Mitigating the risk on public transport as Singapore enters phase 2 of reopening

Public transport ridership during morning peak hours has doubled since the partial lifting of circuit breaker measures on June 2.

With more businesses set to reopen from Friday (June 19) and restrictions on gatherings eased, trains and buses will become more crowded.

Public transport operators tell Toh Ting Wei how they have stepped up cleaning and safe distancing measures.


A transport ambassador reminding commuters about the SafeEntry QR code at Jurong East MRT on June 17, 2020. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

• Transport ambassadors are deployed to encourage commuters to use the SafeEntry check-in system and practise safe distancing.

The ambassadors also make sure all commuters wear masks.

• High-touch points, such as add-value machines, escalator handrails and lift buttons, are cleaned with disinfectant every two hours. This is at least double the frequency of cleaning compared with before Covid-19.

A contract worker cleaning the touchscreen of a machine at Ang Mo Kio MRT station on June 17, 2020. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

• Hand sanitisers have been installed at stations.

• Antimicrobial disinfectant coatings are being used on trains and buses.


Contract workers cleaning an MRT train on June 17, 2020. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

• Regular in-train announcements remind people to practise personal hygiene and use SafeEntry.

• Commuters are advised not to talk to one another or on the phone. This is to minimise the spread of droplets.

• Trains are cleaned around noon where operationally possible. Empty trains are docked in the middle rail at stations with three tracks, and staff will board to wipe seats, handrails and other surfaces with disinfectant.

• Transport ambassadors patrol trains regularly to remind people of good hygiene practices.

• Trains are cleaned at night at depots.


• High-touch points, such as water coolers, benches and bus berths, are cleaned with disinfectant every two hours. This is on top of the usual daily cleaning regimen before Covid-19.

• Toilets are cleaned with disinfectant at least four times a day, up from three times a day.


The cleaning regime of high-touch points has been ramped up to keep buses clean. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

• The interior of buses is cleaned at least twice, instead of once, a day.

• Bus seats, handrails and the driver's area are sprayed with disinfectant and wiped down after the cleaning.

• Both the exterior and interior of buses are cleaned at night at the depot.

• Drivers have to take their temperature at the start of their shifts and after meal breaks.


• All street-hail passengers must scan the SafeEntry QR code; drivers can refuse to pick up those who refuse to do this.

• Mandatory for drivers to issue printed receipts for street-hail passengers.

• Plastic shields around drivers to minimise contact between them and passengers are being tested in 400 ComfortDelGro taxis.


• Drivers must update operators regularly about their temperature.

• Grab passengers will be stopped from sitting in the front seat to facilitate safe distancing.

• Gojek is providing free car fogging services to its drivers; Grab drivers get hygiene kits with sanitisers, face masks and disinfectants.

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