Longer wait for some buses as SBS Transit faces shortage of 80 drivers amid Covid-19 surge

SBS Transit reminded commuters to factor in longer waiting times for buses when planning their journeys. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - There was a shortage of almost 80 SBS Transit bus drivers on Tuesday (Feb 15), due to an unprecedented surge in the number of drivers who tested positive for Covid-19.

The public transport operator gave this update in a Facebook post on Tuesday, saying this has resulted in longer waiting times for some bus services.

"For this, we do apologise to affected passengers for the inconvenience caused and seek their understanding," it said.

SBS Transit said it is monitoring the situation closely and will be working with the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to make adjustments, such as increasing the interval time between buses for some services.

More double-decker buses that can accommodate more passengers will also be deployed for certain services as the situation evolves, it added.

The transport operator noted that with the growing wave of Covid-19 infections in the community, the number of bus drivers being affected by the virus has also been on the rise.

SBS Transit said that 99 per cent of its drivers have been vaccinated, and that they display no or mild symptoms while they recover in isolation.

The operator reminded commuters to factor in longer waiting times for buses when planning their journeys.

"We encourage our passengers to use the SBS Transit mobile app or the LTA's MyTransport app for more details on the arrival time of specific bus services," it added.

In a separate Facebook post, LTA said it is monitoring the situation closely to minimise disruption.

"However, should the number of cases climb further, commuters may see an increase in waiting times for more bus services," LTA said.

"Together with our public transport operators, we will keep you updated if further service adjustments need to be made."

Another public transport operator, Tower Transit – which runs close to 60 bus services here – told The Straits Times that its services are running as usual.

It is not facing a driver shortage due to Covid-19. 

In September last year, public bus operators here were hit by the virus, where a few hundred drivers were either infected, or placed under quarantine or stay-home notice.

That caused longer waiting times for some buses. 

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