In January 2022, SBS Transit retired 97 single-deck Scania K230UB (Euro IV) buses early. These included the vast majority of its existing cross border fleet; comprising 73 out of 80 buses registered with the Malaysia Land Public Transport Agency (Agensi Pengangkutan Awam Darat (APAD)) for use on its cross border services 160, 170 and 170X.
As a result, operators such as SBS Transit did not have enough buses to operate these cross-border services upon the reopening of the border crossing. The existing registrations also had expired after a prolonged period of border closure due to the Malaysia Movement Control Order since 18 March 2020.
Buses from Singapore-based cross-border bus operators have to undergo maintenance and inspections at Puspakom in Malaysia to be certified fit for cross-border operations.
Some of the requirements from APAD include:
- Vehicle information sticker on both sides of the bus (adjacent to front axle)
- Speed limit sticker (80km/h on roads; 90 km/h on Highways)
- Installation of third brake lights
- Sticker with the complaint hotline (Hotline SPAD)
- Fare information on deployed cross-border bus service displayed inside the bus
First spotted in April 2022, several new buses from Ulu Pandan Bus Depot were equipped with identification markings for cross-border bus operations. These were the same bus models leased by SBS Transit to replace early-retired Scania K230UB (Euro IV) buses in January 2022. SBS Transit Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses were also spotted in Johor Bahru by Zaobao undergoing training duties on 1 April 2022.
The Singapore-Malaysia land border was fully reopened on 1 April 2022. However, public bus services did not resume immediately as Public Transport Operators worked to fully restore the cross-border bus services. Interim measures were put in place to help commuters travel between the two countries.
- The Vaccinated Travel Bus Services (VTBS) and a special Causeway Link Cross-Border Shuttle Service provided commuters with transport between the Singapore & Malaysia checkpoints.
- Service 170A was reinstated to replace Service 170’s local sectors between Queen Street and Woodlands Train Checkpoint. Return trips towards Queen Street were also renumbered 170A.
- Electronic Display Signs onboard Service 160 buses were updated to reflect “> Marsiling Park” as its destination (previously JB Sentral)
- Commuter notices on the front windscreen of buses deployed on Services 160 & 170A to inform that bus services do not head into Johor Bahru.
Revised Operator Information Sticker (SMRT Buses)
In April 2022, existing cross-border registered MAN A22 (Euro V) buses from SMRT Buses had their operator information sticker updated with the new address for SMRT Buses Ltd at “60 Woodlands Industrial Park E4, Singapore 757705” (address of Woodlands Bus Depot) following the closure of the former SMRT Buses headquarters at Ang Mo Kio Bus Depot.
However, as per the ACRA business registry, SMRT Buses Ltd’s official registered business address is at 2 Tanjong Katong Road, #08-01, PLQ3, Singapore 437161.
- Malaysia-Singapore stage buses fully operational by May 1 – New Straits Times
- 我国公共巴士试跑 准备恢复跨境服务 – Zaobao