Wheelchair Accessible Bus Routes

Wheelchair Accessible Bus Routes, as the name implies, are bus routes which allow for wheelchairs to be carried on board.

Introduction

SBST prototype WAB B9TL
SBS Transit prototype WAB B9TL
SBST WAB B9TL
SBS Transit WAB B9TL on 21

Wheelchair-accessible buses were first announced on February 2006 when SBS Transit announced the purchase of the first low-floor, double-decker Superbus, built by ComfortDelGro Engineering. On 15 February, a prototype bus was unveiled, a Volvo B9TL with a zero-step entrance, a manual wheelchair ramp and other wheelchair-friendly features. The introduction of wheelchair-accessible bus travel was in partnership with LTA and various welfare organizations. 150 new wheelchair-accessible buses (WABs) were expected to be assembled by the end of the year. LTA also helped to fund the incremental capital cost of providing manual ramps and associated features, as well as improving bus stop infrastructure to make them more friendly to wheelchair-bound passengers (PIWs).

The first wheelchair-accessible bus service was launched on Monday, 26 June 2006 with the introduction of 10 new Volvo B9TLs to SBS Transit Service 21 between Pasir Ris and St. Michaels  Service 21 was chosen to be the first WAB service after consultation with Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) and the Land Transport Authority. It runs past the premises of the Handicaps Welfare Association (HWA) in Whampoa, enabling members to gain direct access to major town centres like Pasir Ris, Tampines and Bedok. It also provides connections to Tan Tock Seng Hospital and other medical facilities.

Service 21, after the intake of 10 new WABs, had a fleet size of 21 buses. This ensured that PIWs could board a WAB every one or two buses of waiting. All PIWs were also entitled to free travel until the end of July that year.

In addition to the Volvo B9TL, SBS Transit also ordered 1100 zero-step low-entry Scania K230UBs to replace their ageing buses following a successful trail. The Euro IV batch had two wheelchair bays whereas the later Euro V batch had just one, converting the existing wheelchair berth to three side-facing seats.

Following up on strong PIW demand, on 30 October 2006, SBS Transit Service 147 became the second WAB to be launched, with 19 new WABs in the fleet of 37 buses, once again ensuring that PIWs could board a WAB every one or two buses of waiting. Two months later, on 3 December 2006, service 12, 196 and 198 were now wheelchair-accessible services. With more WABs being introduced into SBS Transit’s fleet, such as the Volvo B9TL Wright and Mercedes-Benz Citaro, more WAB services were progressively introduced.

SMRT Buses WAB OC500LE
SMRT Buses WAB OC500LE

SMRT Buses also introduced it’s own wheelchair-accessible buses, a fleet of low-entry Mercedes-Benz OC500LEs with bodywork by Gemilang Coachworks. Like its B9TL predecessor, this low-floor bus also had zero step entrances but two wheelchair berths instead of one. SMRT introduced its first wave of WAB services on 1 June 2009, with services 171, 172, 189, 307, 811, 851 and 945.

After the successful WAB trails. all newer buses acquired by SBS Transit and SMRT Buses are equipped with wheelchair-friendly features such as wheelchair ramps.

Wheelchair-accessible buses

First of all, any wheelchair-accessible bus has a wheelchair decal on the front windscreen. WABs can be deployed on non-WAB services but are not allowed to pick up any PIWs.

WABs are typically equipped with a manual ramp at the rear exit door. The wheelchair bay is usually located on the right of the bus, opposite the exit door. PIWs are required to rest their wheelchair against a backrest (a horizontal cushion) while the bus is in motion. In addition, some buses provide a seat belt around the backrest. On newer SMRT buses like the Mercedes-Benz Citaro and the MAN A22, the backrest doubles up as a foldable seat while there are no PIWs onboard. WABs also come with a special bell for PIWs to alert the driver when they intend to alight, though this bell is frequently misused by other passengers.

Drivers on WAB routes are trained how to handle PIWs onboard. The driver will stop the bus closer to kerb, allow other passengers to alight first, before assisting the PIW onboard. The driver will deploy the manual ramp and ensure that the PIW is secured with the back of the wheelchair leaning on the backrest and in the lock position. Finally, the driver will assist the PIW with fare payment before opening the front door to allow other passengers onboard. When alighting, the PIW will press the PIW bell to alert the driver, and the driver will assist him off the bus at the next stop.

Current wheelchair-accessible bus models include:
– Volvo B9TL CDGE and Wright
– Scania K230UB
– Mercedes-Benz OC500LE and Citaro
– MAN A22, A24 and A95
– Alexander Dennis Enviro500
– BYD K9A


Timeline:

