After the April reappearance of PA9558D, a second ex-ISB Scania K230UB bus has been spotted at NUS. PA9869G, who left the fleet much earlier, was pulled back to NUS from Thursday, 15 September 2022 onwards. PA9869G is painted in a fully-blue ComfortDelGro Bus livery and is a spare bus sometimes deployed at Tampines Retail Park. This deployment marks the return of blue ComfortDelGro Bus liveries on regular NUS shuttle routes, and probably contributed somewhat to student awareness that CDGB is the NUS ISB contractor!
On 15 September, the bus was deployed as an emergency spare in replacement of PC4019R, whose air-conditioning had not been functioning for a few days. The first trip was performed with a hastily-scribbled “Service D2” paper in the windscreen, due to the emergency nature of the redeployment.
From the second trip onwards, an official ISB D2 signage (similar to that mounted in PC8313P upon debut) was used.
A smaller signage of the same colour was placed in the side window for clarity.
On subsequent days, PA9869G stuck around and replaced other “non-aircon” buses on A1 (16 September) and A2 (17 September), and D1 for a few days thereafter. It was quite an ironic deployment, given that PA9869G is somewhat known for having the best air-conditioning among the ex-ISB Scanias.
Unlike the last cameo which occurred during Reading Week, this cameo comes at a period of great pressure on the ISB system. A full return to in-person classes has caused large crowds at bus stops and on buses. The lack of spare buses available, with all 32 Volvo B9Ls on the roads at peak hours, was likely a deciding factor in the usage of this citybus which is not in the standard NUS livery but was nonetheless permitted to run on the routes.
That said, it is currently not clear why PA9558D, which is still in NUS colours, was not deployed. As of September 2022, PA9558D runs on the Tampines Retail Park shuttle to Tampines or Bedok (below), together with PA9772B which has been wrapped with an advertisement for TRP.
Meanwhile, PA9779H has been repainted full white and is now deployed at NTU.