City Shuttle Service (CSS) was a group of bus services operated by Singapore Shuttle Bus Private Limited, then a subsidiary of SMRT Corporation. These services were in operation between 16 May 1975 and 28 April 2007.
A Brief History:
With the introduction of the Singapore Area Licensing Scheme (which charged drivers a fee to enter the Downtown commercial district) in 1975, City Shuttle Services (CSS) were introduced as an initiative by the Government. The CSS aimed to reduce traffic congestion in the city as part of a Park and Ride scheme, by encouraging drivers to park their vehicles outside the city and transfer to connecting bus routes (such as CSS services) into the city. It was hoped that drivers would embrace the initiative by providing low fares and good service.
In reality, the CSS initiative was a failure. People who could afford a car were affluent enough to pay the congestion charge, or simply chose to drive into the City outside of peak hours. Subsequent years saw the withdrawal of low-demand routes, and others were extended into the heartlands, offering quick bus connections to the City. However, low demand forced the eventual withdrawal of all CSS routes, and the last was withdrawn in 2007.
1975 (16 May): Eleven CSS services introduced, numbered in numerical order. Operated by NTUC Comfort and Singapore Shuttle Bus (SSB)
1975 (12 Jun): CSS services extended to HDB housing estates, CSS 10 and 11 are withdrawn
1987 (12 Mar): SSB is acquired by Trans-Island Bus Services (TIBS)
1988 (25 Jun): CSS 1, 4 and 9 are withdrawn
1990 (30 Jun): CSS 6 is withdrawn, leaving SSB running the remain CSS services
1995 (24 Oct): CSS accepts Transitlink farecards. Original 25-seater buses were replaced with newer 12m buses.
1997 (03 Nov): CSS Services renamed with the 60X designation
2001 (09 Jul): SMRT acquires and merges TIBS and SSB
2001 (28 Oct): CSS 602 is withdrawn together with NAC buses, all remaining CSS routes were fully air-conditioned
2003 (03 Aug): CSS 607 is withdrawn
2003 (30 Nov): CSS 603 is withdrawn
2004 (05 Sep): CSS 605 is withdrawn
2007 (29 Apr): CSS 608 is withdrawn, marking the end of CSS services.
The City Shuttle Service (CSS) was introduced in 1975 as an initiative by the Government. At the time, the Singapore Area Licensing Scheme was introduced, which was a urban congestion pricing scheme that charged drivers a fee for entering the Central Business District (CBD). Hence, the CSS aimed to reduce traffic congestion in the city as part of a Park and Ride scheme, by encouraging drivers to park their vehicles outside the city and transfer to connecting bus routes (such as CSS services) into the city. CSS hoped that drivers would embrace the initiative by providing low fares and good service.
On 16 May 1975, 11 inaugural CSS services commenced operations. These were jointly operated by NTUC Comfort (4 services) & Singapore Shuttle Bus (SSB) (7 services), which served 16 fringe car parks, 7 city area termini and 49 selected bus stops with around sixty 25-seater single door buses. Later on, with the abolishing of the Park and Ride scheme, the CSS operators would then extend their regular services from fringe carparks to HDB housing estates. Housing districts such as Bukit Merah, Bedok, St Michael’s Estate, Marine Parade, Holland Road & Sin Ming Rd received CSS connections to the CBD. At the same time, the number of CSS routes were reduced to 9 services (6 from SSB and 3 were from NTUC Comfort) with the withdrawal of CSS 10 and 11.
On 12 March 1987, Singapore Shuttle Bus was bought over by Trans-Island Bus Services (TIBS). Operation of SSB CSS routes were assimilated into that of TIBS.
On 25 June 1988, NTUC Comfort, which ran 3 CSS routes, decided to withdraw 2 of its routes from Marine Parade (CSS 1 and CSS 4). This was partly due to the high maintenance cost of its buses and a decline in commuter demand due to the opening of the MRT system. On the same day, SSB also withdrew CSS 9, which operated between Bukit Merah and Lor 1 Geylang. NTUC Comfort’s remaining buses ran on their last route (CSS 6) until 1990, when the buses reached the end of their lifespan.
