SINGAPORE - Three in four of 812 bus captains hired by Tower Transit, the third local bus operator, are Singaporeans or permanent residents.
It has hired 448 new bus captains, who are all Singaporeans or PRs, since October last year. Another 364 were recruited in May last year. Among that batch, 161 are Singaporeans or PRs.
Of all the drivers employed by Tower Transit, 278 of them, or 34 per cent, were joining the public bus industry for the first time.
The median age of these new bus captains is 43, which is about 15 years younger than the industry's median of 58. Its youngest bus captain is 21 years old.
The recruitment figures, which the bus operator said show "demographics that buck industry trends", were revealed at a press briefing held at Bulim Bus Depot on Friday (April 29).
"This is unprecedented in the local public bus industry," said Tower Transit's managing director Andrew Bujtor.
"Back in May last year when we were first awarded the Bulim Package, we prepared ourselves for the uphill task of recruiting talented Singaporeans to captain our buses. We weren't however prepared for the wave of interest that followed," he added.
Since May last year, more than 5,000 people have expressed interest in joining Tower Transit as bus captains.
The Anglo-Australian firm, the first bus operator to be awarded a contract under the new government contracting model, will operate 26 bus services and a fleet of up to 500 buses progressively from May 29.