Thanks for the memories: Bus enthusiasts gather in Bukit Panjang, waving farewell to bus 971 on its last legs

Bus enthusiasts bidding farewell to bus service 971 in Bukit Panjang.
PHOTO: TikTok/Adiel_rusyaidi

While some Singaporeans gather in line to buy a new watch, others do so, albeit in smaller numbers and under less rowdy circumstances, to bid and wave farewell to a bus service. 

Last Friday (April 1) at about 8.45pm, around 40 young bus enthusiasts, mostly men, were seen at a bus stop in Bukit Panjang waving goodbye to bus service 971 which has since ceased its operations.

Bus enthusiast Adiel Rusyaidi uploaded a 10-second clip on TikTok on Saturday and the video has since garnered over 520,000 views.

https://www.tiktok.com/@adiel_rusyaidi/video/7081645219401190658?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id=6944924152827184641

The video was taken near Blk 541A along Bukit Panjang Ring Road, the final bus stop for this bus service.

Adiel told AsiaOne that on that very Friday, he along with fellow bus fans, took a complete trip on that public bus.

"Many of us waited for at least an hour at the bus stop outside Tanjong Pagar MRT Station Exit C, which was the first stop for evening trips of bus service 971 towards Bukit Panjang," the 19-year-old student said.

This bus was fully occupied then with some people standing, rare for this bus service during that time. 

Upon alighting at the final stop, many bus enthusiasts whipped out their phones, recording a video or snapping a photo of the bus.

Bus service 971 was a peak hour trunk service between Bukit Panjang Ring Road and Cecil Street/Anson Road, according to private community transport page Land Transport Guru.

This bus service started operations in August 2020 and its route passed through areas like Jelapang Road, Pending Road, BKE/PIE, Orchard and Bras Basah.

Barely two years on, this bus service has been discontinued following the amendment of bus service 972M to serve some of those areas that bus service 971 used to ply, according to the Land Transport Guru website.

Commuters travelling from Bukit Panjang to Bras Basah Road and Shenton Way have the options of taking service 972 and connecting to services 162 or 167 along Orchard Road or taking the MRT to these areas. 

In the comments section, a TikTok user wrote that Singaporeans must be pretty bored to make a big deal out of a bus service being discontinued. 

Adiel replied politely that "there's usually a community for something" including those who like planes, cars and Omega watches. 

Some TikTok users found it cute that there's even a bustling transport enthusiast community in Singapore.

PHOTO: Screengrabs/Reddit

A video on the discontinuation of this bus service 971 is here

ALSO READ: This made my day: Bus driver spotted sheltering passengers on a rainy day shares reason for doing so

amierul@asiaone.com