City Direct Service 656


SMRT Buses Ltd took over operations of City Direct Service 656 on 17 Apr 2017 with changes in trip timings.

View the updated article at our new site, Land Transport Guru. Click here to continue.

City Direct Service 656 is an AM/PM Peak City Direct service between Sembawang and the CBD, passing through Sembawang Drive, Bras Basah and Shenton Way. It is the sixth City Direct route introduced under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP).

Loh Gim Chong Transport – Isuzu LT134P (PC2138T) – City Direct 656

Route Information
Route [AM]: Canberra Road (Blk 424A CP) → Shenton Way (Opp MAS Bldg)
[PM]: Anson Road (Mapletree Anson) → Canberra Road (Blk 508)
Passes Through Sembawabg Dr, Bras Basah, Shenton Way
Route Length 29.4km (D1) | 29.6km (D2)
Travelling Time 75mins
Operator Information
Current Operator Loh Gim Chong Transport
Current Fleet Private buses
Departure Times from T1 Weekdays:
0720 – 0740 (4 trips)
Departure Times from T2 Weekdays:
1810 – 1825 (2 trips)
Frequency Direction 1 Direction 2
0630 – 0830: 06 – 08 mins 1700 – 1930: 15 mins


  • 2014 (17 Feb): Introduced as a bidirectional AM/PM-Peak hour service from Sembawang to the CBD under the BSEP. Operates two trips on weekday mornings at 7:25am and 7:40am, and weekday evenings at 6:10pm and 6:25pm. Charges Distance-based flat fares.
  • 2014 (10 Mar): Third morning trip added, departure times from Sembawang revised to 7:20am, 7:30am and 7:40am.
  • 2014 (06 Apr): Revised fares as part of the Public Transport Fare Adjustment 2014
  • 2014 (14 Jul): Fourth morning trip added, departure times from Sembawang revised to 7:20am, 7:26am, 7:34am and 7:40am.
  • 2015 (23 Mar): Calls at new bus stop 03241 Anson Rd – Mapletree Anson instead of 03222 Anson Rd – Hub Synergy Point
  • 2016 (18 Jan): Operating contract for City Direct 656 by Loh Gim Chong Transport extended by one more year.

City Direct service 656 provides residents of Sembawang with greater connectivity to the CBD. Running parallel to existing rail lines, the service provides a travel alternative for commuters who relied on the rail network and feeder buses to and from work. The route incorporates an express sector between Sembawang Avenue and Dhoby Ghaut via SLE and CTE.

This is the sixth City Direct service to be introduced under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP), and one of ten City Direct bus routes to be progressively introduced until the 2nd Quarter of 2014. This provides more options for commuters using stretches of the existing rail lines that experience persistently high ridership, while the ongoing rail enhancement measures are being implemented.

From 10 March 2014, less than a month after introduction, an additional morning trip was added. Existing departure timings were revised. Yet another additional morning trip was added from 14 July 2014, bringing the total number of morning trips to the CBD to four.

Fares: Charges Flat fares based on the distance fare scheme for express services.

  Adult Child Student Senior Citizen
Card Fares per trip: $2.45* Free $0.90 $1.35
Cash Fares per trip: $2.90 $2.90 $2.90 $2.90

*PWD (Persons with Disabilities Transport Concession Scheme) – $1.35
*WTCS (Workfare Transport Concession Scheme) – $2.07

Fleet: Service 656’s fleet comprises of private buses. Common models sighted include Isuzu LT134Ps.


Direction 1 (AM Peak) Direction 2 (PM Peak)
  • Canberra Rd
  • Admiralty Lk
  • Sembawang Dr
  • Sembawang Ave
  • Sembawang Rd (express)
  • SLE (express)
  • CTE (express)
  • Orchard Rd
  • Bras Basah Rd
  • Nicoll Highway
  • Collyer Quay
  • Raffles Quay
  • Shenton Way
  • Anson Rd
  • Robinson Rd
  • Fullerton Rd
  • Esplanade Dr
  • Stamford Rd
  • Orchard Rd
  • Penang Rd
  • CTE (express)
  • SLE (express)
  • Sembawang Rd (express)
  • Sembawang Ave
  • Sembawang Dr
  • Admiralty Lk
  • Canberra Rd


External Links & References:

  • City Direct Services 655 to 657 – LTA

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14 thoughts on “City Direct Service 656

    • Hello. City Direct routes are fully planned by LTA and tendered to private bus operators, hence any feedback should be directed to LTA itself.

      For Woodlands Cres, close proximity to Admiralty MRT may not require a City Direct service.

  1. Hi . Could you kindly change the evening pick up time to 6.15pm for bus 656. It is stated as 6.10pm but usually the bus will reach by 6.06pm or 6.07pm. or maybe the driver could reach 6.10pm itself as few minutes make a big difference for us to reach on time.

  2. hello. One question about bus 656 fares. Say I take 656 to city area, and then change to bus 175. How will the total fare be calculated? Will the 2nd trip (with bus 175) charge seperately? Or is the 2nd trip combined with the 1st trip and distance-based? Thanks.

    • For your 656 – 175 journey, the fares will be calculated separately. If you decide to take 175 – 656, the 656 trip will be calculated as a transfer from 175 and you will pay less. This is because card readers on City Directs are simply programmed to deduct and are not valid for transfer discounts on subsequent legs of your journey.

  3. Hello.. is it still 4 trips in the morning and 2 trips in the evening? How long it usually takes from sembawang to UIC shenton way? Allow standing in the bus?

  4. It is not the first time that the bus does not stop at block 303. I think its very sad that when people puts out the hand and the bus just drives off.

  5. This is the second time the bus driver just skipped the SMU stop while I flagged for it to stop. I have to wait 15mins for the second evening bus again.

    • Hi Bava,

      The starting point for this service in the evening has been shifted to further down the road, outside Mapletree Anson along Anson Road since March 2015.

      PTSG@WP Admin Team

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