Old Bus Stops/Street Name Signs

There are more than 5,200 bus stops in Singapore, where the majority of them have been upgraded to newly-designed bus stops since 2005. The newly-designed bus stops, accompanied by new sign poles, have better lightings, more stylish seats and organised information panels.

But old orange-top bus stops can still be found in certain parts of Singapore. Lim Chu Kang Road, Kranji Way, Old Tampines Road, Stadium Boulevard, Upper Bukit Timah Road, Zion Road, Margaret Drive, Anchorvale Street and Jalan Kayu (outside Seletar Camp) still house some of these familiar bus stops with their unmistakable orange plastic seats.

orange top bus stop

lim chu kang road old orange bus stop

Another makeshift orange-top bus stop is located at the end of Punggol Road, near the Punggol Jetty.

There are two even older bus stops along Tanjong Pagar Road. Shaped like small houses, the bus stops are believed to be built in the sixties. The bus stops, as well as the colourful shophouses along Tanjong Pagar Road, have been preserved well.

A concrete-and-metal bus stop of the seventies, believed to be the only remaining of its kind in Singapore, is located along Old Choa Chu Kang Road. It is currently serving bus 172 and 975.  In 2008, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) decided to preserve the nostalgic structure after an online survey on the Straits Times.

Several old-styled bus sign poles can be found along Lim Chu Kang Lane 3. These poles are left behind at their original positions after the bus services on this road were discontinued years ago.

In early 2000s, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) carried out a major revamp on the majority of Singapore street name signs. The new design of the street name signs that we see nowadays is using the format of green background with white letters in Rotis font format (developed by German typographer Otl Aicher in 1988).

old road sign

seletar west farmway2

The old and simple street name sign, which has been used in Singapore for decades, has a white background with back letters. One of the few remaining ones can be found along Neo Tiew Road (off Lim Chu Kang Road), Pasir Ris Farmway, Seletar West Farmway and Fernvale Road.

old road sign at seletar camp

Some old street name signs with interesting names can still be found in the Seletar Camp. With its rapid development in recent years, it is likely these old signs will be phased out soon.

old road sign at seletar camp2

In the early days, the major roads in Singapore were named simply roads, such as Thomson Road and River Valley Road. After new towns were established in the sixties, major roads in the neighbourhoods are called avenues. There are also streets and drives within the estates. Avenues usually refer to three-lane major roads while streets and drives are one- or two-lane minor roads. Some roads in older towns, such as Toa Payoh, adopted Malay names such as lorong (major roads) and jalan (minor roads).

A practice since late nineties,  the streets in many new towns are distinguished by double digits suffix, such as Woodlands Street 83, Ang Mo Kio Street 22 and Bishan street 11.

When the new towns of Sengkang and Punggol were developed in the new millennium, the authority abandoned the idea of using numbers to differentiate various roads within the town, and used walk, lane, cresent, loop, way, place, square, etc instead. This creates some confusion for motorists when they visit the area, eg there are Rivervale Drive, Rivervale Street, Rivervale Crescent and Rivervale Lane in Sengkang.

Published: 02 November 2010

Updated: 19 August 2013

45 Responses to Old Bus Stops/Street Name Signs

  1. KLZW says:

    Hi, i’ve got a pic of the other kind old busstops in s’pore. Its those with a red pitched roof.. 2 of them can be found in bukit batok west ave 5, opp the madeira
    01750027

  2. alvin81Alvin says:

    The names of the streets in Seletar Camp were named after the streets in London. Maida Vale, Birdcage Walk, Picadilly Circus, etc…

    I guess the British soldiers wanted a taste of their hometown while being stationed in colonial Singapore.

  3. vivien says:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/44384384@N02/6564593345/in/photostream
    another makeshift orange top busstop that i found in boonlay last year.. shot taken with my handphone from across the street.. for memories sake.. when these old busstops disappear in time to come..

    thanks for the post =)

  4. Pamela says:

    I wonder how many will still remember their old postal code? I think if not wrong, my old postal code is 1852 (Tampines) instead of now 520xxx. Do you still remember? It was 4 digits back then. =D

  5. The bus stops along Old Choa Chu Kang Road are currently being upgraded…
    The new ones are designed like the classic 1970s one preserved by LTA.

  6. Daniel says:

    Are these photos copyrighted?im doing a short journal video of how our transport system change..can i used photos in this blog?

  7. timothymok says:

    How about Jalan Sungei Poyan signage?

  8. elroygoh02 says:

    After the new road in Sengkang Sengkang West Way linking Sengkang East to Jalan Kayu was completed, I found many new orange-top bus stops along the road. Why do they make those bus stops?

