Old Singapore bus tickets : 50 cents to 90 cents


YEE Weng Hong
Yee, Weng Hong

These bus tickets were from a time in Singapore when buses had bus conductors and no air-con. The bell to indicate that a passenger wished to alight was on a rubber strip on the ceiling, which was usually too high for me to reach when I was a school student. After all passengers had alighted, the bus conductor would press the bell twice, or just shout at the driver to move on.

I remember bus conductors (some very friendly, some not so) with their pouches jingling with coins and their stacks of colourful tickets. They used a hole puncher to punch a hole on each ticket to indicate where the passenger started the journey. Each number on a ticket represent a fare stage (roughly equivalent to 2 bus stops on most services).

Singapore Bus Service 10 cents: 266
Singapore Bus Service 20 cents: 795
Singapore Bus Service 25 cents: 490
Singapore Bus Service 30 cents: 133
Singapore Bus Service 40 cents: 74
Singapore Bus Service 50 cents: 146
Singapore Bus Service 60 cents: 65
Singapore Bus Service 70 cents: 23
Singapore Bus Service 80 cents: 21
Singapore Bus Service 90 cents: 1

School children paid 10 cents per trip, which was later increased to 20 cents, and eventually to 25 cents.
Adults paid according to the number of fare stages, which at one time, was as follows:
0 - 4 stages: 40 cents
5 - 7 stages: 50 cents
8 - 10 stages: 60 cents
11 - 13 stages: 70 cents
14 - 18 stages: 80 cents
19 stages and above: 90 cents

On the back of each ticket was printed a courtesy message:
Avoid standing in the bus bay
Do not stand on the stairs of the bus
Flag bus in advance
Get ready exact fare, avoid using big notes
Move to the rear
Never board or alight from a moving bus
Press the bell in advance and once only
Queue up

When buses eventually became one-man-operated, both bus conductors and these colourful bus tickets became extinct.