2022 marked the first physical NUS open event since Open Day 2019. While COVID-19 forced the open houses of 2020 and 2021 online, this year’s event was held in hybrid format over a period of about a week, culminating in a physical day on 5 March.
In contrast to previous years, UTown was not the gateway to the event with shuttle services to Dover and Kent Ridge MRT stations and tours taking guests around from there. Instead, a number of tour routes linked Kent Ridge MRT, UTown and various faculties and residences.
Route 1 picked up passengers at Kent Ridge MRT, then immediately U-turned to traverse via PGPR, Business, FASS and UTown, then back to Science and Opp KR MRT along the main roads. This route was unexpectedly operated using four Volvo B9Ls from the ISB fleet – PC3738E, PC3876P, PC3925G and PC4038K, with “ComfortDelGro Bus” on the EDS and Route 1 paper signage.
Meanwhile, Route 2 headed straight from KR MRT to Science and RVRC, before entering the carparks of E3 and SDE3, then reemerging onto the main roads to E7, UTown, Science and Opp KR MRT. It was subcontracted to Chan Bus, who deployed 40-seat coaches in their pink livery — two Liannex-bodied Isuzu LT434Ps and a Yutong ZK6119H.
Unfortunately, as the buses were too long, they had to divert from the official routing between SDE and E7, and traverse a longer route by going back via E3 to Clementi Road.
The Chan Buses were supplemented by a blue Mercedes-Benz Sprinter from CDG, PC3201L, which was able to squeeze through Architecture Drive as planned.
Route 3 operated from UTown, heading to RVRC and Opp KR MRT, then detouring into KEVII Hall, before calling at PGPR and then heading right back to UTown. It was operated with 20-seat minibuses, all CDG – another blue Sprinter, a white older-gen Coaster and a white Rosa.
The UTown shuttle, which circled the perimeter of UTown, saw little demand. It was operated by a Toyota Coaster whose driver wasn’t in CDG uniform, and a white Rosa I saw.
For the Law shuttle, which shuttled passengers point-to-point between UTown and the Bukit Timah Campus, a mix of buses was deployed – apparently earlier in the day there were some yellow coaches, while in the evening I spotted this Golden Dragon XML6772J18. Compare its design with the Coaster above.