Go-Ahead to run its routes with SBS Transit, SMRT drivers after 'higher than expected' staff attrition

Transport company Go-Ahead will be tapping on SBS Transit and SMRT bus drivers for some of its routes.
Transport company Go-Ahead will be tapping on SBS Transit and SMRT bus drivers for some of its routes.ST PHOTO: AZMI ATHNI

SINGAPORE - Public transport operator Go-Ahead Singapore will be tapping on drivers from SBS Transit and SMRT for some of its routes from Wednesday, it announced on Tuesday (Sept 20).

This announcement comes days after the British firm rolled out its second tranche of bus services and took over management of the Pasir Ris Bus Interchange on Sunday (Sept 18).

Go-Ahead said that it has entered into short-term sub-contracting arrangements with SBS Transit and SMRT, after having more staff departures than expected and a fine-tuning of its schedules.

Thirty drivers from SBS Transit will start work on Wednesday at Loyang Depot for about two months, alongside 10 SMRT bus drivers.

In response to the announcement, the National Transport Workers’ Union (NTWU) executive secretary Melvin Yong said on Facebook that NTWU is working closely with the bus operators and the Land Transport Authority to address Go-Ahead’s staff shortage.

“NTWU will continue to work closely with the operators to support the bus captains as they start their new work arrangements with Go-Ahead during the interim period,” Mr Yong wrote.

Mr Yong said that union leaders were engaging the SBS Transit and SMRT bus drivers to address any concerns they might have.

Go-Ahead Singapore, which is Singapore’s fourth bus operator, said that it has 38 new bus drivers of its own lined up in the next few weeks, and is trying to recruit more.

Deputy chairman David Cutts said in the Go-Ahead statement: “This move is about ensuring commuters continue to receive a service they can rely on.”

The company won the rights to bus routes in the eastern part of the island that were previously run by SBS Transit, as well as management of the Pasir Ris and Punggol bus interchanges.