Although the three last-gen fleet Scania K230UB buses that stayed on as spares have “graduated” last year, one of them – PA9558D – has made a “postgrad” return.

On 19 April 2022, PA9558D returned like a worm out of glue. It was deployed on Service A1 since morning as a replacement for PC4051X, which had broken down.

As a result of the emergency deployment, the bus only carried A1 signage on the front of the bus – made by taping over an AA1 sign from 2020. It was mounted in the front using a Tampines MRT – Tampines Retail Park shuttle signage, betraying the bus’ current role.

The metal frame that previously contained signage directing passengers to produce valid ID had been removed some time ago while the bus was at the Tampines Retail Park shuttle. It did not need to be reinstated, as the requirement to produce ID has been lifted since end-March.

The bus retains its ISB colours with NUS logo removed, but the traces of the logo and wording remain. From far, it still looks like an ISB, but in reanimated zombie form.

Many passengers who boarded noticed that the bus was different, but some thought it was a new bus – a common misconception whenever Scanias are deployed, which I always find quite amusing since the Scanias are clearly older.

As the Scanias have not been deployed on ISB services since May 2021, this was a novel and completely unexpected occurrence – one that hopefully does not repeat itself too often. The reason for the Scanias’ “graduation” is the new ISB network that requires fewer buses. Today’s deployment implies that there were not enough Volvo B9Ls to go around – thankfully, then, it happened during the reading week.

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