CAS bus plan

Changi Airport started operation in 1981. SBS operates five services known as CAS (Changi Airport Service) 390, 391, 392, 394 and 395 to serve the airport workers. A fleet of 31 buses were used on these routes.
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390 Queen Street – passenger terminal building (PTB)
392 Somapah – PTB
393 Somapah – Cargo Complex
394 Bedok – PTB
395 Bedok – Cargo Complex

Singapore Shuttle Bus (SSB) and 15 Scheme B bus operators under the Singapore School and Private Hire Bus Owners Association (SSPHBOA) operates another set of five routes.
The routes were numbered after the Boeing aircraft models. Four of them 727, 737, 747 and 757 were jointly operated by SSB and SSPHBOA Scheme B operators. The fifth route 767 was operated by SSB.

727 Ang Mo Kio – PTB
737 Toa Payoh – PTB
747 Kallang Bahru – PTB
757 Queenstown – PTB
767 Cargo Complex – PTB

While the routes operated by SBS did not encounter any problems, the routes operated by SSB and SSPHBOA were plagued with problems from day one.
Originally, SSB was required to supply 44 buses and Scheme B operators 41, making a total of 85 buses. Due to poor demand, the total was reduced to 70 buses. However, the actual number of buses operating on these routes were only 53 or less.
SSB need to operate the city shuttle services during the day time, there were not enough buses deployed on the airport routes resulting in poor frequencies. In addition, some of their buses such as the Leyland FGs and Mercedes O309s 19 seaters were too small to cope with the peak hour load.
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City shuttle services ends at 7pm, operates half day on Saturday and non-operational on Sundays and public holidays. During these periods, SSB dump its entire fleet of 80 buses on the airport routes, squeezing out the Scheme B operators resulting in lots of complaints and unhappiness. As most of the Scheme B operators treat the services as their sideline, discipline in turning up to run the service was also problem, especially during off peak periods when fares collected is not enough to offset the cost of operation. Both SSB and SSPHBOA then individually approached the authorities with their own plan to form a separate company and take over the routes. The plans failed to get approval.
The entire CAS plan was a non-profitable venture for both SBS and SSB/SSPHBOA even though 12000 people were working at the airport, excluding the public and visitors.
By June 1983, the authority step in and asked SBS to take over all the routes. SBS revamped the entire CAS bus plan and introduced five routes : 9, 24, 57, 149, 390. The 15 Scheme B operators were invited to take part in routes 24, 57 and 149. Scheduling will be controlled by SBS. The Scheme B operators pulled out of the joint service with SBS not long after, citing poor profit.

Acknowledgement : National Archives Singapore


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