Volvo B9TL

Volvo B9TL
Tower Transit Volvo B9TL
Tower Transit Volvo B9TL
Manufacturer Volvo Buses
Bodywork ComfortDelGro Engineering
Wrightbus Limited
Gemilang Coachworks
Years in operation 2006 – Present
Operators SBS Transit
SMRT Buses
Tower Transit
Go-Ahead Singapore
Technical Data
Length 12 metre
Engine Volvo D9A300 EM-EC01
Volvo D9B310 EC06B
Transmission Voith DIWA 864.3
Voith DIWA 864.5
ZF Ecomat 6HP 602
ZF EcoLife 6AP 1410B
Accessibility Low Entry / Low Floor
Emission Standard Euro III / V (SCR)

The Volvo B9TL (Bus chassis, 9-litre Transverse-mounted engine, Low floor) is a rear-engined low-floor double-decker transit bus built by Volvo Buses since 2002. It is the successor to the older Volvo B10TL “Super Olympian” and the Volvo B7TL. The bus is popular in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Singapore, and is currently the single most common model of transit bus in Singapore.

SBS Transit was previously the main operator of the Volvo B9TL in Singapore, having initiated orders and operated over 1500 units at its peak (before the BCM kicked in) as its primary double-decker bus model. In 2006, the first 200 Euro-III units were brought in (bodied locally by ComfortDelgro Engineering). In 2010, an initial batch of 150 Euro-V buses with Wright Eclipse Gemini II bodywork was brought in. Additional bulk orders were made in the subsequent years, bringing up to a grand total of 1430 Wright-bodied buses.

In 2015, the Land Transport Authority ordered 176 additional Volvo B9TL buses in SBS Transit specifications for the Bus Contracting Model.

In 2016, under the Bus Contracting Model, the Land Transport Authority has leased Volvo B9TL buses (built to SBS Transit specifications) to Tower Transit, Go-Ahead Singapore as well as SMRT Buses.

In addition, a single prototype unit bodied by Gemilang Coachworks Malaysia was delivered to SBS Transit in 2014 and registered as SBS7777Y.

Design:

The Volvo B9TL was built to succeed the 2-axle Volvo B7TL and the 3-axle Volvo B10TL “Super Olympian” chassis, and was designed based on the existing Volvo B7TL. A key difference from its B7TL and B10TL predecessors is its new 9.3-liter engine originally designed by Renault Trucks. The larger engine delivers more horsepower, an advantage over the Volvo B10TL which was notorious for its poor performance on steep ascents. Another major design change over the B10TL was the relocation of the water tank from the front of the bus (near the right front wheel) to the rear, next to engine components.

The B9TL was initially offered only in a 12-meter 3-axle format. The 2-axle variant was introduced in 2006 to fully replace the B7TL, with various chassis lengths available (10.3m, 10.4m and 10.6m).

The driveline comprises a Euro III-compliant Volvo D9A engine (rated at 300 or 340 horsepower), which was later replaced by the Euro V-compliant Volvo D9B engine, which relies on Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology, requiring diesel additive fluids such as AdBlue. Two versions were offered – the D9B260 rated at 260-horsepower for the 2-axle version, and a higher powered D9B310, rated at 310-horsepower, for the 3-axle version. Transmission options include a ZF 5/6-speed gearbox or a Voith 4-speed gearbox. Wheel rims are typically supplied by Alcoa.


The Volvo B9TL – A quick summary

SBS Transit introduced the Volvo B9TL to Singapore with the first 200 Euro-III units entering service from 2006, bodied by ComfortDelgro Engineering (the engineering branch of SBS Transit’s parent company).

Later on, Euro-V Volvo B9TL buses bodied with the Wright Eclipse Gemini II bodywork would be delivered in very large numbers and emerge as the most common bus model on Singapore roads. An initial batch of 150 entered service from late 2010, followed by additional bulk orders made in the subsequent years, bringing up to a grand total of over 1400 Wright-bodied Volvo B9TL buses. In between these orders, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) began purchasing some of these buses for the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP), although these buses continued to remain with SBS Transit.

A Volvo B9TL chassis
A Volvo B9TL chassis

In December 2015, the LTA bought out SBS Transit’s contract for any remaining B9TL WEG2s yet to be delivered. Together with the BSEP fleet, these buses have been gradually reassigned to other bus operators as part of the Bus Contracting Model (GCM/BCM) under a lease agreement. A messy reassignment scheme is under way to transfer these buses from SBS Transit to their new operators. As a result, Tower TransitGo-Ahead and SMRT Buses have Volvo B9TL buses in their fleet, all built to SBS Transit specifications.

