History of the Old Green Bus

History of the Old Green Bus

Every country has their own transportation history, from the old version in the past, and then keep developing to the newest version until today, or just perish because it can't satisfy people needs as the new, effective, and faster technology has developed. In Singapore, bus as a public transportation has its own story.

This Bus Company was established in the 1930s by Ong Chin Chuan and the associates. This company's vehicles had 30 seats. The type of Vulcan omnibus, which come from England. This bus painted in green and operated for 5 routes, from the terminals in Queen Street to Lim Chu Kang and Johor Baru. The Bus No. 5 operated from Bukit Timah area, until the Princess Elizabeth estate, was the most profitable route. This bus had a cost started from five cents to the most expensive 50 cents. This most expensive route is headed to Johor Baru, as the longest track. Before the war occurred, this company ran a mosquito buses, it is a motor bus which had seven seats and ran in rural areas. This is the most popular vehicle at that time, besides affordable in price, it also fast

Behind the company's story, there's also a story about the owners who grew in this business. Ong Cheng Siang, the son of Ong Chin Chuan, has inherited the green bus Company as the second generation. This business has boomed at that time but then led to internal strife between the staff and the shareholders. In 1960, Mr. Ong Cheng Siang has been kidnapped. He was 44 years old. He was brought to some place on the east coast. One of his sons has said that they heard their father was buried inside the hole underground. As the newspaper reported, Mr. Ong Cheng Siang has been released a few days later, after paid $500,000. He's been dumped from the car by the kidnappers at Amber road and have him helped by the cab driver who sent him to his motor workshop. He came back with rashes. His misfortune didn't end there. In 1960, he also became a victim of acid attack and left a scar on his particular body parts. And in 1971, he diagnosed to have a throat cancer and then facing his death after this illness at 55 years.

In 1971, this company is being merged with another two companies. The government taking control and merged all of the bus company operated under the Singapore Bus Service (SBS) in 1973.

Mr. Ong Cheng Siang has left three children, Ong LekMeng, Ong Bee Geok, and Patrick Ong Pei Wen. Lately, they've been asked by Alvin Tan from the National Heritage Board, to tell the stories and showed their photos of the bus company. They are happily loaned about 50 photos of the company histories, and said they want to share their family legacies with public, to let them know the history of the transportation and their family contributions, and also help with the research including the Singaporean past transportation. They also tell the stories about their beautiful memories in their past, when they took the bus and the bus driver knew them and they didn't have to pay for the ride. And when they were a child's, they used to spend their evening at the bus terminal and helped to count the takings. Mr. Alvin Tan said that the photos and the memories of the Ong family have filled the gap in the Singapore early transportation history.