As of October 2019, several former NUS internal shuttle buses are now plying the roads of Sentosa, as Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) has contracted ComfortDelGro Bus to provide additional fleet for their shuttle services.
There are three free shuttle services in Sentosa: A, B and C. A and the newly introduced C run roughly the same route in opposite directions, serving most tourist attractions on the island, while B runs further to the golf club and Sentosa Cove.
SDC has generally used orange Volvos to run their internal bus services in the past, much like us. The latest model in their fleet is the Volvo B8RLE, which is owned by them and driven by drivers either hired by SDC or other subcontractors. Due to insufficient buses and/or drivers, Advan provided one orange-painted Yutong to supplement Bus A operations.
Since October, due to the introduction of the new route C and a desire to boost frequencies among all the bus routes, Sentosa has subcontracted a further fleet addition to ComfortDelGro Bus. This comes presumably from ComfortDelGro’s excellent track record in operating orange wheelchair-accessible Volvos on circular free shuttle routes with hilly single lane roads and many roundabouts.
To supply the buses, ComfortDelGro repainted some of the “unemployed” Scania K230UBs which were last deployed on the one-north Rider to full orange. It initially appears that they may have simply painted the blue tops to match the rest of the orange body, but I doubt this is the case, as the windscreen area shows signs of having been repainted over as well.
I think they gave the buses a new coat of orange all over, and also changed the number plates from white-on-black to black-on-white for the front and black-on-yellow for the rear.
The buses initially deployed were PA9757X (spotted on Bus A), PA9894H (spotted on Bus B), PA9552U (spotted on Bus B and Bus C), PA9701G (Bus C) and PA9708M (Bus C). Usually, only four out of the five are used at a time, while the fifth refuels. Of note, PA9894H continues to use stock wheel rims on the front axle, a modification that was from the one-north days.
While the buses are equipped with EDS, the Sentosa operations do not seem to have been using the EDS for now, likely due to many issues with programming the data in. From my experience at NUS, the displays on these buses are generally not in good condition, so while the installation of data sets for “A”, “B” and “C” should be trivial, it is likely that the buses would face issues of EDS panels not lighting up or displaying the wrong dataset.
The buses also do not come with any form of passenger announcement system installed, unlike the Volvo B8RLEs under SDC and the Volvo B9Ls used in NUS. However, I predict tourists will like the “new” (old) buses, as the Scanias have 10 more seats than the B8RLEs.
This makes for the interesting sight of ex-NUS Scania K230UBs in orange manoeuvring around roundabouts and hilly one-lane roads but in a new setting. Looks like in addition to orange Volvos, NUS and Sentosa now have orange Scanias in common as well.
December 2019 Update
As of December 2019, the buses continue to be used, with new fleet additions – refer to the new article. A few buses are scheduled to be added to the fleet, while the existing fleet is being retrofitted with a next-stop announcement system.