In addition, a single prototype unit bodied by Gemilang Coachworks Malaysia was delivered to SBS Transit in 2014 and registered as SBS7777Y. No further units were procured. Except for prototype units SBS7500D and SBS7777Y, all Volvo B9TLs (Euro-III and Euro-V) have been assembled in Singapore.


Volvo B9TL (Euro III) – ComfortDelGro bodywork

A Volvo B9TL CDGE at a launch ceremony
A Volvo B9TL CDGE at a launch ceremony

In late 2004, SBS Transit placed orders for 150 Euro III Volvo B9TL chassis at a cost of S$71 million on 28 December 2004, with an option for 50 more units. They were bodied by ComfortDelGro Engineering (CDGE), the engineering branch of SBS Transit’s parent company ComfortDelGro. A trial bodywork had previously been tested on a Volvo B10TL (SBS9889U), developed by SBS in cooperation with PSV International. The new bodywork was ready to be refitted for use on the Volvo B9TL.

On 15 February 2006, a prototype bus was unveiled, a Volvo B9TL with a zero-step entrance, a manual wheelchair ramp and other wheelchair-friendly features. As Singapore’s first Wheelchair-Accessible Bus (WAB), they were going to pave the way for more WABs and a more disabled-friendly transport system. The launch date was delayed from April to June to prepare bus stops for wheelchair boarding and alighting activities. Finally, on 27 June 2006, SBS Transit Service 21 became the first wheelchair-accessible bus service with 10 Volvo B9TL CDGEs in its fleet.

Later in 2006, SBS Transit exercised its options for an additional 50 more buses at a cost of S$29 million, soon after putting its first B9TLs into operation, bringing the total fleet size to 200. These B9TLs come with the same Euro III-compliant Volvo D9A300 engine, but a four-speed Voith gearbox instead of the six-speed ZF. All units were registered just days before the government-set deadline for Euro-IV compliant diesel engines. Volvo B9TL CDGE units were registered from SBS7300P to SBS7499A.

Basic Specifications:

  • Volvo D9A300 EM-EC01 engine
    – Turbocharged & intercooled, Inline 6-cylinder, 9364cc,
    – 300 hp (220 kW) @ 1900 rpm, torque rating of 1400 Nm @ 1100 – 1400 rpm
    – Euro III-compliant
  • ZF Ecomat 6HP 602 gearbox (149 units) – Six-speed automatic
  • Voith DIWA 864.3 gearbox (50 units) – Four-speed automatic
  • ZF EcoLife 6AP 1410B gearbox (1 unit) – Six-speed automatic
  • ComfortDelGro Engineering Bodywork
    Bodywork designed, supplied and assembled locally by ComfortDelGro Engineering (CDGE), the engineering branch of SBS Transit’s parent company ComfortDelGro Corporation.
  • LECIP Electronic Display Signages (EDS)
    Orange LED matrix design, installed in 2011. Originally relied on plastic destination signs.
  • Denso air-conditioning, rear-mounted

Unlike most SBS (or CDGE) assembled buses which have their bodywork kits shipped in completely knocked down (CKD) form, CDGE bodied these buses themselves from the chassis up, hence these buses were fully constructed in Singapore. The Government had subsidised the cost of fitting the bus with wheelchair-friendly features, such as the manually operated wheelchair ramps. Each bus has one wheelchair bay.

The Volvo B9TL CDGE has a licensed passenger capacity of 124 passengers, consisting of 53 upper deck seating, 27 lower deck seating and 44 standing passengers. An interesting feature at the upper deck is two rows of three longitudinal aisle-facing seats, located in front of the rearmost row of seats.

The bus was also equipped with safety features such as throttle interlocking, which prevents the bus from moving off when doors are opened. Doors will not open above 5kmh nor close if the wheelchair ramp is still deployed. Additional blinkers on the offside of the bus make the bus more visible to oncoming traffic as it exits a bus bay.

On 7 March 2010, SBS7440T from service 25 was burnt beyond repair in a fire at Ang Mo Kio Bus Depot. It was de-registered several months later, making it the first Volvo B9TL in Singapore to be de-registered.