In 1985, the initial fleet of 25-seater buses were replaced with larger 12m buses such as the Hino HT238K, DAF SB220 and Nissan Diesel U31SCN/U31RCN. CSS was also the first bus operator in Singapore to introduce concessionary fares for senior citizens, which was eventually extended to other bus operators. CSS routes were renumbered to the “60x” series in 1997 with the standardisation of route numbering. When TIBS was bought over by SMRT Corporation in 2001, SMRT became the sole operator of the remaining 5 CSS routes, originally operated by SSB. However, SMRT chose to retain the characteristic orange livery of the CSS buses.
With more travel options such as parallel bus routes and new train lines, ridership for CSS services were declining, and one by one they were subsequently withdrawn. By the time the second-last CSS route (CSS 605) was withdrawn in Sep 2004, its existing fleet of CSS buses were downsized. The DAF SB220 buses were exported overseas, leaving only the Nissan buses in its fleet. Some of the Nissan buses registered with CSS plates were transferred to the SMRT fleet in June 2006, bearing the TIB registration.
With insufficient demand to sustain operations, the last CSS route, Service 608, was withdrawn on 28 April 2007, marking an end to the era of CSS services. Singapore Shuttle Bus was liquidated, and the remaining Nissan buses and the sole Dennis Lance (CSS310U) were transferred to SMRT Buses for continued operations, 2 months after its withdrawal of Service 608.
310U: Dennis Lance 245 (Duple Metsec (UMW (Malaysia)) body with Sutrak AC [re-registered as TIB1257C]
City Shuttle services operated between 0630 and 1930 hours on Weekdays & Saturdays. On selected Sundays & Public Holidays in December during several years, CSS Service 8 had its operating hours extended to cater for the demand of shoppers during the festive season, operating between 1000 and 1930 hours.
Route information for the following renumbered CSS services withdrawn between 2001 and 2007 are listed below:
Service 602: Shenton Way ↺ Holland Drive
Service 603: St. Michael’s ↺ Upper Cross Street
Service 605: Sin Ming Road ↔ Bukit Merah
Service 607: St. Michael’s ↺ New Bridge Road
Service 608: Bedok ↔ Bukit Merah
CSS Service 602 (3 Nov 1997 – 27 Oct 2001):
Sundays & PHs
Shenton Way Ter
0630 – 0900
0901 – 1629
1630 – 1900
9 – 10 mins
11 – 14 mins
10 – 13 mins
11 – 14 mins
Route Information (as of 27 Oct 2001)
Shenton Way Ter
– Bef Shenton Way
– Intl Plaza
– Bef Bangkok Bank
– Bef Church St
– Fullerton Sq
St. Andrew’s Rd (express)
– Natl Lib
– Park Mall
– Bef Winsland Hse
– Somerset Stn
– Opp Ngee Ann City
– Opp Orchard Stn
– Angullia Pk
– Opp Blvd Hotel
– Omni Marco Polo
– British High Comm
– Opp S’pore Botanic Gdns
– Aft Minden Rd
– Bef Dempsey Rd
– Aft Peirce Rd
– Lien Twrs
– Opp Holland Hill Lodge
– Opp Blk 95
– Opp New Town Sec Sch
– C’wealth Stn
– Bef Holland Ave
Holland Ave (express)
– Buona Vista Branch Off
– Blk 18
North Buona Vista Rd (express)
– Blk 43
– Blk 8
– C’wealth Stn
– New Town Sec Sch
– Blk 97
– Holland View Condo
– Opp Lien Twrs
– Great Eastern Mans
– Opp Dempsey Rd
– Bef Tyersall Ave
– S’pore Botanic Gdns
– Opp British High Comm