Monday, February 19, 2018

Visiting The Seletar Bus Depot Carnival 2018


Seletar is known as an aerospace hub and home to the iconic Seletar Airport. It will also be home to a new bus depot known as the Seletar Bus Depot which will be operated by public transport operator, SBS Transit. To commemorate its opening in March, the public was invited to tour this new facility held in conjunction with a carnival. Here's a closer look.

What is the Seletar Bus Depot and Seletar Bus Package?


The Seletar Bus Depot is a new building located in the Seletar and Lentor district to facilitate the parking and maintenance of public buses for the Seletar Bus Package contract. As part of the government's Bus Contracting Model initiative, public transport operator, SBS Transit, was given a contract to operate 26 bus services originating from Ang Mo Kio, Yio Chu Kang and Yishun Bus Interchanges.


SBS Transit will also have the right to operate the Seletar Bus Depot, Ang Mo Kio and Yio Chu Kang Bus Interchanges. Bus services must also run at regular intervals with increased frequency during peak hours for a period of 5 years. Operations for the Seletar Bus Package start from mid March 2018.

What is the Seletar Bus Depot Carnival 2018?


In order to commemorate the opening of the Seletar Bus Depot, Singapore's Land Transport Authority, together with operator SBS Transit, organised a free carnival known as the Seletar Bus Depot Carnival 2018, for the public to find out more about the Seletar Bus Package.


The public had the chance to tour the depot facilities and check out the working environment of depot staff and bus captains. Free shuttle buses from Ang Mo Kio, Yio Chu Kang and Yishun Bus Interchanges were available for the convenience of the public.

Static Bus Displays


At the carnival, patrons had the chance to check out several new buses which will eventually be in service once bus operations start in March. These new buses had unique features not commonly found in existing public buses like USB charging ports, automatic wheelchair ramps and passenger information displays.


The government will also trial a double decker bus with three doors and two staircases to accommodate more passengers alongside a double decker bus with a newer environmentally-friendly engine.

Booths By Bus Vendors


Vendors who worked together with SBS Transit and the Land Transport Authority had the opportunity to showcase their technology and products to the general public. Some vendors added some interactive elements to their showcases to make it easier to understand.

Patrons could try out stuff like a simulation game to test their spatial awareness or operate a set of demo automatic doors which simulate the actual doors on the buses.

A Ride Through The Bus Depot and Washing Facilities


Patrons were also given a chance to ride on a double decker bus around the depot. A staff member gave us a tour of the bus parking area, maintenance and refuelling facilities while also talking about the Seletar Bus Package in general. Patrons also get to ride through an automatic bus washer to end it all off. The bus washer ride was definitely interesting as we get to see the machinery up close.

Games Booth and an Appreciation Booth


Game booths were present too giving patrons, especially young children, an opportunity to win free stuff by completing some quizzes and trivia about the Seletar Bus Package. An Appreciation Booth allowed patrons to pen down appreciation messages for the hardworking SBS Transit bus captains and depot staff. A little thought goes a long way indeed. Regular performances and stage games were held at the main stage throughout the duration of the carnival as well.

A Blast From The Past


As SBS Transit is Singapore's largest public bus company having started operations in 1973 as Singapore Bus Services after the merger of three bus companies, the company had a lot of history to tell. At this mini museum, patrons get to check out nostalgic items like old staff newsletters, phased out fare revenue equipment together with phased out destination signboards which were replaced by the now-standard electronic destination signages.


Together with pictures of old buses pasted on the walls, this mini museum would definitely struck a chord among older carnival patrons having lived through the good old days of public bus operations.

Air-Conditioned Canteen & the Bus Operations Control Centre


The Seletar Bus Depot definitely did a good job taking care of the welfare of their staff. SBS Transit staff would definitely appreciate the air-conditioned canteen with stalls selling affordable fare together with the inclusion of vending machines and a microwave for convenience.

Although we did not get to tour the Bus Operations Control Centre (BOCC) due to time constraints, according to photos on the web, the BOCC had an open working environment reminiscent of modern day startups. Couple that with comfortable resting rooms and game stations like a ping pong table and table soccer for depot staff and bus captains.

Free Goodies


Nobody walked away from the Seletar Bus Depot Carnival empty handed as each person was entitled to a free goodie bag containing items like keychains, phone accessories and snacks. Booths giving out free popcorn, ice cream and bottled Pokka beverages were available for everyone as well while stocks last.


Feeling peckish? No worries, everyone was given a coupon which entitle them to a free homemade Nasi Lemak (coconut rice with dishes like fried chicken and spicy Sambal sauce) and a drink. Definitely a carnival like no other.

Conclusion


The Seletar Bus Depot Carnival 2018 was definitely an eye-opening experience. It was fun getting a glimpse of how bus operations work, checking out the new buses which will be deployed very soon and enjoying some free goodies as well. We definitely look forward to more of such fun and education carnivals that appeal to people of all ages in the coming year.

More Information

SBS Transit Official Website: http://www.sbstransit.com.sg/

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