City Direct Bus Service 656

City Direct Service 656 is an AM/PM Peak City Direct service between Sembawang and the CBD, passing through Sembawang Drive, Bras Basah and Shenton Way. It is the sixth City Direct route introduced under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP).

SMRT Buses Ltd took over operations of City Direct Service 656 on 17 Apr 2017 with changes in trip timings.


 
 




Route:

City Direct 656:
Canberra Rd
→ Shenton Way | Anson Rd → Canberra Rd
AM Peak
Towards CBD
PM Peak
Towards Canberra
  • Canberra Rd
    – Blk 424A CP
  • Admiralty Lane (Express)
  • Admiralty Link
    – Opp Blk 491
    – Blk 404A CP
  • Sembawang Dr
    – Blk 405
    – Blk 354 CP
    – Sun Plaza
    – Blk 317
  • Sembawang Ave
    – Blk 303
  • Sembawang Rd (Express)
  • Upp Thomson Rd (Express)
  • SLE (Express)
  • CTE (Express)
  • Buyong Rd (Express)
  • Orchard Rd
    – Dhoby Ghaut Stn
  • Bras Basah Rd
    – Rendezvous Grand Hotel
    – NTUC Income Ctr
    – Raffles Hotel
  • Nicoll Highway
    – Opp War Memorial Pk
  • Esplanade Dr (Express)
  • Collyer Quay
    – OUE Bayfront
  • Raffles Quay
    – One Raffles Quay
  • Shenton Way
    – UIC Bldg
    – Opp MAS Bldg
  • Anson Rd
    – Mapletree Anson
  • Robinson Rd
    – Aft Capital Twr
    – Opp The Ogilvy Ctr
    – Raffles Pl Stn Exit F
  • Fullerton Rd
    – Fullerton Sq
  • Esplanade Dr
    – Esplanade Bridge
  • Stamford Rd
    – Capitol Bldg
    – SMU
  • Orchard Rd
    – YMCA
  • Penang Rd
    – Dhoby Ghaut Stn
  • Buyong Rd (Express)
  • CTE (Express)
  • SLE (Express)
  • Upp Thomson Rd (Express)
  • Sembawang Rd (Express)
  • Sembawang Ave
    – Opp Blk 303
  • Sembawang Dr
    – Blk 328
    – Opp Sun Plaza
    – Blk 357C
    – Blk 478
  • Admiralty Link
    – Blk 482A CP
    – Blk 491
  • Admiralty Lane (Express)
  • Canberra Rd
    – Blk 508 CP

 

Technical Information
Route
[AM]: Canberra Road (Blk 424A CP) → Shenton Way (Opp MAS Bldg)
[PM]: Anson Road (Mapletree Anson) → Canberra Road (Blk 508 CP)
Passes Through Admiralty Link, Sembawang Dr, Dhoby Ghaut
Route Length 29.4km (D1) | 29.6km (D2)
Traveling Time 77 mins (AM) | 81 mins (PM)
Operator Information
BCM Route Package City Direct Bus Services
Current Operator SMRT Buses Ltd
Current Depot Ang Mo Kio Bus Depot (AMDEP)
Current Fleet 12-metre Single Deck Bus
MAN A22
Departure Times from Canberra Rd
0720 – 0740 (Weekdays except Public Holidays), 3 Trips
Departure Times from Anson Rd
1810 – 1825 (Weekdays except Public Holidays), 2 Trips
Frequency AM Peak
PM Peak
10 mins 15 mins

City Direct Service 656 provides residents of Sembawang with greater connectivity to the CBD. Running parallel to existing rail lines, the service provides a travel alternative for commuters who relied on the rail network and feeder buses to and from work. The route incorporates an express sector between Sembawang Avenue and Dhoby Ghaut via SLE and CTE.

This is the sixth City Direct service to be introduced under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP), providing more options for commuters using stretches of the existing rail lines that experience persistently high ridership, while the ongoing rail enhancement measures are being implemented.

