An Alexander Dennis Enviro500 Mock-up Bus, decorated in Lush Green, made its debut appearance at the Land Transport Authority (LTA)’s Our Bus Journey Carnival at Ngee Ann City. The bus is one of two concept buses commissioned by LTA to provide the public with a glimpse of how buses would look like in the future, the other being a MAN Lion’s City DD L.
The concept bus features three doors and two staircases, with new features such as seats with headrests, USB charging ports, stylish interior lighting and provisions for a Passenger Information Display that will give real-time information on the next bus-stop along its route (not featured).
Contract PT236 was awarded to Alexander Dennis (Asia Pacific) Ltd for S$498,500.00 on 8 Oct 2015, and also jointly to Singapore Technologies Kinetics Ltd for S$610,000.00, beating Cycle & Carriage, MCV, Yutong and Volvo. The Alexander Dennis Enviro500 Mock-up Bus was the final product of this undertaking.
The bus is a 13.0-metre long Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) Enviro500 MMC, with the exterior based on a 2015 facelift. Available in the market in 12.0-metre and 12.8-metre lengths, the mock-up was built on an extended version of the original chassis to accommodate a rear staircase and door over its rear overhang. Lower deck seating was sacrificed to make way for the rear staircase, which leads to a third door at the rear of the bus. The front of the bus bears largely similar interior characteristics to other ADL Enviro500 MMC buses in Singapore and abroad.
A three-door double-deck bus is not new to ADL; it had been done before, but ADL decided that the concept was not worth pursuing and the bus never entered production. The return to three-door double-deck buses is likely solely for LTA demonstration purposes. Owing to technical challenges/limitations, an engine was not installed on the mock-up. The bus is powered by an external electricity source for the duration of the carnival.
The construction of this bus was subcontracted to local bus builder Soon Chow. The chassis was built at ADL’s chassis assembly plant at Pasir Gudang with front and rear styling elements from ADL’s bus assembly plant in Zhuhai, China.
Interior (Lower Deck):
The lower deck features a standard ADL layout with 20 seats. A single wheelchair bay behind the front staircase can also function as a foldable seat.
Interior (Upper Deck):
The upper deck features 52 upper deck seats and two staircases. Similar to SMRT specifications, this bus does not feature adjustable air-conditioning outlets.
After the Carnival
Together with the STC Vintage Bus, the Alexander Dennis Enviro500 mockup bus has been moved to Land Transport Authority’s headquarters at Hampshire Road. The bus can be seen from Bukit Timah Road, where it can be seen parked behind a fence.
The bus also made its appearance at the LTA Walk-Cycle-Ride Symposium in July 2016, along with the MAN Lion City DD L.
The Alexander Dennis Enviro500 Mockup Bus was also featured in the Singapore International Transport Congress and Exhibition (SITCE) held at Suntec City Singapore in October 2016.
Lack of engine
Unlike the MAN Lion’s City DD L Concept Bus, which was fitted with an engine and later entered revenue service trials, the Alexander Dennis Enviro500 Mockup Bus was never intended to be fitted with an engine. The current Enviro500 chassis layout, with its transversely-mounted engine, would not leave enough room for the second staircase at the rear of the bus. Re-engineering the bus for a longitudinally-mounted engine, while possible, would be unlikely for a small market such as Singapore owing to economies of scale, unless the LTA commits to future bulk orders of the Alexander Dennis Enviro500 product and its derivatives.
Furthermore, in its current form, the vehicle’s long rear overhand could result in sideswipe incidents and ground impacts. If the LTA chooses to pursue this design of having the rear door at the end of the bus, further modification work would likely be required to reduce the rear overhang.
- Alexander Dennis Enviro500 – Land Transport Guru
- MAN Lion’s City DD L Mock-up Bus – Land Transport Guru