Additional Features:

Volvo B9TL CDGE Buses before the installation of EDS units
Volvo B9TL CDGE Buses before the installation of EDS units

In 2011, SBS Transit replaced the traditional plastic destination plates with Electronic Display Signages (EDS) by LECIP on their Volvo B9TL CDGEs. SBS7392Z was the first bus to receive it, and all other CDGE B9TLs followed suit. The upgrade consists of three sets of electronic displays, for the front, side and rear of the bus. The new LECIP EDS units had route numbers that were considerably smaller and difficult to see clearly from a distance, but eventually accepted by many commuters.

Bus Transmissions:

SBS7321D had its ZF 6HP602 gearbox replaced with a ZF EcoLife 6AP 1410B gearbox for reasons unknown. The same make of gearbox is fitted to ZF Volvo B9TL Wrights .

Volvo B9TL CDGE transmission
ZF Ecomat 6HP 602 SBS7300P – SBS7341X, SBS7347E – SBS7402D, SBS7448Y – SBS7499A, excluding SBS7321D
Voith DIWA 864.3 SBS7342T – SBS7346H, SBS7403B – SBS7447A
ZF EcoLife 6AP 1410B SBS7321D

SBS Transit Volvo B9TL (Euro V) – Wright Eclipse Gemini II bodywork [Overview]

The Volvo B9TL Wright is the most common double-decker bus model in Singapore. With over a thousand units on the road, these omnipresent buses with their rounded front appearance have become ubiquitous sight. These buses were introduced into service through different batches.

Here, we lay down the differences between each batch for the subsequent article.

Batch Specs Units Description Remarks
1 150 buses

Low Entry

ZF Ecolife

150 SBS7500D – SBS7686B
(with unused registrations numbers)
 
2 300 buses

Low Entry / Low Floor

Voith DIWA

30 SBS7700T – SBS7729L Low Entry
240 SBS3000G – SBS3238M, SBS3269Z Low Floor
30 SBS3300R – SBS3329J Low Floor
Purchased under BSEP
3 565 buses

Low Floor

Voith DIWA

446 SBS3240E – SBS3268B, SBS3270T – SBS3299L, SBS3600A – SBS3986L Ownership of SBS3968P, SBS3970P, SBS3973Z, SBS3975T – SBS3986L transferred to LTA prior to full transition to Bus Contracting Model
119 SBS3330D – SBS3448Z Purchased under BSEP
4 415 buses

Low Floor

ZF Ecolife

23 SBS1Z – SBS23K Ownership transferred to LTA prior to full transition to Bus Contracting Model
71 SBS3449X – SBS3482Z, SBS3487K – SBS3523P Purchased under BSEP
321 SG5176G – SG5185E
SG5300P – SG5610U
Ownership transferred to LTA prior to registration
Registered under Bus Contracting Model prior to full transition
176 Buses
Low Floor
ZF Ecolife
176 SG5000E – SG5175J Additional order purchased under Bus Contracting Model

Construction

Just like the Euro III Volvo B9TL (CDGE) buses, SBS Transit undertook the task of assembling these buses locally from the chassis up. Bodywork components in complete knock-down (CKD) form were shipped from Wrightbus, based in Ballymena, Northern Ireland. At the bus assembly facility in Hougang Depot run by Comfort DelGro Engineering (SBS Transit’s technical counterpart), buses are assembled and tested before being registered and put into service island-wide.

Technical Specifications

Many Volvo B9TL Wright buses share similar technical specifications. Here’s a table at a glance:

  Batch 1 Batch 2A Batch 2B Batch 3 Batch 4
Quantity 150 30 270 565 591
(Deliveries ongoing)
Registered Sep 2010 – Aug 2011 Sep 2011 – Dec 2012 Jan 2013 – Jun 2015 Aug 2015 ––
  Technical Specifications
Engine Volvo D9B310 EC06B engine, 9.4-litre
Power/torque rating of 310 hp (228 kW) @ 1900 rpm / 1400 Nm @ 1100 – 1500 rpm
Emissions control Euro V compliant
Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology requiring diesel exhaust fluids such as AdBlue.
Transmission ZF EcoLife 6 AP 1410 B Voith DIWA 864.5 ZF EcoLife 6 AP 1403 B
Entry Low Entry Fully Low Floor
Capacity Seating (Upper deck): 55
Seating (Lower deck): 27
Standing: 49
Total: 131
(With 1 Wheelchair bay)
Seating (Upper deck): 55
Seating (Lower deck): 27
Standing: 51
Total: 133
(With 1 Wheelchair bay)
U55
+ L27
+ S53
Total: 135
(With 1 Wheelchair bay)
Electronic Display Signage Hanover LECIP LECIP & Hanover LECIP

While all Volvo B9TL Wright buses are aesthetically similar, there are three different interior layouts across the fleet. The first variant is a Low Entry cabin, offering step-free access between the entry and exit door only. A single step separates the rear door area and lower deck seating area which has predominantly aisle-facing seats. Batch 1 and 2A buses use this configuration.

