I Remember – Early years of bus transport

I began to take public buses to school when I was in Secondary One. The bus journey was from Havelock Road to Anson Road where Gan Eng Seng School was sited. From 1969 to early 1970s, there were several public buses plying the road. The Singapore Traction Company, Hock Lee Amalgamated Bus Company, Tay Koh Yat Bus Service and Green Bus Company were the ones I was familiar with in the 1960s. Of the four mentioned, I liked the Singapore Traction Company (STC) buses best. The bus rides were smoother.

At that time, buses were not air-conditioned. There was a conductor on board who would collect money from you and issue you with a ticket. He would punch a hole on the ticket to indicate the fare stage you got onto the bus. I remember that I would be excited when I received a ticket with a nice serial number. I kept them and still had them after all these years.

I was frightened of the bus conductors. They were fierce. They would stare at us and sometimes shouted at us if we took our time to alight. Things have changed on our public transport. The bus captain now operates the bus on his/her own. The buses are new and they are air-conditioned. The bus captains are friendlier now. They would wait when they see passengers running after the bus. Good luck to us when we chased after the bus in the past.img_0005img_0006

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