A refurbished vintage bus from the 1960s will be on show. Photo: LTA

Way before the ubiquitous ez-link card entered Singaporeans' lives, taking a bus meant coming face-to-face with not just the driver, but also the bus conductor. With a small satchel slung across his body and armed with a ticket puncher, the conductor would hand out tickets – small pieces of paper printed with rows of numbers – after passengers had paid their fares. 


Before 1990, a bus conductor would dispense a bus ticket after punching a hole in it. Photo: LTA

In the 1980s, the bus conductor was phased out and passengers deposited their fares into an automated receptacle upon boarding. Commuters started using the fare card in 1990 and the ez-link card in 2002.

Now, they can relive those memories at the inaugural Singapore Bus Carnival.


Transit Link farecards from the 90s. Photo: LTA

Organised by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), the free roving event was held over the weekend at Ngee Ann City's Civic Plaza, and will move to Vivo City's Outdoor Plaza from March 25 to 27, and to HDB Hub in Toa Payoh from April 1 to 3.


An old ticketing machine from the late 20th century.Photo: LTA

The carnival is divided into three zones – past, present and future. Visitors can check out a refurbished green vintage bus from the 1960s and other bus memorabilia such as a 1941 ticket machine and old concession passes, get behind the wheel of a bus simulator and find out about new initiatives such as e-paper displays for bus arrival information.


A bus ticket dispenser. Photo: LTA


In the early to mid-20th century, a bus conductor would dispense a bus ticket after punching a hole in it. Photo: LTA


Event details

WHERE: VivoCity, Outdoor Plaza

WHEN: March 25 to 27, 11am to 8pm

WHERE: Toa Payoh, HDB Hub

WHEN: April 1 to 3


INFO: facebook.com/WeKeepYourWorldMoving


(First published in The Straits Times.)