Main Article: MAN A95 (ND323F)
|MAN ND323F (A95)|
|Manufacturer||MAN Truck And Bus|
|Bodywork||MAN Lion’s City DD L (Gemilang Coachworks)|
|Years in operation||2017|
Tower Transit (Former)
|Engine||MAN D2066 LUH-32|
|Transmission||ZF EcoLife 6 AP 2000 B|
|Accessibility||Low Floor & Wheelchair-accessible|
|Emission Standard||Euro V (EGR)|
The MAN A95 (ND323F) is a fully-low-floor, rear-engined double-decker city bus chassis built by MAN Truck & Bus. As part of the MAN NDxx3F line of bus chassis, they are built only for right-hand drive markets.
A special 3-door, 2-staircase MAN Lion’s City DD L Concept Bus was commissioned by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to investigate the feasibility of introducing such double-deck buses on Singapore roads. Bearing the registration plate SG5999Z, the bus is undergoing revenue service trials with SBS Transit on Bus Service 7. It previously underwent a six-month revenue service trial with Tower Transit Singapore from March to September 2017.
The 12.8-metre long concept bus is built on a MAN A95 chassis and packed with commuter-friendly features such as seats with headrests, USB charging ports, stylish interior lighting and a Passenger Information Display System, that gives real-time information on the next bus-stop along its route, integrated with bus stop announcements.
First exhibited at the Our Bus Journey Carnival at Ngee Ann City in March 2016, SG5999Z 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 an Alexander Dennis Enviro500 (2015 Facelift) which was not fitted with an engine and did not enter revenue service trials.
Concept Bus Launch
Contract PT236 for a “Concept Bus Mock-up” was awarded to Singapore Technologies Kinetics Ltd for S$610,000.00 on 8 Oct 2015, and also to Alexander Dennis (Asia Pacific) Ltd for S$498,500.00, beating Cycle & Carriage, MCV, Yutong and Volvo. The 3-Door MAN Lion’s City DD was the final product of this undertaking. As Singapore Technologies Kinetics (ST Kinetics) was the local authorised dealer for MAN Truck and Bus in Singapore, it was expected that their bus would be built on a MAN bus chassis.
The bus is a 12.8-metre long MAN Lion’s City DD L, built on a MAN A95 chassis by Gemilang Coachworks, Malaysia. Construction of other MAN A95 buses for the Singapore market is detailed in this article. Originally 12 metres long, the chassis was manually extended to 12.8 metres, by cutting the chassis before the second axle and adding a chassis extension by welding. The main design feature of the bus is its two staircases – one going up and the other coming down – giving commuters a dedicated exit route from the upper deck and out directly through the third door.
|Basic Technical Specifications|
|Engine||MAN D2066 LUH-32, 10518cc
Twin-stage turbocharged & inter-cooled
Power/torque rating of 320 hp (235 kW) @ 1900 rpm / 1600 Nm @ 1000 – 1400 rpm
|Emission Standard||Euro V compliant
Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) technology and MAN’s PM-Kat® exhaust treatment system, hence doing away with the need for diesel exhaust fluids. Meets the Euro V emission standard.
|Transmission||ZF EcoLife 6 AP 2000 B gearbox, six-speed automatic|
|Bodywork||MAN Lion’s City DD Bodywork
Chassis built in Germany, MAN’s Lion City DD bodywork supplied and assembled by Gemilang Coachworks, licensed by MAN.
|EDS||Mobitec MobiLED Colour Electronic Display Signage (EDS)
Connected to a Mobitec MobiMASTER ICU 402 controller
|Others||Masats door systems
Vogelsitze Revo S seats with headrests
Denso rear-mounted air-conditioning unit
Mobileye Shield+ Collision Avoidance System
Mobitec MobiSCREEN Passenger Information Display System (PIDS)
The bus was showcased at LTA’s Our Bus Journey Carnival in March-April 2016 where is was on static display throughout the carnivals held at three locations. Subsequently, it was returned to Gemilang Coachworks for modification works prior to entering revenue service. The entrance, which was originally a single-leaf Outward Swinging Door, was changed to a pair of conventional double-leaf Inward Swinging Doors. Reflective warning signs and stripes were also pasted on the wing mirrors. The bus was displayed during LTA’s Walk Cycle Ride (WCR) SG Symposium at MediaPolis the day after, where it was equipped with its number plate SG5999Z.
Revenue Service Trials
The MAN Lion’s City DD L Concept Bus was launched in the morning of 13 March 2017 at a press event in Bulim Bus Depot, marking the start of a six-month trial by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to evaluate the suitability of such a bus design for Singapore’s use. Bus Service 143 was chosen as it is a long trunk route with a consistent load of commuters.
At the press event, SG5999Z was concurrently exhibited with a 3-door single-deck bus (later bearing the registration SG4002G), a low-entry MAN Lion’s City with steps leading to a third door at the rear, which began trials with SMRT Buses in the second quarter of 2017. Both concept buses were designed by ST Kinetics and built on MAN bus chassis.
Under a Road Traffic (Authorisation of Use) Notification 2017, SG5999Z was permitted to operate on Bus Services 41, 78, 106, 143 and 189, all of which are operated by Tower Transit. The Authorisation of Use also covers bi-directional Off Service routes between Bulim Bus Depot and Jurong East Temporary Bus Interchange, Bukit Batok Bus Interchange, Toa Payoh Bus Interchange, Shenton Way Bus Terminal and ST Kinetics along Corporation Road. However, the bus was also deployed on revenue service trips on Bus Service 143M for which is was technically not permitted to operate.
In early November 2017, SG5999Z was transferred to SBS Transit and parked at Bukit Batok Bus Depot. Under the Road Traffic (Motor Vehicles, Construction and Use) (Exemption) Order 2017, the bus is allowed to operate on any bus service by any Public Transport Operator.
The bus was displayed with the SBS Transit Operator Logo during the Seletar Bus Depot Carnival in January 2018. In March 2018, the bus was transferred to Bedok North Bus Depot. The trial began on 2 April 2018 on Bus Service 7 and is expected to last for at least 3 months. Based out of SBS Transit’s Bedok North Bus Depot, the bus is expected to operate during Weekday Peak Hours.
As compared to older MAN A95 buses, the exterior styling of the MAN Lion’s City DD L Concept Bus bears new styling elements, most notably the large grey stripe on both sides of the bus. The larger headlamp design was likely inspired from MAN Trucks. The livery curves on the upper deck and angled livery overlaying the rear windows makes for a more sleek design with minimal structural modifications.
As a result of its long length, a steerable tag axle allows the bus to navigate corners with greater ease. In the above photo, the bus makes a tight left turn into Toa Payoh Bus Interchange, and the last axle can be seen at a slight angle. The feature is not new; older 3-axle Volvo Olympian buses had the feature on their middle axles.
The bus also features three small Mobitec MobiLED Colour Electronic Display Signages (EDS) for the front, side and rear, allowing the bus to display the service number and special displays in colour. The larger displays on the front and side are conventional Mobitec MobiLED displays, which are white LED matrix displays.
While the service number is programmed in white, Tower Transit has programmed several other logos in colour, including a red-white L-plate for the Training Bus scroll, a LTA logo in blue, and the Tower Transit logo in green.
The bodywork design would later be used in New MAN Lion’s City Facelift DD Buses, which made their debut in February 2017.
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