The second variant is a fully Low Floor cabin, offering step-free access right until the last row of seats on the lower deck, improving accessibility as compared to the first variant. Part of the aisle-facing seats has been converted to front-facing seats located just behind the rear door and wheelchair bay. Batch 2B and 3 buses use this configuration.

The third variant is similar to the second variant in lower deck layout, but incorporates straight stairs with two staircase landings instead of the curved stairs in previous variants. The priority seats located between the entry and exit doors are also equipped with headrests. Batch 4 buses use this configuration.

Features common to all Volvo B9TL Wright buses are:

  • Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology requiring diesel exhaust fluids such as AdBlue.
  • Volvo Electronic Braking System (EBS5), Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) and Traction Control System (TCS)
  • Brakes engage when doors are open, throttle interlock prevents bus movement with doors open
  • Electronically-controlled air suspension
  • Eberspächer Sütrak R 488 air conditioning units specially designed to meet SBS Transit’s requirements
  • Rear fan attachment at the bottom left of the engine cover for better cooling
  • SMC Transit plug doors (only SBS3921Z equipped with Ventura sliding plug doors)

SBS Transit Volvo B9TL Wright – Batch 1

In August 2009, SBS Transit placed orders for 150 Volvo B9TL chassis as part of a S$87 million fleet renewal programme, This time, they opted for the environmentally friendly Volvo D9B310 engine, which met stringent Euro V emission standards. They were to be built with the Wright Eclipse Gemini II (WEG2) bodywork produced by Wrightbus of Northern Ireland.

The Volvo B9TL Wright had previously been popular with bus operators in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom, with a good reputation for reliability and compliance with emission standards. The buses would be registered between 13 Sep 2010 to 26 Aug 2011, using the registration numbers SBS7500D – SBS7686B, excluding registration numbers containing the number “4” in the third and fourth digit.

Prototype Unit (SBS7500D)
SBS7500D, assembled in UK

SBS7500D, the Volvo B9TL Wright prototype, was assembled by Wrightbus in Northern Ireland and shipped completely-built-up (CBU) to Singapore, where it was used as a reference unit for the local assembly of other WEG2 kits.

With Hong Kong bus operators being major customers of the Volvo B9TL Wright, minor Hong Kong specifications were carried over to the SBST prototype, intentionally or by accident. An opaque sticker was placed over the upper deck window, where a TV screen would have been installed. Also, a rectangular depression was cut out at the rear, where HK buses would have fixed their registration plates. Finally, the interior flooring differs from other Wrights, being in a plain grey color.

Several years after introduction, SBS Transit fashioned a metal plate to cover up the depression at the rear of the bus. Minor differences aside, technical specifications of SBS7500D were identical to the rest of Batch One Volvo B9TL Wrights.

Production Batch (SBS7501B – SBS7686B)

The first batch (Batch 1) of Volvo B9TL Wrights were built by Comfort DelGro Engineering (CDGE)’s bus assembly facility in Hougang Depot, which would continue to assemble all future Volvo B9TL buses for SBS Transit.

The first batch of B9TL Wright chassis were low-entry, meaning that the bus offered stepless entry between the front and rear exit doors, with an additional step before the lower deck rear seating area. They were also paired with six-speed ZF EcoLife transmissions; subsequent batches of Volvo B9TLs would all use four-speed Voith DIWAs. Although the ZF offers smoother acceleration and performs better at highway speeds, the Voith offers faster initial pickup and hill-climbing abilities with fewer gear changes (and some say lower service intervals too).

Technical Specifications:
Volvo B9TL Wright (Batch 1)
Engine Volvo D9B310 EC06B  (SCR)
Transmission ZF EcoLife 6 AP 1410 B (6-speed)
Configuration Low Entry
EDS Hanover
SBST Volvo B9TL Wright (SBS7657K) - Service 225W
SBST Volvo B9TL Wright (SBS7657K) – Service 225W
Additional Specifications:

The low-entry Batch 1 Volvo B9TL Wright has a licensed capacity for 131 passengers, comprising 55 upper deck seating, 27 lower deck seating and 49 standing passengers, with a single wheelchair bay.

