Go-Ahead is latest bus operator to announce wage hike for bus captains

Go-Ahead Singapore has hired 655 bus captains so far, with a target of recruiting and training 700 by the third quarter of this year.
Go-Ahead Singapore has hired 655 bus captains so far, with a target of recruiting and training 700 by the third quarter of this year.PHOTO: ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - New bus operator Go-Ahead Singapore is raising the pay of its bus drivers, making it the third and latest operator to do so.

On Friday (July 1), Go-Ahead said it will increase the minimum basic starting salary for all its Singaporean and permanent resident bus captains to $1,950 per month, with immediate effect. This applies to both existing bus captains and new joiners.

Its move follows previous announcements by new operator Tower Transit in May and largest bus operator SBS Transit in June. Tower Transit raised starting pay to $1,930 a month, up 3.5 per cent. SBS Transit raised starting pay to $1,950, up more than 9 per cent from $1,775 previously.

Go-Ahead Singapore has hired 655 bus captains so far, with a target of recruiting and training 700 by the third quarter of this year.

Said its Singapore managing director Nigel Wood: "Go-Ahead Singapore is committed to offering all its staff a competitive employment package. Today's announcement is a tangible example of how much we value our people."

"We want to enable our bus captains to grow both professionally and personally, and the updated salary will further complement the existing benefits that are already available to our bus captains."

Amid these various wage hikes, second-largest bus operator SMRT has yet to follow suit. At the time of SBS Transit's announcement in June, SMRT said only that it regularly reviews its pay and benefits to "remain competitive".

National Transport Workers’ Union Executive Secretary Melvin Yong welcomed the move by Go-Ahead.

"The union has been working closely with our public bus operators to ensure fair and competitive wages, as well as to build a safe and conducive working environment for our bus captains. We are also pleased to note that Go-Ahead Singapore has recruited many local bus captains in the recent months, with many staying at Pasir Ris, Punggol and Sengkang. They are building a strong Singaporean core in their workforce through their targeted recruitment approach. The union will continue to work closely with LTA and our public bus operators to attract more locals to join us in the public bus industry," Mr Yong said in a Facebook post.