From 10 March 2014, less than a month after introduction, an additional morning trip was added. Existing departure timings were revised. Yet another additional morning trip was added from 14 July 2014, bringing the total number of morning trips to the CBD to four. Following the takeover by SMRT Buses on 17 Apr 2017, morning trips were reduced to three.

Bus Schedule:

  • AM Peak from Canberra Rd: 0720hrs, 0730hrs, 0740hrs
  • PM Peak from Anson Rd: 1810hrs, 1825hrs

Fares: Charges regular distance-based express fares. Calculate your bus fare using LTA’s fare calculator on MyTransport.sg here.

Fleet: Service 656’s fleet comprises single-deck buses from SMRT Buses.


Gallery:

Poster Gallery:

 


Operator History:

  • 17 Feb 2014 – 14 Apr 2017: Loh Gim Chong Transport
  • 17 Apr 2017 onwards: SMRT Buses Ltd

History:

  • 2014 (17 Feb): Introduced as a bidirectional AM/PM-Peak hour service from Sembawang to the CBD under the BSEP. Operates two trips on weekday mornings at 7:25am and 7:40am, and weekday evenings at 6:10pm and 6:25pm. Charges Distance-based flat fares.
  • 2014 (10 Mar): Third morning trip added, departure times from Sembawang revised to 7:20am, 7:30am and 7:40am.
  • 2014 (06 Apr): Revised fares as part of the Public Transport Fare Adjustment 2014
  • 2014 (14 Jul): Fourth morning trip added, departure times from Sembawang revised to 7:20am, 7:26am, 7:34am and 7:40am.
  • 2015 (23 Mar): Calls at new bus stop 03241 Anson Rd – Mapletree Anson instead of 03222 Anson Rd – Hub Synergy Point
  • 2016 (18 Jan): Operating contract for City Direct 656 by Loh Gim Chong Transport extended by one more year.
  • 2017 (17 Apr): Operations transferred to SMRT Buses Ltd with changes to AM Peak Trips. Departure times revised to 7:20am, 7:30am and 7:40am.

External Links & References:

Back to Bus Services
Back to City Direct Services
Back to Bus Articles

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11 thoughts on “City Direct Bus Service 656

  • 13 September 2017 at 9:46 AM
    Permalink

    I urge everyone to crowd start a new route from Sembawang to CBD via Grab Shuttle.. you guys can download the app or do it online.. once enough passengers requested for it, they’ll create the route!

    You’ll be guaranteed a seat, comfortable one that is, and price wise it is affordable! Pass for 10 rides cost about $2.60+ per trip!!
    I’ve tried it for the return trip to Sembawang from CBD so i do know.. You’ll be in a 20+ seater mini bus.. Travelling time will definitely decrease..

    Please lets try this solution, especially for those who board the bus from Sun Plaza onwards.. An hour plus of standing each day is really a torture.. Do pass on the message! Say hello to your fellow commuters and tell them abt this!

    Im definitely not from grab..just a passenger that is desperate for a comfortable ride to work and hope not to be late for work anymore!!

    Reply
  • 9 September 2017 at 7:56 PM
    Permalink

    I have been taking this bus for a while now. I agree with you guys about the disappointment. I’m so disappointed when SMRT taken over the service. Because I know that the comfortable seats will be gone. Not only that, they also decreased the frequency from 4 trips to 3 trips in the morning.

    Come Mon, the bus is almost full everyday and people are paying more to stand meh? Some more the timing of the buses also buey zhun. Seldom early but always late. Like that how?

    Please don’t take advantage of us leh. We must stand up to them and demand that either the frequency increases or they give us double Decker buses.

    Best way will be feedback straight to SMRT. If not I don’t think they will care about how we feel. I strongly urge everyone here to call and feedback to SMRT about this. 来来大家一起来 Let our voices be heard and pressure them to do something for us. Everybody let’s do it!

    If really cannot, then really let the professionals do the job. Buey hiao mai kay kiang.

    Reply

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