Archive for June, 2014

The new normal

June 25, 2014

I like to take photos of buses and sometimes I go to bus stops where there are not to many people to take photos of buses. This a Hino RK1JMKA bus with a not so common Weng Lye body taken during one of the photo shoot outing at a bus stop :

 photo RK1JMKA_zps4aea9966.jpg

I was the only person there until a guy came along and sat down on the bench. This guy took out his smart phone and started to fiddle with it while waiting for the bus. When the bus came, the driver saw that none of us raise the hand to flag, he drove off without stopping as there were no passengers alighting. Just as the bus was pulling away, this guy realized and wanted to raise his hand but too late, the bus already drove pass. So he sat down and again and continued to glue his eyes on his smart phone. When the second bus came, the same thing happened. No one flag the bus, no passengers alighting and the driver drove pass. The guy again realized too late and again missed the bus. He managed to get on the third bus, wasting half an hour of his time at the bus stop.
This is the new normal. In the good old days, people at the bus stops look out for buses they want to board. It is now normal to see people glued their eyes on the phone everywhere, not only at bus stops. Gone were they days when friends go out to have a meal and have meaningful conversations. Now people Whatsapp each other even if they are sitting on the same table!

Memories of bus rides – doors

June 18, 2014

We often took for granted that when the bus is in motion, the doors remained closed to prevent passengers from falling off. Not so in the early days. Buses operated by the “chinese” bus companies and some of the old STC buses have doors located at the centre. The doors came in different designs : sliding type, two or four leaf jack knife type.
Typical 60s bus with single sliding door :
 photo doors1_zps301bd5d9.jpg
The only bus belonging to Changi Bus Company built with fancy twin sliding door :
 photo doors2_zps67832c89.jpg
The doors need to be opened or closed manually. These doors were never put to use, all were kept open permanently. Only some of the United Bus Company’s LP1113 has driver operated single two leaf jack knife door at the centre. Even for this LP1113s, some drivers were too lazy to operate it. Why built doors on buses when it was never put to use remains a mystery.
Of the many bus rides in the good old days, only once I experience the doors being put to good use. The bus I took was an Associated Bus Service Fargo. The bus ws packed with passengers and the conductor took the trouble to operate the door manually during the peak hours. He station himself at the door steps and shut it to prevent passengers from standing on the steps and he only crack open a little bit for those who wants to alight.

Acknowledgement : Photos from National Archives Singapore

The last Mercedes OF1417?

June 11, 2014

Large fleet of Mercedes Benz OF1417 buses were once operated by SBS. The buses were introduced in the period 1980 – 81. After 23 years, a sole OF1417 was bought by AZ Bus :
 photo OF1417_zps519e27aa.jpg
This will probably be the last of the Brazilian built OF1417 chassis and the last front engined Mercedes OF bus. Unlike the SBS versions which were 11.7m long, this bus is only 10.7m.

Chassis : Mercedes Benz Brazil
Registration number : PA5942D
Year : 2004
Owner : AZ Bus
VIN : 9BM3840674B379157
Engine OM904LA, 4249cc, 4 cylinder in-line, 170hp
Leaf spring suspension and manual gear box
Max laden weight : 14000Kg