5 facts about S’pore’s public minibus Service 825 that’s rarely spotted around the island

5 facts about Tower Transit Service 825, Singapore’s rare public minibus

During the daily commute, passengers regularly board Tower Transit’s iconic green single- and double-decker buses.

But have you ever stepped foot into a Tower Transit minibus?

Standing out as a hidden gem amid the island’s bustling transport network, many may not be aware that the bus operator has a minibus — Service 825 — in its fleet of public buses.

Navigating a path less travelled, the minibus was introduced as the route through Lentor Avenue was too narrow for regular-sized buses to drive through.

Here are five intriguing facts about Service 825 that will illuminate its unique impact on Singapore’s roads.

1. Service 825 operates between Yio Chu Kang Interchange and Lentor Avenue

Though service 825 reportedly traces its history to the 1980s, the buses under this service were recently upgraded.

The wheelchair-accessible electric minibuses began welcoming passengers onboard on 17 October 2019.

They were first unveiled at a media preview of the Yio Chu Kang interchange, which had been undergoing expansion works then.

At present, it plies a route between the interchange and Lentor Avenue that consists of 15 stops.

Beginning and ending its journey at the interchange, it serves residential areas around the vicinity such as Lentor Drive, Lentor Loop, and Lentor Road.

Source: Moovitapp

According to TODAY, the route is considered low-service, which means that relatively few commuters opt for this journey.

There are also only four of such Service 825 minibuses, thus it remains a rare find in the Lion City.

2. The minibus is 4m shorter than regular buses

Compared to regular buses which are 12m long, the minibus has a length of only 8m, reported The Straits Times (ST).

When TikTok user @legocrazee sat on the bus recently, he counted a total of 18 passenger seats onboard.

@legocrazee tiny singapore bus #singapore #sg #sgtiktok #bus ♬ Jazz Bossa Nova – TOKYO Lonesome Blue

There is also a single door for passengers to board and alight the bus.

Another special feature of the minibus is its parquet flooring, a notable difference compared to those on regular buses.

3. It is Singapore’s first electric public minibus

Moreover, Service 825 is the first electric public minibus on the island.

The electric minibus replaces its predecessor — the Mitsubishi Rosa — which was powered by diesel.

Source: (buses[IN]gapore!) on Facebook

After Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport of Singapore Baey Yam Keng tried out the minibus in 2019, he remarked that the change “makes commuting quieter, smoother and more environment-friendly”.

Source: Baey Yam Keng 马炎庆 on Facebook

By 2030, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) aims to have electric buses make up 50% of its public bus fleet. It also hopes to attain a 100% cleaner energy bus fleet by 2040.

4. The minibus has a wheelchair-lifting mechanism

What also sets the minibus apart is its inclusive feature — a wheelchair-lifting mechanism.

Unlike regular wheelchair-accessible buses that are fitted with ramps, Service 825’s mechanism makes use of a motorised lifter that bears a weight of up to 300kg.

By operating a remote controller, the bus captain can assist a wheelchair user in boarding and alighting the minibus safely.

ST also highlighted that with the introduction of the minibus in 2019, 99% of Singapore’s public bus fleet of about 5,800 buses was wheelchair-friendly.

5. It operates on weekdays and Saturdays

If you’re interested in experiencing the one-of-a-kind minibus, you can look forward to catching it on weekdays and Saturdays.

On weekdays, you can hop onboard the first bus at 6.30am, and take the last bus at 8.45pm.

Saturdays will see the minibus having a shorter operating time, as its first bus leaves at 6.30am, while the last bus departs at 2.25pm.

The bus has a frequency of around 10 to 20 minutes at Yio Chu Kang interchange. Do take note that it does not operate on Sundays and public holidays.

Also read: New 3-Door Electric Buses To Ply S’pore Streets, Can Be Charged In 15 Mins

New 3-Door Electric Buses To Ply S’pore Streets, Can Be Charged In 15 Mins

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