New buses for routes 100 & 174 November 5, 2007Posted by hafizbam in Deployment Updates, Something New.
Tags: 100, 174, K230UB, KUB, scania, wheelchair accessible
The latest wave of changes to hit the local bus scene is the introduction of new Scania K230UB buses by SBS Transit which formally commenced revenue service on 1 November. These single-deck air-conditioned buses are the first Euro-4 engined wheelchair accessible public buses in Singapore, as well as the first to have two dedicated wheelchair slots.
For now, ten of such buses are on the roads, with three on route 174 (Boon Lay to New Bridge Road) and the rest on the 100 (Serangoon to Ghim Moh).
The choice of bodywork, by Gemilang Coachworks of Malaysia looks more like an effort to reduce production costs as much as possible, rather than favouring stylish designs more commonly found in other cities like London. Personally, I find the bodywork a bit on the ugly side, thanks to the wider base and coach-like rear. Reports from fellow enthusiasts have also condemned the lack of proper space utilisation in the front part of the interior, not to mention having to climb five (yes, FIVE) steps to get to the last row of seats (but that can’t be helped due to the engine). That is definitely something new for Singapore public buses.
And in an apparent departure from their traditional plastic number plates, SBS Transit decided to go ahead with LED electronic displays (already standardised in its competitor SMRT Buses’ fleet for years) but the choice of opting for cheap ones from China doesn’t seem appealing. Not that I have anything against China products but perhaps SBS Transit should do something to the ultra-small numbers which is definitely not clearly visible for a young guy like me, what more the elderly.
Notwithstanding the above, these new Scanias have been lauded for its smooth brakes and relatively quick acceleration even with bursting loads on both routes, which is definitely good news for the increasing number of standing passengers now that the buses have only 29 seats.
The Scanias will become more prominent soon as 500 of them are due to be released by 2008.
Photo acknowledgement: SBS8888D by Muhd Faizal; SBS8036X by Jack Awyong.