SINGAPORE: If a picture is worth a thousand words, a set of photos featuring Singapore’s iconic bus stop pole seems worth a couple of thousand to many.

“A forgotten side of Singapore: the humble bus stop pole,” an online user shared on Friday (March 29). The post featured a black and white photo allegedly taken from one of the social media pages of the Ministry of Transport. It also included our other shots of bus stop poles around Singapore, taken by the writer.

“Up till the 1970s, bus stops were just a basic signpost for commuters to gather around, with no shelter and seats available,” the photographer wrote.

“The first generation of bus stop poles was introduced in 1971 with a ‘new and plain’ look: a metal pole topped with an oval plate bearing the logo of a bus, with rectangular plates attached to it that displayed the service numbers of buses serving a particular stop.”

“However, many commuters at the time criticised the lack of information regarding bus routes… over the next few decades, the bus stop pole remained largely unchanged, with only minor improvements such as the addition of bus stop names, fare stage numbers and easier identification of SBS’s fully air-conditioned bus services.

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It wasn’t until the late 2000s that the bus stop pole design was revamped, becoming the standard grey metal poles that we see today. Before they are gone, here are some surviving examples of the original bus stop pole that served our nation for almost half a century.”

A handful of online users wrote out their reactions to seeing the photos. “Wow, I remember these from way back in my childhood,” said one. “Thanks for a dose of nostalgia.”

Others took the opportunity to share some old memories. “Anyone remember pressing 55c or 60c and crossing their fingers bus conductor didn’t come?” wrote another.

A third commented, “I still remember the click click sound the bus conductors made with their ticket punchers when they stroll up and down the bus to sell tickets.”

“Not sure if I’m of a similar age group but I remember these from my childhood in the early 00s, back when SBS was still red and white and Trans-Island livery was still around,” wrote a fourth.

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