  9. There is still a old bus stop in woodlands ave 12 between sembawang road and iambus ave

  10. The old simple bus stop at Chun Tin Road of Bukit Timah… This photo (from singa.co.uk) was taken in 1963

    • Teh O"Beng says:

      I USED TO LIVE HERE FROM 1960 TO 1966. I HAD TO TAKE A BUS EVERY MORNING TO SCHOOL TO NEWTON & THE FARE WAS 15 CENTS. THERE IS A MIDDLE AGED GENT SINGLET SHORTS & SLIPPRES CARRYING A RATTAN BASKET & IN IT ARE 3 NEW BORN PIGLINGS, EYES STILL CLOSED, FOR SALE. ANOTHER GUY WOULD COME TO HAGGLE OVER THE PRICE. THE OWNER WANTED $15/- WHILE THE BUYER WANTED TO PAY $12/- PER PIG. I DID’NT WAIT FOR THE OUTCOME OF THE DEAL AS MY BUS ARRIVED & I LEFT FOR SCHOOL. THE FOLLOWING YEAR, I WENT TO A SECONDARY SCHOOL AND HAD TO TAKE THE EASY BUS FROM JURONG ROAD CORNER BUKIT TIMAH ROAD (THERE WAS NO “UPPER” BUKIT TIMAH ROAD IN THOSE DAYS, TO QUEENSTOWN. I ALSO HAPPEN TO BE LOOKING FOR ALL THE BUS TICKETS OF THE PERIOD OF THE 10 CHINESE BUS COMPANIES & THEIR SCHOOL BUS PASSES IF ANY.

  11. A classic bus stop that was once commonly found in Singapore in the eighties and nineties

  12. Possibly the longest bus stop in Singapore?
    (along Queen Street Bus Terminal)

    • baer says:

      the longest busstop was on aljunied road if i recall correctly.

    • The longest bus stop in Singapore in the 1960s had got to be the one opposite Joo Chiat Market


      (Photo Credit: National Archives of Singapore)

      • Teh O"Beng says:

        I DON’T SEE THE BUS STOP IN THE PICTURE. IT IS TOO NEAR THE JUNCTION OF JOO CHIAT ROAD AND IT IS TOO NEAR THE MAIN STC BUS TERMINAL WHERE
        THE TROLLEY BUS MAKES A U-TURN WHICH IS JUST INFRONT OF TAJ THEATRE (LATER RENAMED SINGAPURA THEATRE). THE CHANGI BUS ALSO SHARES THE USAGE OF THIS TERMINAL WITH THE SINGAPORE TRACTION BUS COMPANY (STC) IN THE 1950″s TO 1960’s.

  13. A nice photo blog of the different designs of bus stops in Singapore between the eighties and nineties: http://hjtann-pixs.blogspot.sg/2010/12/singapore-heritage-old-bus-stop.html

  14. Dee Dee says:

    Old orange top bus-stops can still be found along Airline Rd/Changi Cargo Cmplx area.
    Restricted area though…

    I still remember along Bedok North Rd in the past, there were a few huge concrete bus-stops.
    Not sure if anyone has any pics of those bus-stops.

  15. EMF says:

    There are also the old street signs found in the Eunos Industrial Estate.

  16. The bus stops at Jalan Kayu (outside Seletar Camp) have been upgraded recently to the modern types

  17. Spotted a very old street signage at Jalan Mempurong, at the end of Sembawang Road….



    Like the old street signage at Seletar West Farmway, this one still bears the 4-digit postal code after its street name, although its letters and numbers are barely visible now

  18. raymond koh says:

    Anyone remember the concrete bus stop in front and opposite of Lakeside MRT station? are they still there?

  19. DLT says:

    You should check out the bus stop opposite the former Serangoon Bus interchange, very rustic design and was probably gazetted for it’s ultimate uniqueness that it was designed WITH the block behind it!
    Was coming back from Serangoon Garden when i changed for 100 (I think?)

  20. Spotted a disused and forgotten old bus pole at the Teachers’ Estate, Ang Mo Kio.

    Now the public buses don’t ply within this estate anymore

  21. A makeshift bus stop during colonial times? Location: Dahan Road, off Admiralty Road West

  22. Peter Chen says:

    There is a bus stop in Portsdown Road “18290 bef All Saints Chapel”.
    Can anyone tell me what do the letters “bef” stand for?

