DANIEL STAZICKER tells the story of an early Volvo B8L that is turning heads as a private hire vehicle in Singapore

The Volvo B8L demonstrator was re-registered as PD169L in July 2022.
A&S Transit, a coach company founded in the late 1970s, now operates over 100 modern vehicles, including the demonstrator.
The B8L’s 8-litre engine was a departure from the 9-litre engines powering the B9TL, popular in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Double-deckers have been operated in Singapore since a trial fleet of 20 Leyland Atlanteans was introduced in 1977 and today they are a highly visible part of the public transport system, moving thousands of passengers every day. It is one of the key Asia Pacific markets for manufacturers of double-deckers as they evolve their products to balance modern technological advances, production design improvements, regulation and tough emission standards, while still giving the operator what they demand in terms of maintenance, performance, costs and fuel economy.

Towards that end, Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) and ComfortDelGro-owned SBS Transit evaluated a 12m tri-axle Volvo B8L on demonstration in 2018 for two years. This bus had much to prove , as the B8L, with in-line 8litre engine, replaced the wellrespected tri-axle B9TL which had sold in quantity in Singapore and Hong Kong.

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