Archive for February, 2014

Bus re-organisation Part 4 : The new bus liveries

February 26, 2014

These are the bus liveries of the 4 bus companies after the re-organisation. All the new buses introduced had only the company colour band painted below the windows. Some of the older buses retain the old style of having the lower half of the body painted. The exception was STC. STC seems to take the opposite approach by painting the lower half green with a red bad below the window line.
Amalgamated Bus Company
 photo 1970abc_zpse9bebe81.jpg
Associated Bus Company
 photo 1970abs_zps3dc2d6d9.jpg
United Bus Company
 photo 1970ubc_zpse5eaced5.jpg
Singapore Traction Company
 photo 1970stc_zpsa097ea61.jpg

Acknowledgement : TheBusDude

Bus re-organisation Part 3 : The re-organisation plan

February 19, 2014

In August 1968, the Ministry of Communications established the Transport Advisory Board (TAB) to improve motor transport : taxis, public buses and school buses. Among the many recommendations of TAB, one of the major area looked into was bus transportation. The main purpose of the bus reorganisation was :
– improve efficiency
– avoid wasteful duplication of routes
– reduce cost and inconvenience to the commuters
– reduce travel time
A consultant Mr R.P. Wilson, traffic manager of the Municipal Tramway Trust of Adelaide was appointed to look into the reorganization in July 1970. This is the Wilson report :

 photo busreorgrpt_zps37db220d.jpg

Contents of the report :

 photo busreorgrptcont_zps20fefd6a.jpg

Highlights of the report include :
1. Use larger buses (12m) instead of increasing the number of small buses (9-10m)
2. Standardise the bus stop signs showing the service numbers and using company colours
3. Abolished all road side parking on the left side of the road to allow smooth movement of buses
4. Adequate measures to ensure buses are properly maintained
5. At heavy loading bus stops, companies to provide fare collectors to sell tickets to passengers before boarding so as to speed up the boarding process
The Wilson report also contains two appendices detailing the proposed routes of the merged bus companies :

 photo busreorgappend1_zps7e92403a.jpg

 photo busreorgappend2_zps864a9470.jpg

The proposed routes were accept by the government with little changes. The appendices were later published into the first bus guide.

The Registrar of Vehicles (ROV) advised the chinese bus companies to merge into fewer but larger companies in November 1969. The chinese bus companies will be grouped into three regional bus companies and at the same time, the monopoly within the city area enjoyed by STC under the 1925 STC Ordinance will be revoked.

Northern zone United Bus Company
No. of buses
Tay Koh Yat 163
Easy Bus 18
Green Bus 105
Total : 286
Eastern zone Associated Bus Service
No. of buses
Changi Bus 93
Paya Lebar 101
Katong Bedok 54
Ponggol 19
Total : 267
Western zone Amalgamated Bus Company
No. of buses
Hock Lee 152
Keppel 50
Kampong Bahru 13
Total : 215
Singapore Traction Company
No. of buses
Total : 571

A total of 128 routes will be implemented. The fares will be standardized from 10 to 50 cents.
The bus companies will each adopt a unique colour for easy identification :

Company Livery
Amalgamated Bus Company blue
Associated Bus Service red
Singapore Traction Company green
United Bus Company yellow

After the reorganisation, it was estimated that the number of additional buses required will be 300. By mid 1973, the total number of buses will be estimated to increase to 2000. Many of the new buses will be replacing the old buses of the existing bus companies. The TAB also recommended that the age of the public buses to be limited to maximum seventeen years.

Age of buses in the 1970s
under 6 yrs 6 to 10 yrs 11 to 15 yrs 16 to 20 yrs over 20 yrs total
Chinese bus companies 233 125 150 315 13 836
Singapore Traction Company 131 139 155 136 16 577

Out of a total of 1413 buses, 34% or about 480 buses were more than 15years old.
The date of implementation of the new bus system was 11 April 1971.

Bus re-organisation Part 2 : The old bus liveries

February 12, 2014

These are the bus liveries of the 11 bus companies prior to re-organisation. The older buses were painted in the respective company colours on the lower part of the bus body. By the late 1960s, a new trend emerged. Bus companies only paint their company colours as a band just below the window line with the rest of the body remained unpainted. The exception is STC, they seems to reverse the trend.
Changi Bus Company
 photo 1960changi_zpsef957956.jpg
Easy Bus Company
 photo 1960easy_zps1aca580b.jpg
Green Bus Company
 photo 1960green_zps4c57e217.jpg
Hock Lee Amalgamated Bus Company
 photo 1960hock_zps59ad0576.jpg
Kampong Bahru Bus Company
 photo 1960kampong_zps9ab8599e.jpg
Katong Bedok Bus Service
 photo 1960katong_zpsb544565b.jpg
Keppel Bus Company
 photo 1960keppel_zps19417620.jpg
Paya Lebar Bus Company
 photo 1960paya_zpscc8d7f1e.jpg
Ponggol Bus Company
 photo 1960ponggol_zps277b0ceb.jpg
Singapore Traction Company
 photo 1960stc_zps64bde6e2.jpg
Tay Koh Yat Bus Company
 photo 1960tay_zpsce636659.jpg

Acknowledgement : TheBusDude

Bus re-organisation Part 1 : pre-1971

February 5, 2014

After the World War Two Japanese occupation ended, bus services began to resume gradually. As the Allied forces were demobilised, many military vehicles became available. The “chinese” bus companies bought over many of the the Allied forces surplus trucks and convert them into buses. As the situation continued to improve, new buses were purchased, all of them from the United Kingdom. Marques such as Albion, Tilling Steven, Vulcan, Morris, Guy and Austin became regular sight on the streets. The bus companies which resume operation after the war are :

Company Livery
Singapore Traction Company red⁄green
Tay Koh Yat black⁄red
Easy black⁄yellow
Changi red⁄white
Paya Lebar yellow⁄green
Katong Bedok red
Green green
Ponggol yellow
Hock Lee Amalgamated green⁄yellow⁄red
Keppel blue
Kampong Bahru white⁄blue

Each of these companies carved out their only territory of operation with little or no coordination. Commuters often have to make a few changes of buses to travel from one place to another. With the exception of STC, all these companies do not publish their bus routes. STC does publish its bus guide and even then it was done only once in a long time. Most of the commuting public has no idea which bus company and which route served which area. Only means is by asking around. Other problems were the poor frequencies and the age and condition of the buses used.

 photo changibus_zpsb50d451f.jpg
By 1970, many of the public buses were 15 to 20 years old and are still running on the roads such as these Fargo and Vulcan.
 photo busreorg2_zps7d15f779.jpg
Because of poor frequencies, scene like these were common, crowded buses with commuters at the door steps hanging on to the bus.

Acknowledgement : Photos from National Archives Singapore