Go-Ahead suspending 5 bus services due to staff shortage

Bus operator Go-Ahead Singa-pore is suspending five bus services from tomorrow due to manpower shortage amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The suspension is temporary and the services are either Express or City Direct services, the company said in a Facebook post on Sunday. The affected Express services are 12e, 43e and 518, while the affected City Direct services are 661 and 666.

The suspension was due to "the impact of Covid-19 on available manpower", it said, adding that trunk bus services 12 and 43 will continue to operate.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said the suspension was part of contingency plans in response to the rising wave of Covid-19 infections in the community.

"(Go-Ahead Singapore) has obtained LTA's approval to temporarily suspend five Express and City Direct bus services which are of lower demand to allow bus captains to be redeployed to serve higher demand trunk and feeder services."

The authority also advised affected commuters to take other bus services or use the MRT to get to their destinations.

"LTA and the public transport operators will continue to monitor the situation closely and may make further adjustments as the situation evolves, including when more bus captains return to work," it added.

Bus operator Tower Transit told ST that the manpower shortage currently has no significant impact on its bus services.

It added that it is monitoring the situation closely and will make adjustments as the situation evolves.

The bus service suspension announcement on Sunday came after LTA and the four major bus operators - Go-Ahead Singapore, SBS Transit, SMRT and Tower Transit - said on Friday that commuters should be prepared to wait longer for some buses, with a few hundred drivers down with Covid-19, or placed under quarantine or stay-home notice.

The increase in waiting times for the majority of affected services is within five minutes, the LTA said. For a very small number of services, it is more than 10 minutes.

When asked whether they are planning to suspend their bus services, SBS Transit and SMRT responded by referring ST to the LTA statement.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2021, with the headline 'Go-Ahead suspending 5 bus services due to staff shortage'. Subscribe