Singapore Bus Services (SBS) bus ticket with value of 45 cents, Singapore, 1970s–1980s.

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Singapore Bus Services (SBS) bus ticket with value of 45 cents, Singapore, 1970s–1980s.

Collection of National Museum of Singapore.

Singapore Bus Services (SBS) bus ticket with value of 45 cents, Singapore, 1970s–1980sSingapore Bus Service (SBS) Limited was formed in 1973 through the merger of three existing bus companies, Amalgamated Bus Company, Associated Bus Services and United Bus. The company became a major fixture in the local public transport landscape and features highly in Singapore's transport heritage. It continues to offer public transport services to the Singaporean public today.

This is a Singapore Bus Services (SBS) bus ticket from the 1970s and '80s, with a value of 45 cents. A generation of young Singaporeans, growing up during those times, would remember these simple bus tickets fondly. Upon boarding the familiar red-and-white SBS buses, they would have had to purchase these tickets from the bus conductor, who would perforate the tickets with a ticket punch to prevent them from being reused on another journey. The value of the tickets depended on the distance travelled. These punched tickets were later replaced by printed tickets.

Printed on the back of this ticket is the Courtesy Campaign slogan and mascot. The Courtesy Campaign was launched by Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in 1979 in an attempt to encourage Singaporeans to show courtesy, consideration and kindness to one and all. The campaign mascot, Singa the lion, was introduced in 1982 and it has appeared on posters, billboards and various media advertisements.

Singapore has launched numerous campaigns since the 1970s to address prevailing issues of the time. Aside from the Courtesy Campaign, other memorable campaigns from the 1970s to the 1990s include the National Productivity Movement, with Teamy the Bee as its mascot; the "Use Your Hands" Campaign to encourage students to clean up school premises; and the “Clean and Green Week” Campaign, with a friendly frog, Captain Green, as its mascot.


This is an extract from "The Singapore Story through 60 objects" written by Kennie Ting, Director, Asian Civilisations Museum and Peranakan Museum & Group Director of Museums, National Heritage Board. This article was first published in Cultural Connections Volume IV 2019 by Culture Academy Singapore.