Bus Service Prefixes and Suffixes

Alphabetical Prefixes and Suffixes are sometimes attached to bus service numbers. These can be used to identify special types of bus routes, or to indicate route variants of their parent service.


A, B, C, W — Short Trip Services

Suffix used for supplementary trips which ply segments of their parent route rather than the full route of their parent service. Due to the lengthy nature of most bus routes, Short-Trip services are needed to cater to specific route sectors, rather than improving bus frequencies throughout the route. This helps to better allocate resources to where they are needed. Most Short-Trip services operate during peak hours, connecting various transport nodes (i.e. MRT station/bus interchange) with residential estates, industrial areas or educational institutions. Other Short-Trip services operate late at night, after the last bus of their parent service has departed. These services usually cater to residential sectors of long trunk routes. Finally, there are Short-Trip services that only operate on weekends and special occasions, catering to unique sectors of route encountering high demand. Some Short-Trip services fall into more than one of these categories.

Service Route Catchment Areas
AM Peak Short-Trip Services
13A Ang Mo Kio Ave 6 (Blk 307A) → Bishan Rd (Bishan Stn) Residential Estate (Bishan St 22)
72B Yio Chu Kang Int → Ang Mo Kio Ave 5 (ITE Coll Ctrl) Educational Institution (ITE College Ctrl)
98B Jurong West Ave 1 (Blk 490) → Jurong Pier Way (Jurong Island Checkpt) Industrial Estate (Jurong Port area)
PM Peak Short-Trip Services
198A Boon Lay Int → Jurong East Ave 1 (Opp Parc Oasis) Residential Estate (Jurong West)
96B Clementi Int → C’wealth Ave West (Clementi Stn Exit A) Educational Institution (NUS)
92A Ghim Moh Ter → Ghim Moh Rd (Blk 13) Industrial Estate (Science Park II area)
Weekends/Public Holidays Short-Trip services
14A Bedok Int → Grange Rd (Natl Youth Council) East Coast region (to City and Orchard)
21A Geylang Rd (Bef Lor 18 Geylang) → Kitchener Rd (Bef Tai Hoe Hotel) Geylang region (to Farrer Park)
‘Last Bus’ Short-Trip services
36A Changi Airport PTB2 → Tomlinson Rd (The Regent S’pore)
163A Sengkang Int → Fernvale Lane (Bef Sengkang West Rd)
Full Day Short-Trip services
17A Bedok Int → Bedok Nth Ave 4 (SBST Bedok Nth Depot)
170A Queen St Ter → W’lands Ctr Rd (Woodlands Train Checkpt)

Bus Service 67W is currently the only Short-Trip Service with the ‘W‘ suffix, possibly indicating ‘Weekend’. Bus Services 268C962C and 991C are currently the only Short-Trip Services with the ‘C‘ suffix. There are several bus routes sharing the A/B suffix of Short-Trip services, but with unique operating patterns:

Service(s) Description
179A, 502A, 518A Semi-express bus routes skipping selected stops of the parent route
900A Route variant operating at certain times of day (similar to M-suffix)
859A/859B, 912A/912B Used to indicate directional loop
857, 965, 966 Have Short Trips that terminate at the looping point, but do not carry any suffix

CT — Chinatown Direct

Prefix used for Chinatown Direct Bus Services, which connect selected residential estates to and from Chinatown. Introduced in January 2005.

Service Route Catchment Areas
CT8 Ang Mo Kio Ave 9 ↔ Kg Bahru Ter Yio Chu Kang, Ang Mo Kio
CT18 Bedok North Ave 3 ↔ Kg Bahru Ter Bedok North, Bedok Reservoir

E, e — Express Services

Suffix used for Express Bus Services, which are bus services that contain express sectors by skipping bus stops or travelling by expressways. This reduces commuting time as compared to regular trunk services. These services charge Express fares as they serve smaller catchment areas while providing reduced travel time and added convenience.

Uppercase ‘E’

Used to denote peak hour express services (not exhaustive).

Lowercase ‘e’

Used for Limited-stop express services that closely mirror their parent route, but call at fewer bus stops along the way (often incorporating express sectors along expressways/trunk roads). First introduced as Fast-Forward Services by SBS Transit, and later rebranded as Express services after renaming exercise on 13 August 2018. SMRT Buses’ own limited-stop routes (188e, 854e, 963e), formerly using the uppercase E, were renumbered with the lowercase E for standardization.