  23. Peter Chen says:

    Many thanks. I’m now convinced by your very complete answer.
    I suppose “Bef All Saints Chapel” means “this is the bus stop before All Saints Chapel”.
    By the way, what is very curious is that All Saints Chapel was demolished in the second half of the 1980’s or early 1990’s. There is no trace of the chapel today. We have an old picture of the chapel when it was used by our church congregation 1978-84.

  24. The last pair of the bus stops from the good old days of Marina South


  25. James Ong says:

    Can anyone tell me where can I make a duplicate old street sign.

    I am looking for the contractor who make these street signs.

    Thanks.

  26. Harry says:

    Can any one advice where can I found those dismantled old bus stop.

  27. A bus stop at Joo Koon Circle.

    Possibly the narrowest bus stop in Singapore?

  28. An old black and white road sign of Harmony Lane, at the old Bukit Timah Turf Club

  29. The evolution of Singapore’s road signs

    As Singapore celebrates its 50th anniversary, Channel NewsAsia explores how its road signs have evolved over the years.

    05 May 2015

    SINGAPORE: Motorists trying to find the exit on an expressway or the next available U-turn may not realise that the precision of the lettering, size and colour of the road signs has to keep to standard dimensions laid out by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), with the aim of ensuring the signs are more visible to road users.

    However, it was not always this strict.

    “Way back, we already have simple traffic signs that mainly remind motorists to stop at junctions and where, certain warnings given to motorists which are very basic,” shared Dr Chuai Chip Tiong, director of Traffic and Intelligent Transport Systems Operations at LTA.

    Subsequently, Singapore adopted the United Nations Protocol on Road Signs and Signals as part of an international effort to bring about a uniform road signalling system, but it also adapted to the specific needs of its road users.

    Said Dr Chuai: “In Singapore, even though we do follow in general this set of requirements, we have to customise it to fit our local condition. We created Silver Zone that comes with corresponding signs. We have signs that remind motorists to slow down when they are coming to a school zone. So these are some of the signs that are made locally.”

    Another major revamp occurred in the early 2000s, when LTA changed street name signs from black and white to the current green and white.

    “There was a need to make our signs more readable,” Dr Chuai revealed. “And readable not only by the font, by the wordings, but also make it more reflective. And even have the effect of illumination at night when you have your headlights on. Because there was better technology in terms of the retro-reflectivity sheeting and we think that it is important for us to adopt whatever new signage technology that there is.”

    WHERE ARE THE BLACK AND WHITE SIGNS NOW?

    While many of the black and white signs were disposed off, two of them are nicely tucked away in the comfort of Ms Margaret Thomas’ home. Ms Thomas is the daughter of Mr Francis Thomas, once a housemaster, teacher and eventually principal of St Andrew’s School.

    She shared: “My father was an Englishman who came to Singapore after Cambridge in the 1930s, loved the place, stayed, was a teacher at St Andrew’s, and prisoner of war during the Japanese Occupation. He went to Japan and worked in factories there as a prisoner.

    “He came back to Singapore after the war, Second World War, returned to St Andrew’s and was housemaster of the boarding house, which is where he met my mother. He also became principal in 1963 until the mid-1970s when he retired. He died in 1977, he was only 65. When the school created an internal road in the 1980s, they decided to name it after him.”

    Ms Thomas did the obvious when LTA organised an auction of the black and white street signs in 2003.

    “When I knew that they were going to auction off these road signs, I thought ‘ok great!’, I will go and try and get the sign,” she said. “I managed to get on my own, Eng Neo Avenue. That is not named after my mother. But my mother’s name was Eng Neo. So I thought it will be nice since I have got my father’s sign, to have a road sign that appears to be named after my mother. ”

    WHO MAKES THE ROAD SIGNS?

    As for who makes the road signs, that job falls to LTA’s many contractors. They replace defective ones as well as create new ones. The technology too, has evolved.

    Director of Signmechanic Mr Kelvin Tan said: “In the olden days, they used a local grade material, where they need a big machine to fabricate, where the turnaround time probably will take a longer time. Nowadays, they have changed the technology with a better reflective, using a press roller type, which is able to do fabrication with a shorter time, it is cut down by half.

    “In the olden days, we did the casting footing on-site. Nowadays, we do a fabrication within the yard, so safety can be taken care, timeline can be taken care of.”

    And the country’s road signs are continuing to evolve as technology changes. The latest to hit the roads are variable message signs. Unlike static road signs, these signs can change their message depending on traffic conditions and come with additional colours and graphics.

    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/the-evolution-of/1825216.html

  30. Kaiser says:

    I saw an old sign near Balestier road on a building wall.

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