Many buses were modified with a rear cooling fan on the engine cover to help dissipate heat from the engine.


SBS Transit Volvo B9TL Wright – Batch 2

In August 2009, SBS Transit placed further orders for 300 more Euro V Volvo B9TL chassis, and the similar WEG2 bodywork supplied by Wrightbus. As part of a fleet renewal programme inclusive of 300 Mercedes-Benz Citaros, the orders were valued at S$268 million.

The Batch 2 is unique in that buses were delivered in two different specifications. The first 30 buses were built on low entry chassis (similar to Batch 1), but the orders were changed midway through delivery in favour of the low-floor option, which offered step-less access from front door to rear. The remaining 270 buses were but to low-floor specifications, but all other technical aspects between the low-entry and low-floor buses were similar.

Additionally, SBS Transit opted for a four-speed Voith DIWA transmission over the six-speed ZF EcoLife transmission used for the previous batch of Volvo B9TLs.

Production Batch 2 (Low-Entry specification) (SBS7700T – SBS7729L)

The first 30 buses of the Batch 2 B9TLs were built to similar interior configurations as the Batch 1 buses, and these were registered between 21 Sep 2011 and 30 Dec 2011, using the registration numbers SBS7700T – SBS7729L.

Technical Specifications:
Volvo B9TL - Batch 2 Low Entry
Volvo B9TL – Batch 2 Low Entry
Volvo B9TL Wright (Batch 2) (Low-Entry)
Engine Volvo D9B310 EC06B  (SCR)
Transmission Voith DIWA 864.5
(4-speed)
Configuration Low Entry
EDS Hanover

The only technical difference between Batch 1 and Batch 2 Wrights is the Voith DIWA 864.5 gearbox in place of the 6-speed ZF EcoLife 6AP 1410B gearbox. The low-entry chassis meant that there was a step on the lower deck between the exit door and the lower deck seating. After these 30 buses were delivered, all future Volvo B9TLs were of the low-floor version.

Although very similar, the lower deck interior flooring has slight modifications as compared to the Batch 1 to accommodate more equipment. The licensed carrying capacity is similar to that of Batch 1 buses.

Production Batch 2 (Low-Floor specification) (SBS3000G – SBS3238M & SBS3269Z)

The remaining 270 Batch 2 Volvo B9TL buses differed from the first 30 after chassis specifications were changed to a fully-low-floor design, featuring zero-step access from the entrance to the rear row of seats. They bore LECIP Electronic Display Signages (EDS) in place of Hanover units. Technical specifications, however, are exactly identical.

These Batch 2 B9TL Wrights of low-floor specification were registered between 22 Nov 2011 – 28 Dec 2012, using the registration numbers SBS3000G – SBS3238M and SBS3269Z. However midway through deliveries and registration, 30 buses of this batch were reallocated to the then-newly-launched Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP), for deployment on new BSEP routes, as well as the service enhancement of existing routes. BSEP Buses were registered between 13 Sep 2012 and 3 Dec 2012 as SBS3300R – SBS3329J.

Technical Specifications:
Volvo B9TL Wright (Batch 2) (Low-Floor)
Engine Volvo D9B310 EC06B  (SCR)
Transmission Voith DIWA 864.5
(4-speed)
Configuration Fully Low Floor
EDS LECIP
SBS3065U on 88 - Volvo B9TL, Wright Eclipse Gemini II body
SBST Volvo B9TL Wright (SBS3065U) – Service 88
Additional Specifications:

With the new fully-low-floor chassis, the interior configuration was modified. Four of the original aisle-facing seats were converted into two sets of forward facing seats located behind the exit door and wheelchair bay. A LECIP Electronic Display Signage (EDS) replaced Hanover units used on previous batches of buses. Licensed carrying capacity increased from 131 to 133 passengers, comprising 55 upper deck seating, 27 lower deck seating, 51 standing passengers and a single wheelchair bay.

Many buses were modified with a rear cooling fan on the engine cover to help dissipate heat from the engine. SBS3189X was also fitted with a Hanover EDS.

 


SBS Transit Volvo B9TL Wright – Batch 3

In July 2012, SBS Transit announced its decision to order 550 units of Euro V Volvo B9TLs with the WEG2 bodywork, identical to the low-floor Batch 2 units, for fleet expansion and renewal. Combined with a further 450 more Mercedes-Benz Citaros, the order for 1000 buses was valued at S$433 million.

