Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, measures have been put in place to safeguard the NUS community. One notable measure that remained in place even after the lifting of zoning measures was ID checks, which lasted until March 29, 2022.

Since the pandemic started, passengers boarding the ISB have to show identification because the ISB service was restricted to NUS personnel during the circuit breaker. This includes staff and students but also contractors working on campus and other NUS communities, who would have been informed if they are allowed to use the ISB.

Boarding and alighting was previously unregulated, but now passengers have to board from the front door and alight at the rear door (like public buses), a measure to facilitate the ID checks.

During the circuit breaker, passengers had to show their cards to the bus captain. Signage was put up at the frontmost passenger window of the bus, next to the front door, informing passengers of this protocol.

During the zoning period after that, passengers had to show the bus captains their uNivUS app which displayed the zone that the passenger belonged to. Many students were under the impression they had to show their Green Pass, but actually it was the Safety Profile (which did not require connection to NUS WiFi) that was asked for. The Green Pass required connection to NUS WiFi because it was intended for food purchases and classroom entry.

After a lot of confusion (especially since the existing signage told students to present their “ID card”, additional signage was put up on the glass of the front doors to indicate that the safety profile in the uNivUS app was required.

After zoning was lifted on 6 December 2020, the requirement to show ID remained, but bus captains reverted to asking for matric cards and staff cards. Many of us felt that this would be simpler, since this was a non-digital proof of identity so students could not use the “my phone no battery” or “no Wi-Fi” excuse. However, we still ran into difficulties, such as a belligerent Kent Vale passenger that I previously blogged about.

In early April 2021, PC3983M was spotted with a metal display frame affixed to the handrail near the driver. The frame contained clear signage informing passengers that visitors are not allowed on the ISB and that passengers need to show their pass, and features the NUS Office of Campus Amenities logo prominently below.

The signage is located in a prominent position, immediately visible when students board the bus, and within reach of the bus captain so that he can point to it. This should help the bus captains when dealing with uncooperative passengers, or if there is a language barrier.

According to the bus captain, these panels should be rolled out to all buses in the coming weeks, and I look forward to seeing fewer incidents of disruption. I just hope nobody tries to tap their matric card on the panel…

Update: As of 29 March 2022, with visitors permitted in the NUS campus, bus captains no longer check for passenger ID. The signage in the bus has been removed.

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