encouraging drivers to park their vehicles outside the city and transfer to connecting bus routes (such as CSS services) into the city. CSS hoped that drivers would embrace the initiative by providing low fares and good service.

On 15th May 1975, 11 inaugural CSS services commenced operations. These were jointly operated by NTUC Comfort (4 services) & Singapore Shuttle Bus (SSB) (7 services), which ply along 16 fringe car parks, 7 city area terminus and 49 selected bus stops with around sixty 25-seater single door buses. Later on, with the abolishing of the Park and Ride scheme, the CSS operators could then extend their regular services from fringe carparks to HDB housing estates. Housing districts such as Bukit Merah, Bedok, St Michael’s Estate, Marine Parade, Holland Road & Sin Ming Rd received CSS connections to the CBD. At the same time, the number of CSS routes were reduced to 9 services (6 from SSB and the 3 were from NTUC Comfort) with the withdrawal of CSS 10 and 11.


CSS buses at Geylang Lorong 1 Bus Terminal

CSS buses at Holland Road Fringe Carpark

TIBS drivers pose with the CSS fleet

TIBS drivers pose with the CSS fleet

On 12 March 1987, Singapore Shuttle Bus was bought over by Trans-Island Bus Services (TIBS). Operation of SSB CSS routes were assimilated into that of TIBS.

On 25 June 1988, NTUC Comfort, which ran 3 CSS routes, decided to withdraw 2 of its routes from Marine Parade (CSS 1 and CSS 4). This was partly due to the high maintenance cost of its buses and a decline in commuter demand due to the opening of the MRT. On the same day, SSB withdraws CSS 9. NTUC Comfort’s remaining buses ran on their last route (CSS 6) until 1990, when the buses reached the end of their lifespan.

In 1985, the initial fleet of 25-seater buses were replaced with larger 12m buses such as the DAF SB220 and Nissan Diesel U31RCN. CSS was also the first bus operator in Singapore to introduce concessionary fares for senior citizens, which was eventually extended to other bus operators. CSS routes were renumbered to the “6xx” series in 1997 with the standardization of route numbering. When TIBS was bought over by SMRT Corporation in 2001, SMRT became the sole operator of the remaining 5 CSS routes, originally operated by SSB. However, SMRT chose to retain the characteristic orange livery of the CSS buses.


CSS Route 8, operated by TIBS
CSS_smrtmovingstories (1)
CSS 608 after renumbering

With greater travel options such as parallel bus routes and new train lines, ridership for CSS services were declining, and one by one they were subsequently withdrawn. By the withdrawal of the second-last CSS route (CSS 605) in Sep 2004, its existing fleet of CSS buses were being downsized. The DAF SB 220LT buses were being exported overseas, leaving the Nissan buses in its fleet. Some of the Nissan buses registered with CSS plates were transferred to the SMRT fleet in June 2006, bearing the TIB registration.

With insufficient demand to sustain operations, the last CSS route, Service 608, was withdrawn on 28 April 2007, marking an end to the era of CSS services. Singapore Shuttle Bus was liquidated, and the remaining Nissan buses and the sole Dennis Lance (CSS310U) were transferred to SMRT Buses for continued operations, 2 months after its withdrawal of Service 608.

Bus fleet:

City Shuttle Services have their own unique registration plate with the prefix CSS. The following list is retrieved from sgwiki:

  • 0001L – 0028K Mercedes-Benz O309 (Supreme Star)
  • 0029H – 0038G Mercedes-Benz O309 (Chua Heng)
  • 0101G Bedford SB5
  • 0102D – 0121Z Mercedes-Benz O309 (Type 1 & 2 mixed)
  • 0122X – 0144H British-Leyland 900FG
  • 0145E Bedford VAS
  • 0146C, 0147A Bedford SB
  • 0148Y – 0166U Bedford VAS
  • 0167S Bedford SB
  • 0168P, 0169L Mercedes-Benz OF1113 (Soon Chow Demonstrator)
  • 0170G Bedford VAS
  • 0171D, 0172B Mercedes-Benz LP1113 (Soon Chow Demonstrator)
  • 0173Z – 0177M Bedford SB
  • Old 0178K Hino BX321 Demonstrator (with Hino body)
  • Old 0179H Nissan Diesel UA20 Demonstrator
  • Old 0180C – 0229Y Hino BX341E (BF177) (with Hino body)
  • New 0178K – 0211Y Nissan Diesel U31RCN (with Fuji Heavy Industries body and Fuji/FHI AC)
  • 0230S – 0246Y Hino RK176 (with FHI body)
  • 0247U – 0266P Nissan Diesel R87 (with Fuji Heavy Industries body)
  • 0267L – 0268J Nissan Diesel U31SCN (with Fuji Heavy Industries body)
  • 0269G Hino HT238K (With Hino body)
  • 0270B – 0289Z DAF SB220LT AC (Hispano body with Hispacold AC) [former TIB405Z – TIB424T]
  • 0290T – 0293K, 0295E to 0300Z Hino HT238K (with Hino body and Fuji AC) [former TIB380K – TIB389L]
  • 0294H Nissan Diesel U31SCN (with Fuji Heavy Industries body and Fuji AC) [former TIB390G]
  • 0301X to 0309A Hino HT238K (with Hino body) [former TIB353P – TIB361R]
  • 0310U Dennis Lance 245 (Duple Metsec (UMW (Malaysia)) body with Sutrak AC [re-registered as TIB1257C]

See also:

  • CSS Routes in 1975
  • CSS Routes in 1981

Gallery:

A Non Air-conditioned Hino HT228K (CSS) on CSS 602

A Non Air-conditioned Hino HT228K (CSS305K) on CSS 602. Photo credits to http://jbus.0fees.net/

An air-conditioned Hino HT228K (CSS) on CSS 603

An air-conditioned Hino HT228K (CSS301X) on CSS 603. Photo credits to http://jbus.0fees.net/

A CSS Hino Image retrieved from http://forums.sgcafe.com/

A CSS DAF SB220LT (CSS284L). Image retrieved from http://forums.sgcafe.com/

A Nissan Diesel U31RCN () on Service 608. Photo credits to Public Transport Hub.

A Nissan Diesel U31RCN (CSS184S) on Service 608. Photo credits to Public Transport Hub.

A Nissan Diesel U31RCN () on Service 608. Photo credits to Public Transport Hub.

A Nissan Diesel U31RCN (CSS195K) on Service 608. Photo credits to Public Transport Hub.

An ex-CSS Nissan Diesel U31RCN () pained in SMRT livery.

An ex-CSS Nissan Diesel U31RCN (CSS194M) pained in SMRT livery.

CSS

A CSS Dennis Lance 245 UMW (CSS310U) in CSS livery. It is the only Dennis bus in the CSS fleet. Image credits to http://rainbowbus.0catch.com/

CSS310U repainted in SMRT livery, Image from forums.sgcafe.com

CSS310U repainted in SMRT livery, Image from forums.sgcafe.com

CSS310U re-registered as TIB1257C, becoming the last ever bus registered with the TIB prefix. Photographed with an ex-CSS bus, CSS194M.

CSS310U re-registered as TIB1257C, becomes the last ever bus registered with the TIB prefix. Photographed with an ex-CSS bus, CSS194M, at the former site of Sin Ming Bus Terminal. The terminal was closed when its last route, CSS 605, was withdrawn in 2004.

References:

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