Originally, 550 Volvo B9TL Wrights were ordered, but for reasons unknown, the final Batch 3 bus count increased to 565 buses. Among these buses, 119 units were allocated to the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP), and the remaining 446 units stayed with SBS Transit.

Volvo B9TL buses of the Batch 3 make (446 units) were identical in technical specifications to low-floor Batch 2 units. They were registered between 30 Jan 2013 and 18 June 2015 as SBS3240E – SBS3299L and SBS3600A – SBS3986L, excluding SBS3269Z which is a low-floor Batch 2 bus. The 33xx to 35xx registrations were intentionally skipped to allow for the registration of BSEP buses. BSEP units (119 units) were registered between 1 Feb 2013 and 1 Dec 2014 as SBS3330D – SBS3448Z.

Technical Specifications:
Volvo B9TL Wright (Batch 3)
Engine Volvo D9B310 EC06B  (SCR)
Transmission Voith DIWA 864.5
(4-speed)
Configuration Fully Low Floor
EDS Hanover & LECIP
SBST Volvo B9TL Wright (SBS3839D) - Service 46
SBST Volvo B9TL Wright (SBS3839D) – Service 46
Additional Specifications:

All of these buses were identical in specifications to low-floor Batch 2 buses, but use a mix of Electronic Display Signage (EDS) models. Earlier buses of this batch used LECIP EDS units, while later buses used Hanover EDS units. Licensed carrying capacity remains at 133 passengers.

  • Buses registered SBS3761T to SBS3986L and SBS3385X – SBS3448Z were equipped with Hanover EDS units. The remaining have LECIP EDS units.
  • SBS3921Z has doors made by Ventura Systems, including a sliding plus rear door similar to those fitted to Enviro500 buses. It replaces swinging plug doors by SMC Transit found on most other Volvo B9TLs and Scania K230UBs.
  • SBS3971D (YV3S4P928FA171321) is the 1,000th B9TL Wright delivered to SBS Transit.
  • Several buses have been fitted with the Mobileye 560 Advanced Driver Assistance System for driver guidance and enhanced road safety
  • Although the normal Volvo D9B310 EC06B engine is 9364cc, SBS Transit brought in 30 buses with a modified 9368cc engine instead. 20 units were registered for the Batch 3 (SBS3240E – SBS3259C), and 10 units for the BSEP Batch (SBS3330D – SBS3339E).
  • SBS3968P, SBS3970G, SBS3973Z and SBS3975T – SBS3986L have been purchased by the LTA at book value for the BCM prior to the full transition to the BCM.

SBS Transit Volvo B9TL Wright – Batch 4

In July 2014, SBS Transit announced orders worth S$311 million for 250 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses and 415 Volvo B9TL Wright buses, a total of which 296 will be funded by the Government under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP). These 415 Volvo B9TLs fall under the Batch 4, with deliveries starting in mid-2015. However, midway through deliveries, the LTA bought out SBS Transit’s contract for any remaining buses yet to be delivered, transferring these buses to the Bus Contracting Model (BCM)

Production Batch 4 (SBS1Z – SBS23K, SBS3449X – SBS3523P, SG5000E – SG5185E, SG5300P – SG5610U)

The Production Batch 4 Volvo B9TL buses featured modifications to both technical specifications and interior configuration of the bus. They bore Hanover Electronic Display Signages (EDS) and six-speed ZF EcoLife transmissions, features which were present in Batch 1 buses. The interior now features a straight staircase.

The Batch 4 B9TL Wrights were registered from 13 Aug 2015, using the registration numbers SBS1Z to SBS23K for SBS Transit-owned buses, SBS3449X – SBS3482Z & SBS3487K – SBS3523P for BSEP buses and SG5000E onwards for BCM buses.

Buses registered SG5000E – SG5175J were purchased by the Land Transport Authority for the Bus Contracting Model in 2015, with the same specifications as SBS Transit’s order of Volvo B9TL.

Technical Specifications:
Volvo B9TL Wright (Batch 4)
Engine Volvo D9B310 EC06B  (SCR)
Transmission ZF EcoLife 6 AP 1403 B (6-speed)
Configuration Fully Low Floor
EDS Hanover
 
 
 
 
 
 
SBS Transit Volvo B9TL Wright (SBS13P) - Service 21
SBS Transit Volvo B9TL Wright (SBS13P) – Service 21
Additional Specifications:

The major technical difference in the Batch 4 lies in the powertrain, where the 4-speed Voith DIWA gearbox has been replaced by the 6-speed ZF EcoLife model, which were previously installed only on Batch 1 units.

