He has more than 500 pieces of bus-related items including guides, tickets and service plates.
Full-time national serviceman Muhammad Zakaria Azmi, 25 , has spent about $1,500 on these items, which he bought from scrapyards and bus depots.
Their prices ranged between $10 for a service plate and $300 for a digital service number display.
Mr Zakaria, who has a diploma in aerospace engineering, said: “I started collecting bus guides in my primary school days as I took a public bus to school every day.
“I’m fascinated by how these artefacts bring back memories for commuters.
“When my elderly uncles visit and see the artefacts, they start telling me about bus routes in the 1980s.”
For Mr Zakaria, bus number plate SBS2701Z holds special meaning as it has his birthday, Jan 27, and initial “Z” on it.
It was given to him by a friend who picked it up from a scrapyard.
Mr Zakaria often chats with the driver when he takes a bus.
He said: “Not everyone can be a bus captain.
“It’s interesting to know the captain’s life story and how he started his job.”
His favourite bus service is 176, which he took to get to his primary and secondary schools in the west.
He is an only child and his parents are supportive of his collection, he said.
Mr Zakaria, who lives with them in a five-room flat in Pandan Gardens, said: “My parents allowed me to use the master bedroom as my room so that I have space for my collection.
“They encourage me to pursue my hobby as long as I keep my room clean.”
Together with a friend, Mr Zakaria is also working on building a remote-controlled bus model measuring 1m by 18cm by 30cm, which he hopes to commercialise in the future.
He has contributed some 15 items to the Our Bus Journey bus carnival.
He estimated that there are about 150 bus enthusiasts in Singapore, saying: “The community of bus enthusiasts is definitely growing.
“Some of them are influenced by friends.
“There are bus enthusiasts as young as seven years old.”
Mr Zakaria feels commuters should be more courteous to bus drivers.
He said: “We often complain when bus services are delayed. But some reasons for their delay, such as road conditions, are inevitable.
“Simple gestures, such as saying thanks when a bus waits for you to catch it, can make a bus captain’s journey more enjoyable.”
WHAT: Our Bus Journey bus carnival
ORGANISED BY: Land Transport Authority
WHERE: VivoCity, Outdoor Plaza
WHEN: Today and tomorrow, 11am to 8pm
This article was first published on March 26, 2016.
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