SBS launches effort to promote kindness and show appreciation to bus drivers

SINGAPORE- In a bid to promote kindness between bus captains and commuters, transport operator SBS Transit has launched the SBS Transit CARES kindness month.

The celebration, which began on May 3 and ends May 31, will see a total of 1,200 students showing their appreciation to about 6,000 bus captains, as well as station staff.

Mr Tang Chi Cheng, 64, is a senior bus captain who has been driving buses for close to 40 years, said that while most commuters were generally polite and kind to him, there were some who could be quite rude.

"They complain about the bus being late and they get annoyed when there are jams," he said.

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The campaign kicked off officially on Monday (May 15) at Tampines Bus Interchange with 120 pupils from Tampines Primary School. The Primary Three and Primary Four pupils were giving out hand-made thank-you cards to bus captains.

"I've never spoken to a bus driver before this," said Tampines Primary School student, Pang Hyin Hee, 9. She takes the public bus often when going home from school.

Aside from the cards, students and SBS Transit's management were giving away pens imprinted with a kindness message to commuters at the interchanges and MRT stations.

This is the second year that SBS has held this celebration, though this year's events are considerably larger. Last year, the celebration lasted only a day and there were only about 500 students involved.

"I'm really happy with what was done today. It lets people know that we are doing our best to serve them," said Mr Cheng.

Another bus captain, Mr Manoharan Sathiyan, 31, added that this was the first time he had received cards like this in his six years of driving a bus.

In addition to the cards and pens given out, Mr Gan Juay Kiat, SBS Transit's chief executive officer, was at Tampines interchange to hand out packets of food to bus captains. Close to 11,000 meal boxes, which included brown rice, fruit juice and apples, was given out to SBS staff.

"It's a tough job to drive a bus and we want to make sure that our staff are recognised by thanking them," he said.