They are the new generation buses - scoring high in the aesthetics, smooth in performance, better fuel efficiency and significantly, more environmentally friendly. These European 4.4-metre tall modern giants made their debut on Singapore roads in September 2010 with just three buses. Five years on, their numbers have increased exponentially with the 1,000th bus being delivered on 19 May 2015. Known as the Volvo Euro 5 double deck buses, they are also wheelchair-accessible.
In delivering the 1,000th double deck bus to SBS Transit, Senior Vice President of Volvo Bus Corporation, Mr Akash Passey, recalled: "The first order of Volvo buses from SBS Transit was in 1980. Since then, Volvo buses have evolved from a basic vehicle to a modern bus with electronically controlled features. SBS Transit's needs have changed over time and our designs are always evolving to cater to its expectations."
SBS Transit Chief Executive Officer, Mr Gan Juay Kiat, said: "Taking delivery of the 1,000th double deck bus is a milestone for us as it demonstrates our continuous commitment in providing our commuters with not only a comfortable but also a safer ride. These buses also allow us to carry more commuters, about 50 more than a regular bus, which is especially popular during peak periods where demand is high."
"Since we began our fleet renewal and expansion programme in 2006, we have been investing in both single and double deck buses that are low floor and wheelchair friendly. They are also environmentally friendly, which is a key consideration for us as climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of our environment. To-date, we have committed $1.3 billion in purchasing more than 3,000 new buses," added Mr Gan.
Of the slightly more than 3,500 buses in SBS Transit's fleet, about 42.5% are double deck ones - all of which carry the Volvo brand. Another 430 more Euro 5 double deck buses are scheduled to be delivered until mid-2017. When delivery is completed, 45% of its fleet would be made up of double deck buses.
"We are happy to be a long standing partner of SBS Transit and reaffirm our commitment to the continuous development of public transport in Singapore," added Mr Passey.