I remembered the old days when buses are those rickerty ones, esp the old double deck ones with quad folding doors and bell buttons which are chrome cylinder in shape with round red buttons, not to mention bell activator in rubber strips lined by the sides and they all all BEEP! Seats go creaky and they all have semi-cirular chrome railings which always stinks your hands after holding them. Things have changed greatly now, particularly technology which has evolved to now…
My usual SBS transit bus service 147 and 196 had got a new boost of new air-conditioned double decked 5th generation super buses lately, which seems to run on a the new Volvo engine. Took a 147 service to school and coincidentally, a service 196 of the same bus model today. The B9TL and is newer than the current 2004 10 liter Volvo B10TL which is both smaller and more powerful.
SBS Transit’s Volvo B9TL (aka the Volvo Super Olympian) run a Volvo D9A300 340hp 9.4-litre Euro-3 engine mated to a 6-speed ZF 6HP502 automatic gearbox with inbuilt retarder (perfect for long distance cruising). The chassis is fitted ex-factory with 2 x 140 amp alternators and 3 x rotary air-conditioning compressors, providing strong and reliable cooling for our hot and humid climate. The B9TL chassis are to be built at Volvo Buses plant at Borås, Sweden, with the bodies manufactured in Singapore by ComfortDelGro Engineering.
😎 The buses are cool, literally not only with the modern looks outside but the air-conditioning too. Maybe in response to shut us commuters up with the recent fare hikes… The bright orangy-yellow vogelsitze seats gives a general warmer and inviting ambience compared to the older (and coder) looking blue/pink seats of the the Volvo B10TL based buses. The seats are very rigid and good for the back postures, but otherwise not as comfortable for prolonged seating. The interesting thing is that those babies are Turbo charged! Yea man, you can freaking hear the very distinct whine of the turbocharger even from a mile away especially at high RPMs, man had they grown! Totally cool for car modification and turbo addicts alike.
Imagine putting these beasts under the weighy foot of those old veteran bus uncles – trips in these babies are a breeze and man can those babies fly on power with a little acceleration. The gear change and suspension are smooth and good, on top of the rather crazy seat arrangement they have on the upper decks for the record to top it up, lesser head banging with the increased head room and ceiling height upstairs, stepless entrance and exit, wheelchair platforms and to top it up an 8″ LCD screen placed overhead the driver showing all life colour feeds from the bus’s 4 on-board cameras. Mmmm and do they still have the “new car smell”, hardly 1000km under the belt yet?
Pimp your bus! (from volvo)
Food for thought:
On a side note, for a good cause, I always have thought of travelling around the whole in a mobile home, like a bus similar or so (modified for globe trotting) with my family… you know… promoting a good cause like cancer awareness or the fight against hunger or so. Having like sort of a mini documentary with a camera crew to make like a series of our adventures and campaigning. One of these buses would be cool for it. If only we can get sponsors for both the vehicle and the monetary support…