A set of frequently asked questions about ISBs or this blog. For more on myself, see About Me.
FAQs on Riding the NUS Internal Shuttle Bus
Are the NUS shuttle buses free to ride?
Yes. There is no charge for riding on any of our ISB services, whether or not you are an NUS student. (Note: due to the COVID-19 pandemic, boarding is restricted to NUS students, staff or personnel.)
Is there a map of all the NUS shuttle bus routes?
Yes. You can find it at this page.
I lost an item on the NUS shuttle bus. How do I retrieve it?
The protocol for bus drivers is to submit lost and found items to the staff office at PGP. Knock on the door and hope for the best. Alternatively, if it’s urgent, during office hours you may call the Office of Campus Amenities at 6516 1717.
What time does the last bus run on weekdays?
For most routes, the last trip departs at 11pm. Otherwise, you may refer to the NUS NextBus app.
Which NUS shuttle buses go to Kent Ridge MRT?
Heading from UTown, take D2. From Computing/Business, take A1. From IT/Science, take A2.
I got on the bus, but it was heading the wrong way. How come?
Service D1 makes use of the electronic destination signage (EDS) to differentiate the direction of travel, as the route stops twice at the COM 2 bus stop. Look carefully at the final destination on the display before boarding.
I wanted to get off the bus, but the uncle sped past the stop! Why?
You probably didn’t press the bell. To signal your intention to alight, please press the red stop buttons that can be found on the grabpoles. The bells are programmed to only sound once and not make any more sound after the “Bus Stopping” light is already on.
I wanted to get on the bus, but the uncle didn’t stop at all! Why?
You probably didn’t flag the bus. If you want the bus to stop, you have to stand up and wave it down like a cab. Make eye contact with the driver and put your hand out. He should stop for you.
I pressed the bell/waved to the driver, but the bus still did not stop. What should I do?
Use the Feedback button in the NextBus app to report the incident to OCA. Bear in mind that there will be an investigation which takes time and is stressful on us and the drivers, so only do this if you are absolutely sure that you were in the right.
Are ISB operations affected by COVID-19?
Yes, ISB services are running with additional safe distancing measures put in place for the duration of the pandemic. As safety is of utmost priority, buses will be sanitised on a daily basis in accordance to guidelines adopted for public transport. In addition, all ISBs’ high-touch points (e.g. railings, handles and push-buttons) in the bus have been coated with anti-microbial coatings for the safety of the NUS community.
FAQs on the ISB Network
How old is the ISB system?
I don’t know for sure, but historical records do mention the buses existing as early as 1982 (NUS moved to Kent Ridge Campus in 1981).
My records of the ISB system go as far back as 2002, which was the year ComfortDelGro Bus was formed as Comfortbus. Prior to 2002, the service was operated by Chin Lin Bus.
Who plans the route and operates the buses?
Generally, planning is done by the NUS Office of Campus Amenities, while the operations are contracted to ComfortDelGro Bus. Complaints and feedback can be directed to NUSSU or to OCA.
How long do our bus uncles usually serve?
Most of the drivers I know of have been around between two to four years, but many have been around longer. The longest-serving local bus driver I know was here around from 1984 to 2020, and the oldest Chinese drivers have been here since about 2007.
Why are our drivers so grumpy?
If you had to drive in circles all day, you’d probably feel pretty sian. Also, when they shout at you to not block the left mirror, it’s definitely urgent, and they don’t have a second to spare to see what they have to see.
Do our bus uncles ever smile?
Yes. I’ve seen them smile, and it’s really heartwarming.
Why do some buses have weirdly short plate numbers?
The two buses, PA2A and PA33K, are used by our senior bus captains who assist in scheduling work. While they’re in their offices, their buses are used by other drivers for peak period fleet support.
The numbers were previously owned by the same company (ComfortDelGro) so it’s not like NUS spent a bomb on buying them; CDG just had to transfer them.
Have you ever ridden on NTU’s ISBs?
Yes, I have. They’re quite different and varied but I prefer ours.
Where can I find a map of the NTU campus bus system?
You may refer to the excellent work of u/kayjaylaw on Reddit; he has put together a map of the NTU shuttle bus routes. I have featured his map in this post, but he updates it regularly so checking his Reddit profile will give you the most updated map.
Are there other universities overseas with similar shuttle buses?
Yes. China University of Hong Kong has a similar system, complete with winding, narrow hilly roads. Further afield, Seoul National University has an on-campus shuttle as well.
In the USA, intra-campus shuttles can be found at various universities such as University of Utah. The notion of shuttle services within campuses is catching on as part of the trend towards sustainable transport options and car-lite campuses.
FAQs about the blog
Will you still continue this blog after your NUSSU term ends?
Yes, I did! This blog is run by me individually and not part of NUSSU communications. My term as Deputy Welfare Secretary in the 40th EXCO is over, and ISB matters are handled by someone else in NUSSU. However, I will continue posting interesting stories here!
Why do you like buses? Do you like trains as well?
I don’t know. I’ve just always liked them since I was young. For trains, I do know a thing or two about them but I don’t quite have the passion for them as much as I do for buses.
How much do you like buses?
Enough to take photos of them, research the different transmission types and come up with a favourite, and enjoy rides on them.
Not enough to actually pay for joyrides on them, or to do foolish things that endanger lives and careers for the sake of pursuing a hobby.
Whose idea was this blog?
The idea was suggested by a few people simultaneously, but the person who persuaded me to go make this a thing was my Year 1 Residential Assistant, Marcus. Offering their support immediately after were my friends Xurui, Xuan Jin and Charlton.
Other people who have supported this blog include my senior Sook Wei, my junior Joshua and USP/FASS Prof Loy Hui-chieh. Also, a shoutout to the NUSSU 40th EXCO for their constant support and encouragement.
Do you have a particular inspiration?
Yes, actually. The format of this blog ended up being subconsciously based off the excellent Checkerboard Hill blog about Hong Kong transport by Marcus Wong. Although I am much more long-winded than he is.
For content, one of my inspirations is the Land Transport Guru website, which is unofficial and run by a team of transport fans. They also have a series of articles on the ISB routes, which present comprehensive information on the services as they are today.
How do you have time to do all this?
I don’t. Many of my posts are actually written over winter or summer breaks. They’re just coming up now.
Being somewhat a bus fan, I’ve researched the ISB system for a while already even before I came to NUS, which is where my knowledge comes from even though I only matriculated in 2018.
Are you single?