The interior has also been modified to accommodate a straight staircase with two landings instead of the conventional curved and continuous staircase. Volvo B9TL chassis built to Hong Kong specifications had previously been modified to accommodate the longer straight stairs (as bus operators requested the feature) and SBS Transit seems to have also adopted the feature.

Additional features include headrests on the side-facing priority seats on the lower deck, and a slimmer EDS housing unit on the upper deck.

All Batch 4 buses owned by SBS Transit (SBS1Z to SBS23K) have been purchased by the LTA at book value for the BCM prior to the full transition to the BCM.


SBS Transit Volvo B9TL Wright– BSEP Buses

For background information on the BSEP, read the Bus Service Enhancement Programme article.

Before the Bus Contracting Model (BCM/GCM) was launched, the LTA had directly funded the purchase of buses under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP) launched in 2012, where these resources were used to launch new bus routes and enhance existing ones. Whilst registrations for Batch 2, 3 and 4 Volvo B9TL Wrights were ongoing, a portion of buses from each batch were diverted to the BSEP, where they were registered as SBS3300R – SBS3523P.

Deliveries ended in early 2016 with the remainder of buses registered under the GCM instead. BSEP Wrights were also the first buses to spearhead the transition to the GCM as these buses were owned by the Government.

BSEP Bus from Batch 2
BSEP Bus from Batch 2
BSEP Bus from Batch 3
BSEP Bus from Batch 3
BSEP Bus from Batch 4
BSEP Bus from Batch 4

Technical specifications of the BSEP-registered Volvo B9TL Wrights are identical to the Production batches that they were taken out from.

  • Initial batch: SBS3300R – SBS3329J
    = Similar to low-floor Batch 2 specs
  • Second batch: SBS3330D – SBS3448Z
    = Similar to Batch 3 specs
  • Third batch: SBS3449X – SBS3482Z
    and SBS3487K – SBS3523P
    = Similar to Batch 4 specs

The initial batch of 30 buses under the BSEP were diverted orders from the 300 buses SBS Transit has announced in September 2010 (Batch 2) to speed up the registration process and acquire a small pool of buses to kickstart the new BSEP routes. Later orders did not interfere much with SBS Transit’s deliveries.

Additional Specifications:

Under the BSEP, these buses are subject to strict deployment regulations, such as being barred from commercial advertising, and deployment only on BSEP bus routes or enhanced bus routes under the BSEP scheme. The LTA can track bus positioning, passenger loading statistics and other parameters in real time.

Engine Specification change:

Although the normal Volvo D9B310 EC06B engine is 9364cc, SBS Transit brought in 30 buses with a modified 9368cc engine instead. 20 units were registered for the Batch 3 (SBS3240E – SBS3259C), and 10 units for the BSEP Batch (SBS3330D – SBS3339E).

Several units from SBS3385X onwards were fitted with Hanover EDS units.


SBS Transit Volvo B9TL – Gemilang Coachworks prototype

In 2013, it emerged that SBS Transit was engaging Malaysian bus builder Gemilang Coachworks to design and assemble a new bodywork for the Volvo B9TL. Gemilang had previously designed and assembled its own bodywork for the Scania K230UB and Scania K310UD.

Intended for launch in December 2013, the unit failed LTA road tests. The first demonstrator unit, SBS7777Y, was registered on 22 Jan 2014 and made its debut on 17 Feb 2014, running on Service 7.

Technical Specifications:
Volvo B9TL (Gemilang Coachworks)
Engine Volvo D9B310 EC06B  (SCR)
Transmission Voith DIWA 864.5 (4-speed)
Configuration Fully Low Floor
EDS LECIP
SBST Volvo B9TL (Gemilang) [SBS7777Y] - Service 7
SBST Volvo B9TL (Gemilang) [SBS7777Y] – Service 7
Additional
Specifications:

The demonstrator unit SBS7777Y is the first SBS Transit bus to be fitted with Daytime Running LED lamps. Ster NewCity seats are also new to the Gemilang B9TL, with previous generations of buses fully relying on Vogelsitze. Licensed capacity is 133 passengers, comprising of 55 upper deck seating, 27 lower deck seating and 51 standing passengers.

After the full transition of the bus industry to the GCM, SBS7777Y was converted into a Training Bus based at Hougang Depot, as with other non-standard bus models.


