Public transport workforce to grow by 4% by 2025; 800 jobs to be added as rail network grows

The workforce in the public transport sector is expected to grow by around 4% by 2025. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - The number of workers in the public transport sector is expected to grow by around 4 per cent – or 880 positions – by 2025, from 22,000 now.

Another 800 new jobs will be created on top of that as Singapore’s rail network expands with the development of the Jurong Region Line and Cross Island Line, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Monday.

In a statement, LTA noted that public transport is a growth segment in the land transport industry, which has more than 100,000 workers across roles such as bus drivers, mechanics, customer service officers, railway engineers, and taxi and private-hire drivers. Since 2018, about 1,000 new jobs have been created in the rail sector, it said.

Transport Minister S. Iswaran on Monday launched an updated blueprint for the industry which outlines plans to equip rail and bus workers with more skills, improve rail reliability, and use technology to reduce carbon emissions as well as improve service to commuters.

Mr Iswaran said the industry transformation map (ITM) is an “important enabler” to achieve the targets set for land transport in the next few years.

Under the latest blueprint, LTA said it will be working with the National Transport Workers’ Union and public transport operators to train the workforce, to improve efficiency and productivity.

The Rail Manpower Development Incentive has helped to train more than 2,900 workers in the industry since 2020, LTA added.

Drivers and technicians are also being trained to handle the electric buses that are being introduced to public bus fleets, said LTA. The Singapore Bus Academy is said to be working with parties including the bus suppliers, union and operators to come up with relevant training.

Singapore aims to have half of the public bus fleet be electric by 2030. Sixty electric buses are already in service under a pilot, and a tender will be called in March 2023 for another 400 electric buses to replace diesel powered ones.

These electric buses will replace old buses from December 2024. As at the end of 2022, there are 5,847 buses used for public transport.

LTA is also tapping the private sector for solutions to make the transport system more reliable and cost-effective.

These include making transport-related information readily available on the LTA DataMall portal, which also allows those in the transport industry and in academia to request specific data. LTA hopes that giving access to such information will encourage “ground-up innovations that can serve land transport needs”.

The previous Land Transport ITM was launched in 2018 by then Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

The land transport industry was said to employ 123,000 people then, with more than 21,000 in the public bus and rail sectors. The projection then was to increase the number of jobs in public transport by up to 8,000 by 2030.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.