Farewell, Volvo B10TL Volgren Buses. Nicknamed VSO, an acronym for the model name Volvo Super Olympian, the batch of 51 buses have been much adored by both bus enthusiasts and the general public alike. Originally branded as “Singapore’s First Low-floor Superbus”, this bus model was well-received for its comfortable interior and low engine hum.
A total of 51 buses were brought in with the Volgren bodywork. The last batch of buses (SBS9835A – SBS9849K) last operated on 7 April 2020, and were retired on 10 April 2020 after reaching its statutory lifespan of 17 years.
In 1999, Volvo brought in a demonstrator Volvo B10TL for Singapore Bus Services (SBS) for trial purposes. Registered on 1 November 1999 as SBS9888Y, it was the first low-floor double-decker bus to be introduced in Singapore, and a showcase for the next-generation double-deck buses to come. This particular bus, unfortunately, was burnt down in a depot fire in the early hours of 7 March 2010.
After the successful trial of SBS9888Y, Singapore Bus Services placed orders for a subsequent batch of 51 Volvo B10TLs chassis in 2001. 50 of them were built with Volgren bodywork as part of the Production Batch. They were registered between 4 Apr 2002 and 11 Apr 2003 as SBS9800A – SBS9849K, where SBS had already rebranded itself to SBS Transit. These production batch buses were fitted with Volgren bodywork, and assembled locally (with the exception of one unit).
These buses were mostly seen in the east, operating out of Ang Mo Kio and Bedok North Bus Depots as well as Braddell Bus Park.
While these buses were fully low-floor, the bus model was never made wheelchair-accessible. Despite having a large standing area beside the staircase similar to Volvo B9TL buses, the stanchion pole at both entrance and exit doors were never removed.
During the final years of operations, these buses were a favourite amongst bus enthusiasts. The bus was easily identified through bus arrival apps as a Non-Wheelchair Accessible Double Decker bus, making joyrides and photographing of the bus extremely convenient.
One last Volvo B10TL remains running on the road – SBS9889U. This bus was fitted with a prototype bodywork by PSV International / ComfortDelGro Engineering. (See: Volvo B10TL (PSV/CDGE) demonstrator – SBS9889U)
Thank you for serving us, Volvo B10TL Volgren Buses!