SBS Transit Wheelchair-Accessible Service Implementation
Date Bus Service (s)
26 Jun 2006 21
30 Oct 2006 147
03 Dec 2006 12, 196, 198
22 May 2007 2, 51, 72, 76
20 Aug 2007 7, 80
17 Dec 2007 143
14 Jul 2008 14, 123, 174, 185
02 Dec 2008 64, 130, 183, 199, 232, 238
26 Oct 2009 3, 27, 34, 53, 142, 293, 358, 410
03 Dec 2009 13, 15, 36, 52, 54, 57, 291, 333
28 Feb 2010 29, 63, 113, 265, 334, 359
28 Jun 2010 45, 48, 59, 94, 240, 242
18 Oct 2010 43, 95, 181, 228, 235
02 Dec 2010 24, 86, 151, 225, 231, 335
07 Mar 2011 18, 22, 55, 60, 135, 136, 162/M, 241, 261, 269
27 Jun 2011 5, 17, 38, 39, 99, 194, 354, 400, 402
26 Sep 2011 19, 100, 109, 133, 138, 154, 156, 315, 317
03 Dec 2011 16, 30, 87, 101, 131, 175, 272, 273, 275, 282, 284, 285, 292, 403
26 Mar 2012 10, 25, 58, 66, 69, 105, 165, 168
25 Jun 2012 33, 78, 79, 96, 97, 98/M, 124, 125, 197, 243
30 Sep 2012 56, 128, 163/M, 166, 186, 195, 229, 502, 506
03 Dec 2012 32, 70/M, 73, 93, 111, 238, 325, 372, 518
31 Mar 2013 4, 50, 62, 82, 116, 119, 132, 158, 513
09 Jun 2013 85, 88, 112, 120, 145, 222
30 Sep 2013 20, 141, 157, 182/M, 192
03 Dec 2013 6, 40, 90, 139
23 Mar 2014 26, 35, 49, 65, 161
29 Jun 2014 83, 121, 155, 371
29 Sep 2014 11, 42, 74, 92, 386
03 Dec 2014 9, 17A, 43M, 91, 103, 115, CT8, CT18
30 Mar 2015 41, 140, 159, 201, 324, 405
22 Jun 2015 31, 89, 122, 200
16 Aug 2015 53M
30 Aug 2015 92M
20 Sep 2015 102
28 Sep 2015 28, 153, 74e, 97e, 174e
21 Nov 2015 258
03 Dec 2015 107/107M, 179, 14e, 89e & 151e
20 Dec 2015 47, 117, 118
03 Jan 2016 382G/W
25 Jan 2016 30e, 196e, 246, 249, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 257
20 Mar 2016 134, 150
21 Mar 2016 181M
28 Mar 2016 1N, 2N, 3N, 4N, 5N, 6N, 408, 552, 553, 554, 565, 585, CT28
27 Jun 2016 10e, 37, 533, 534, 535, 536, 538, 539, 544, 545, 549, 555, 560, 561, 563, 564
01 Sep 2016 240M
18 Dec 2016 127, 129
26 Dec 2016 262
13 Feb 2017 193
12 Mar 2017 374
18 Jun 2017 247, 248
09 Jul 2017 329
21 Aug 2017 8, 23, 46, 81, 160, 170, 170A, 170X, 191, 401, 655

 


 

SMRT Buses Wheelchair-Accessible Service Implementation
Date Bus Service (s)
01 Jun 2009 171, 172, 189, 307, 811, 851, 945
29 Nov 2010 858
03 Dec 2011 61, 855, 920, 922, 950
29 Apr 2012 187, 852, 857, 970
01 Jul 2012 75, 77, 177, 700/A
15 Nov 2012 167, 859, 860, 966, 980, 985
21 Apr 2013 173, 882, 941, 981
07 Jul 2013 902, 965, 969
29 Sep 2013 178, 853, 904, 947
02 Mar 2014 803, 927, 961, 972
22 Mar 2015
176, 188, 990
14 Jun 2015 106, 190, 301, 804, 911, 963, 983
11 Oct 2015
67, 169, 854, 901, 925
27 Dec 2015 979
14 Feb 2016
805
03 Apr 2016
302, 800, 812, 903, 912, 913, 960, 962
21 Apr 2016
979M
15 May 2016
308
01 Sep 2016 912M
23 Oct 2016 883
26 Feb 2017 973
16 Jul 2017 180, 806, 926, 975
27 Aug 2017 944
17 Sep 2017 850E, 856, 868, 951E, 971E, 982E, BPS1
22 Oct 2017 110

Press Releases: 

15 Feb 200626 Jun 2006, 30 Oct 2006, 03 Dec 200601 Dec 200801 Jun 2009, 26 Oct 2009, 03 Dec 200928 Feb 201028 Jun 201018 Oct 201029 Nov 2010, 02 Dec 201007 Mar 201127 Jun 201126 Sep 201103 Dec 201103 Dec 201126 Mar 201229 Apr 201225 Jun 2012, 01 Jul 201230 Sep 2012, 15 Nov 201203 Dec 201231 Mar 201321 Apr 201309 Jun 201307 Jul 201329 Sep 201330 Sep 201303 Dec 201302 Mar 201423 Mar 201429 Jun 2014, 29 Sep 2014, 03 Dec 2014, 30 Mar 2015, 14 Jun 2015, 28 Sep 2015, 11 Oct 2015


 

Go-Ahead Singapore Wheelchair-Accessible Service Implementation
Date Bus Service (s)
12 Mar 2017 381
16 Jul 2017 84

 

Photo credits:
– http://www.sbstransit.com.sg/images/abt_memory_wc1.jpg
– http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh101/SBS7483U/SBS7310K_021_1.jpg
– http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SMB1H_on_300.jpg

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Gallery:

SBST Scania K230UB with wheelchair ramp deployed
SBST Scania K230UB with wheelchair ramp deployed
SMRT MAN A22 (SMB191S) with wheelchair ramp deployed
SMRT MAN A22 with wheelchair ramp deployed
SMRT Mercedes-Benz Citaro with wheelchair ramp deployed

That’s all for now. Do check out our other bus articles by clicking here.

One thought on “Wheelchair Accessible Bus Routes

  • 8 July 2017 at 2:43 PM
    Permalink

    Some bus stops are not wheelchair accessible. Which authority upgrades them and can we write in to request to make them wheelchair accessible??

    Reply

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