Main Article: MAN A95 – Lion’s City DD (3-Door) Concept Bus
This article has been re-organized to deal with the 6-month Tower Transit trial of SG5999Z in Year 2017. For more background information and a thorough description of the exterior and interior specifications, check out the main article at MAN A95 – Lion’s City DD (3-Door) Concept Bus.
Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) evaluated the MAN Lion’s City DD L Concept Bus (SG5999Z) via a six-month revenue service trial in 2017 on Bus Service 143, operated by Tower Transit Singapore.
The Tower Transit trial period started on Monday, 13 March 2017 and ended on Saturday, 30 September 2017.
Launch & Overview – Trial with Tower Transit Singapore
The MAN Lion’s City DD L Concept Bus was launched in the morning of 13 March 2017 at a press event in Bulim Bus Depot, marking the start of a six-month trial by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to evaluate the suitability of such a bus design for Singapore’s use. Bus Service 143 was chosen as it is a long trunk route with a consistent load of commuters.
The bus was first showcased at LTA’s Our Bus Journey Carnival in March-April 2016, and subsequently underwent for modification works prior to revenue service trials. The main design feature of the bus is its two staircases – one going up and the other coming down – giving commuters a dedicated exit route from the upper deck and out directly through the third door.
At the press event, SG5999Z was concurrently exhibited with a 3-door single-deck bus (later bearing the registration SG4002G), a low-entry MAN Lion’s City with steps leading to a third door at the rear, which began trials with SMRT Buses in the second quarter of 2017. Both concept buses were designed by ST Kinetics and built on MAN bus chassis.
Under a Road Traffic (Authorisation of Use) Notification 2017, SG5999Z is permitted to operate on Bus Services 41, 78, 106, 143 and 189, all of which are operated by Tower Transit. The Authorisation of Use also covers bi-directional Off Service routes between Bulim Bus Depot and Jurong East Temporary Bus Interchange, Bukit Batok Bus Interchange, Toa Payoh Bus Interchange, Shenton Way Bus Terminal and ST Kinetics along Corporation Road.
In the early morning on Sunday, 26 March 2017, SG5999Z performed a revenue service trip on Bus Service 143M, operating under the duty code 143A06, which interlines to 143M on its first trip of the day. According to the Road Traffic (Authorisation of Use) Notification 2017, SG5999Z is not permitted to operate on 143M.
Throughout the trial period, the MAN Lion’s City DD L Bus was rotated on various vehicle blocks on Service 143. The bus was initially scheduled on a weekday only peak-hour split shift block, before being rotated to a daily full day block.
Tower Transit affixed various stickers, captioned in Singlish, throughout the bus. These stickers guided commuters on the general flow on board, as well as highlighting items of interest such as the USB Charging Ports available.
Rear Staircase Barrier
A retractable barrier was installed on the upper deck, which prevents commuters from accessing the rear staircase while the bus is in motion. This is a safety feature; should the bus brake sharply, commuters might easily lose their grip and fall forwards, resulting in injury.
The barrier is electrically wired with the third door and extends/retracts when the third door is operated from the driver’s cab. The original design featured an exposed gap which could trap commuters’ fingers; by end-March, the barrier was modified with a metal covering to eliminate the exposed gap.
At launch, the exposed barrier design was a flaw which could trap commuters’ fingers when retracting, and care should be exercised not to place one’s fingers there.
Original barrier (More pictures)
On the lower deck, a set of spring barriers allow commuters to return to the lower deck cabin, but prevents commuters on the lower deck from using the third door.
Additionally, a series of infrared beam sensors cover the length of the rear staircase. As a safety feature, the third door and upper deck barrier cannot be closed if a passenger is still inside the stairwell.
The second and third doors of the bus are sliding plug doors supplied by Masats, which extend outwards before sliding out sideways. The larger second door for passengers on the lower deck is also fitted with a manual wheelchair ramp for PIWs, while the third door is used only for passengers exiting from the upper deck.
Both doors are independently controlled from the driver’s cab.
The Passenger Information Display System (PIDS) gives real-time information on the next bus-stop along its route, integrated with bus stop announcements. However, at launch (13 March 2017), the system was yet to be fully operational. The system was operational as of 31 March 2017, albeit slightly glitchy, and is expected to be fine-tuned in the near future.
Gallery (Old Photos):
360-degree Interior Video
- MAN A95 (ND323F)
- New MAN Lion’s City Facelift DD Buses
- Alexander Dennis Enviro500 Mock-up Bus
- Singapore Traction Company Mock-up Bus
- Trapeze Common Fleet Management System (CFMS)
- Mobileye Shield+ Collision Avoidance System
External Links & References:
- MAN Lion’s City – Wikipedia
- Road Traffic (Authorisation of Use) Notification – AGC
- Road Traffic (Authorisation of Use) Notification (PDF Link)
- LTA Promotional Facebook Post
- 3-door bus trial to speed up passenger flow begins – Today Online
- 3-door double decker bus with 2 staircases and USB ports hits the road in trial – Straits Times
- Three-door bus takes to the road in 6-month trial – Channel NewsAsia
- Singlish signs on new Tower Transit bus, can or not? – Straits Times