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SBS Transit buys Wrightbus Volvo B9TL double decks! August 22, 2009

Posted by hafizbam in Bus, Fleet News, Random Shots, SBS Transit, Something New.
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This was expected: SBS Transit announced the purchase of 150 units of Volvo B9TL double deckers.

This wasn’t: The buses will be bodied by Wrightbus, a first for Singapore buses! (like finally)

After the great disappointment with the Scania K230UBs, the company has finally seemed to redeem itself not just by opting to replace its older Leyland Olympians with more B9TLs (instead of the anticipated Scania K310UD). Chances are they will be fitted with WrigthBus’ Eclipse Gemini II bodywork whch is essentially the refined version of the Eclipse Gemini already a common sight in London and Hong Kong.

A glimpse of SBS Transit's future Volvo B9TL double decks in Wrightbus bodywork, similar to this first version worn by a First London bus on route 23 in Central London.

A glimpse of SBS Transit's future Volvo B9TL double decks in Wrightbus bodywork, similar to this first version worn by a First London bus on route 23 in Central London.

Amidst the cheer, the dampener came swiftly with the simultaneous announcement that the company will purchase an additional 200 Scania K230UBs. Hopefully they wouldn’t come in the same old dull Gemilang bodywork. The current 900 units zipping across town is already one too many.

Click on the following to view the official press releases by the companies involved:

SBS Transit – SBS Transit Invests $ 159 million In New Buses; Half of its Bus Fleet Will Be New By 2010
…The new buses, which are expected to roll out in 2010, are from two Swedish bus manufacturers – Scania and Volvo. The Scania order involving 200 single–deck Euro V buses is worth an estimated $ 72 million while the Volvo order of 150 double–deck Euro V buses is worth about $ 87 million…

Volvo – Singapore orders 150 Volvo double-deckers
…The order is for 150 double-deckers built on the Volvo B9TL chassis. The chassis will be produced in Borås, Sweden, while the bodywork that is to be made by Wrightbus will be mounted in Singapore. Deliveries will occur in 2010…

Scania – Intensive period for Scania’s city bus sales
…The single largest order is from Singapore, where operator SBS transit has ordered 200 more buses for delivery between November 2009 and May 2010. Since 2007, SBS Transit has ordered a total of 1,100 city buses from Scania, making the company one of Scania’s biggest bus customers in the world today…

Unnecessary “double-deckerisation” February 26, 2008

Posted by hafizbam in Deployment Updates, Something New.
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SBS9231S on route 225 (Green plate)

And it has been done again.

Yet another feeder bus route formerly with a full fleet of single decks has received its share of double deckers, albeit unnecessarily. It is route 225 (both the green and white plates, no less) whose total running time is no more than twenty minutes tops. While there is no doubt the 225 is a high-demand service, the green plate more so than its white counterpart, a simple increase in frequency through a possible addition on one more single deck would have sufficed (the 225 was my former local bus route).

This is a fine example of what the LTA should look into once it starts tendering out bus routes in the near future – including the types of buses that the winning bidder has to run for each specific route, as in the case of London, so as to optimise resources and make commuters’ travelling experience even better without having the need for major overhauls.

I have always believed articulated buses work very well for feeder bus routes which usually do not exceed more than twenty minutes to the end destination from the interchange itself, as most passengers would most probably stay on the lower deck due to the short journey time. It is definitely seen on 9231S which did 225 green plate on the first day, a similar trend observed on 291 etc. The only times double deckers have been successful on feeders here would be on the higher demand routes with slightly longer journey times to the furthest destination, the 242 and 334 coming to mind.

In any case, it is commendable that SBS Transit is at least trying to continuously improve its services, unlike rival SMRT Buses which is even cutting the number of articulated buses for its feeders every weekend in a bid to save costs.