Transition to Bus Contracting Model (BCM)

According to the BCM, LTA would purchase buses from both SBS Transit and SMRT Buses to lease them to the winning transport operators of the various route packages. The bus models for this scheme include SBS Transit’s Mercedes-Benz Citaros, SBS Transit’s Volvo B9TL Wrights, SMRT’s MAN A22s and SMRT’s Alexander Dennis Enviro500s.

LTA has initiated the BCM initially using buses destined for SBS Transit but registered under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP). These buses, destined for service with SBS Transit fleet but owned by the Government, were rerouted to operators of the first few BCM packages.

In addition, LTA purchased 176 additional Volvo B9TL buses built to SBS Transit specifications for the BCM in 2015.

To further expand the BCM bus pool, the Land Transport Authority said on 29 December 2015 that it would take over SBS Transit’s bus purchasing contracts worth S$164 million for 346 new bus purchases, scheduled for delivery in 2016 and 2017. It will also directly buy 50 buses, worth about S$23 million, which were delivered to SBST between June and December this year.

Among the 346 buses to be bought under the contracts, 246 are double-deck Volvo B9TL buses, and among the 50 buses to be bought from SBS Transit38 are double-deck buses. In total, LTA bought over 460 Volvo B9TL buses for the BCM.

As part of the transition to BCM, several new Volvo B9TL buses built to SBS Transit specifications registered for BCM will be registered from SG5000E onwards.

Read more at Transitioning of Buses to GCM

SMRT Buses – Volvo B9TL

On 3 Aug 2016, Volvo B9TL buses made their debut with SMRT Buses. These buses were painted in Lush Green, and registered between Feb and Mar 2016 and remained in storage until LTA issued them to SMRT Buses in exchange for Alexander Dennis Enviro500 buses.

Main Article: SMRT Volvo B9TL buses begin operations!

 


Additional Specifications

SBS Transit Volvo B9TL
Batch Registration Engine Gearbox Introduced Retired Bodywork
CDGE SBS7300P – SBS7499A Volvo D9A300 EM-EC01 ZF Ecomat 6HP602 (150),
Voith DIWA 864.3 (50)
2006 ComfortDelGro Engineering
1 SBS7500D – SBS7686B Volvo D9B310 EC06B ZF EcoLife 6AP 1410B 2010-2011 Wright Eclipse Gemini II
2 SBS7700T – SBS7729L Voith DIWA 864.5 2011
3 SBS3000G – SBS3299L,
SBS3600A – SBS3986L
2011-2015
4 SBS1Z – SBS23K ZF EcoLife 6AP 1410B 2015  
BSEP 1 SBS3300R – SBS3329J Volvo D9B310 EC06B Voith DIWA 864.5 2012  
BSEP 2 SBS3330D – SBS3448Z 2012-2014  
BSEP 3 SBS3449X – SBS3482Z, SBS3487K – SBS3523P ZF EcoLife 6AP 1410B 2015  
GML SBS7777Y Volvo D9B310 EC06B Voith DIWA 864.5 2014 Gemilang Coachworks
LTA – Owned Volvo B9TL
Batch Registration Engine Gearbox Introduced Retired Bodywork
GCM SG5000E – SG5185E, SG5300P – SG5610U Volvo D9B310 EC06B ZF EcoLife 6AP 1410B 2015 – Wright Eclipse Gemini II

Summary of SBS Transit Wright B9TL Batch deliveries separated by time period:

August 2009

  • Original first order of 150 units

September 2010

  • Original second order of 300 units
  • Later split into Batch 2 (30 low-entry units , 240 low-floor units) and BSEP Batch (30 units)
  • Midway into low-entry delivery, SBST changed chassis configuration into a full-low-floor version, hence the remaining 270 units are fully-low-floor.
  • Out of the remaining 270 low-floor units, 30 units are funded by the BSEP scheme

July 2012

  • Original third order of 550 units. Announced split into Batch 3 (400 units) and BSEP Batch (150 units)
  • BSEP buses are funded under the BSEP scheme
  • Additional order of 15 buses added midway, bringing the total to 565 units ordered.
  • Final count of Batch 3 (446 units) and BSEP Batch (119 units)

July 2014

  • Original fourth order of 415 units. Split into Batch 4 (23 units),  BSEP Batch (71 units) & GCM Batch.
  • Some units registered under the GCM

May 2015

  • Delivery of 1000th Volvo B9TL Wright, SBS3971D, to SBS Transit. Press release states 430 more buses to be delivered.

2015

  • Additional 176 Volvo B9TL buses built to SBS Transit’s specifications bought by the Land Transport Authority

Gallery:


External Links & References:

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