Scanias come to 962 November 3, 2007Posted by hafizbam in Deployment Updates.
Tags: 962, scania, woodlands
I have always wanted 12-metre buses on my home route but never had I wanted them to be the sluggish Walter Alexander-bodied Scania L113 buses. Not only so, most (or rather all) of them have very noisy engine sounds which even the most enthusiastic engine sound recorder would despise. To top it off, the interiors are dark and gloomy, with most of them barely receiving a passing grade.
And worse, quite a handful are spare units which means even less frequent maintenance checks.
Now back to the 962, an intertown route between Woodlands and Sembawang launched on June 24, 2001. Coincidentally the second route to penetrate the new and growing Sembawang Town then, in addition to the 859. From its humble beginnings with six? rigids to what I considered its peak during the TIBS period with a full articulated bus fleet. Complete with two Volgren-bodied Mercedes Benz 0405Gs. And now back to a fleet of mixed 12-metres and Bendies.
I dont mind 12-metres on the 962. In fact, the main demand for the Bendies came from the school kids travelling between the two towns, of which Riverside Secondary should be given special mention for bringing in the crowds and subsequently Bendies. But apparently Woodlands Depot which controls 962 is now having a lot, and I mean really alot, of spare Scanias to play around with, thanks to themselves being replaced by the older Nissan UDs on routes 178 and 187 (I’ll talk about them later).
There can be up to three full-day Scanias on the 962, none of which are doing the split shifts still controlled by TIB977P and TIB1165J although this needs checking. One Volgren 0405G (TIB1188T) has already been displaced by the Scanias and has since settled on the struggling 911. The other Bendies have been rotating among the drivers in an apparent bid by SMRT to somehow “equalise” their pay following the redeployment. An interesting feature though, is that the Scanias deployed on the 962 don’t seem to be permanant – there is bound to be a different Scania deployed everyday – although some of them like TIB657M (as shown in the picture above) and TIB639R keep appearing more often than the others.