In Singapore, 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 — 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, or half-trips of longer loop services. 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.
|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 (Somerset Youth Pk)||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)|
|138A||Ang Mo Kio Int → Mandai Lake Road (S’pore Zoo)||Mandai Wildlife Reserves|
|‘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)|
There are several bus routes sharing the A/B suffix of Short-Trip services, but have unique operating patterns:
|179A, 502A, 518A||Semi-express bus routes that skip 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|
A full list of Short-Trip Services in Singapore can be found at Short-Trip Services | Land Transport Guru.
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.
Used to denote peak hour express services (not exhaustive).
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 a renaming exercise on 13 August 2018. Limited-stop routes introduced by SMRT Buses (188e, 854e, 963e), formerly using the uppercase E, were renumbered with the lowercase e for standardization.
|850E||Yishun St 41 / Yishun Ring Rd ⇄ Shenton Way / Anson Road|
|951E||Woodlands St 82 ⇄ Shenton Way / Anson Road|
|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.
|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)|
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).
|43M, 53M, 63M, 98M, 123M, 139M, 143M, 160M, 901M, 913M, 972M (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)|
|131M, 240M, 903M, 912M, (502A, 518A)||Peak hour route variants, operating alongside parent service|
|883M||Weekend/PH route variant, operating alongside parent service|
|181M, 182M, 248M, (900A)||Replaces parent service during selected times of day|
|16M||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.
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.
In April 2021, the T suffix was used to denote terminating trips of loop services at bus interchanges / terminals.
|291T, 293T, 358T, 359T, 811T, 812T, 911T, 913T||Calls at route terminus twice in one trip|
|36T, 307T||Calls at route terminus only once per trip|
|60T, 73T, 83T, 859T, 860T, 965T||Terminates at looping point (bus interchange / terminal)|
Service 36 is the only trunk service operating in a continuous-loop fashion.
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 uses 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