Service Route
Uppercase E
850E Yishun St 41 / Yishun Ring Rd ⇄ Shenton Way / Anson Road
951E Woodlands St 82 Shenton Way / Anson Road
Lowercase e
12e Pasir Ris Int  Kampong Bahru Ter
89e Hougang Central Int  Airport Cargo Road / Airline Road

The Uppercase ‘E‘ suffix (for ‘Ending’) was formerly used for terminating trips on SMRT Intratown services. This has since been renumbered to the ‘T‘ suffix. More information at the T suffix section below.


G, W — Green Plate / White Plate (Directional Loop)

Suffix used by SBS Transit to designate the clockwise and counter-clockwise directions of a loop service (e.g. A→B→C→A and A→C→B→A). G and W stand for Green Plate and White Plate. In the past, buses carried plastic/metal destination plates, and the green/white background was used to assist commuters in easily identifying the direction of travel.  On modern buses with electronic display signs, the G and W suffix is used instead.

Service Route
225G / 225W Bedok Bus Interchange ↺ Bedok North Street 3
243G / 243W Boon Lay Bus Interchange ↺ Jurong West Ave 5 (Loop)
382G / 382W Punggol Bus Interchange ↺ Sumang Walk (Loop)
410G / 410W Bishan Bus Interchange ↺ Shunfu Road (Loop)

Service 67W is the exception. This is a short trip service variant of Service 67 operating on weekends/public holidays. The A and B suffixes are also used for directional loop services. Examples are 859A/859B and 912A/912B.


M, X — ‘Modified’ / Route Variant

Suffix used for route variants of a particular bus service, plying a modified version of the parent route. Route variants can operate either alongside their parent service throughout the day, or have operating hours staggered with their parent service. Historically, route variants have been referred to using a variety of suffixes, such as A or B, C, W, X, or #. Most route variants have been standardized to the ‘M‘ suffix, but exceptions still exist (enclosed in parentheses).

Service(s) Description
43M, 53M, 63M, 98M, 123M, 139M, 143M, 160M, 901M, 913M, (170X) Full-day route variants
35M, 70M, 107M, 162M Replaces parent service on Weekday nights, Saturdays (Afternoon/evening till end of service), Sundays & Public Holidays (Full day)
92M, 853M, 925M, 961M Replaces parent service on Sundays/Public Holidays (Full day)
131M240M, 903M, 912M, (502A, 518A) Peak hour route variants, operating alongside parent service
883M Weekend/PH route variant, operating alongside parent service
181M, 182M, (900A) Replaces parent service during selected times of day
16M, 972M Operates as alternate departures of parent service

Some route variants like 53M and 123M do not share the route termini of their parent service. Bus services 170X, 502A, 518A, and 900A are included in the above list as their operation pattern closely matches that of existing route variants, although they retain their non-M suffixes.


N — Nite Owl

Suffix used for SBS Transit operated Nite Owl bus routes.

Service Route
1N, 2N, 3N, 4N, 5N, 6N Marina Centre Ter / City areas → Heartlands

NR — NightRider

Prefix used for SMRT operated NightRider bus routes.

Service Route
NR1, NR2, NR3, NR5, NR6, NR8 City areas → Heartlands

T — Terminating

Suffix used for the terminating trips of two-part Feeder bus services that perform continuous loops (A→B→A→C→A repeatedly). These two-part Feeder routes were formerly known as Townlink (SBS Transit) or Intratown (SMRT Buses) routes. Displaying the T suffix indicates that the bus will terminate at the interchange and no longer continue on the next loop.

Historically, SBS Transit used a T’ sign at the front of the bus, while SMRT Buses used the E suffix on the electronic display signs of their buses. These have now been standardized to the T suffix on all electronic display signs.

Service(s) Description
291T, 293T, 358T, 359T, 811T, 812T, 911T913T Calls at route terminus twice in one trip
36T, 307T Calls at route terminus only once per trip

Service 36 is the only trunk service operating in continuous-loop fashion, and also the only trunk service to use the ‘T’ suffix.


EB, GA, TT, WT — Employee Bus Services

Prefix used for Employee Bus Services, which are scheduled bus services run by Public Transport Operators as a means of transporting employees.

SBS Transit ones are numbered with the prefix ‘EB‘ for Employee Bus; SMRT Buses uses the prefix ‘WT‘ for Worker’s Transport. Similarly, Tower Transit Singapore and Go-Ahead Singapore use the prefix ‘TT‘ and ‘GA‘ respectively. All prefixes are followed by a number.


Continued on Page 2:
  • Legacy Bus Service Prefixes and Suffixes

2 thoughts on “Bus Service Prefixes and Suffixes

  • 27 September 2020 at 12:49 AM
    Permalink

    I note the omission of service 42 and 92 from the T suffix – from what I remember those two routes also operate on a continuous-loop manner?

    Reply

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