“Cameo” is a bus enthusiast slang for special deployment. A cameo appearance is a term commonly used in performing arts, but for local bus enthusiasts, they refer to one-off special deployments put in place by bus operators.
Both SBS Transit and SMRT Buses have fixed deployments for every service. On a normal basis, ‘perm’ buses are deployed to their allocated bus routes for revenue service under the fixed-deployment arrangement. Occasionally, when the permanent bus is unable to be deployed for various reasons, another bus will be deployed in its place. This arrangement of having a non-permanent bus on a bus route as a temporary arrangement is referred to as a ‘cameo’. For more information on fixed deployments, check out this article.
Cameos differ from crossovers in that cameo appearances are only temporary arrangements, replacing a permanent bus running on that particular shift. On the other hand, crossovers are specific to a particular running shift and is considered a permanent arrangement as dictated by bus operations. Emergency pullovers (where a particular bus route borrows a vehicle from another route as an emergency arrangement) are also considered as ‘cameos’.
Types of special deployments:
- It should also be noted that special appearances can fall under more than one category
- Buses with rear advertisements are often disregarded
Bus Enthusiast Culture
Cameos are a daily occurrence and a necessary part of bus operations. Bus enthusiasts frequently document cameos and keep records of such occurrences on a daily basis. A common method of documentation would be to take snapshots of such occurrences, which some bus enthusiasts do on a regular basis.
When very special occurrences appear, information usually spreads quickly via multiple information channels, usually garnering the interest of many enthusiasts to ride and take picture of it. One such case of the Volvo B10TL demonstrator SBS9889U on Service 99 (picture above) is an example.
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