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Old 12th May 2008, 12:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Shortage of bus drivers expected to worsen

Shortage of bus drivers expected to worsen
Operators, unions to rebrand job to make it more attractive
By Yeo Ghim Lay


BUS operators SBS Transit and SMRT are now short of about 200 drivers each.

And because they have to shorten waiting times for commuters by August next year, they will need even more drivers. SBS Transit projects it will need another 100 more by then.

About 1,500 bus drivers have been hired over the past three years, but the National Transport Workers' Union (NTWU) has said this is still not enough.

Among these hires, only a quarter are Singapore citizens, while the rest are permanent residents and Malaysians. Earlier this year, both operators started hiring mainland Chinese drivers.

To tackle the shortage, the union and bus operators have set up a committee to look into how the job can be made more attractive to Singaporeans by 'rebranding' it to highlight its positive aspects.

It is also looking into making the job 'more competitive', said NTWU executive secretary Seng Han Thong.

And to further widen the pool of bus drivers here, it also plans to look into enticing more women and older workers into taking the job.

The committee expects to roll out some of these plans in the next six months.

Mr Seng noted that the job now had a largely negative image - one that was dead-end and demanded that the person put in long, irregular hours for a low salary.

He told The Straits Times: 'We hope to rebrand the whole industry and increase awareness among Singaporeans that bus drivers do get many benefits.'

He pointed out that, for example, bus drivers get allowances and about three months in bonus on top of their minimum basic monthly pay of $1,200. They also get CPF and medical benefits.

A check with private bus companies showed that while some also offered their drivers CPF and leave, they paid less and did not offer full medical benefits.

Private bus drivers who ferry children to school, for example, take home less than $2,000 a month, but their hours are shorter.

SBS Transit's bus drivers earn between $1,600 and $3,500, including overtime pay, perks and allowances.

More than half the company's 5,200 bus drivers earn more than $2,500; over a fifth draw more than $3,000.

Among the higher earners is senior bus captain Tay Tiang Hui, 51, who has been driving for 29 years. He now earns more than $2,600, a sum he is satisfied with.

However, there are others unhappy with what they earn. One bus driver, who cannot be named as he has not been cleared to speak to reporters, said he earned just over $2,000 a month.

Now 60, after having driven a bus for more than 30 years, he said: 'The pay is very little, but I have no choice. What else can I do when I am so old already?'

But if bus operators were to raise the salaries of drivers, their operating costs would go up, and this could translate into fare increases for commuters.

MP Ong Kian Min, deputy chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport, is all for rebranding the bus driver's job.

'Many people are not prepared to accept the job based on perceptions of what it is like. Changing the image will help in this case,' he said.

But an advertising industry man pointed out that rebranding can only come after substantial changes are made to the job itself.

Mr Mark Fong, creative director of advertising agency Young & Rubicam, said: 'There is only so much image can do. Job redesign has to take place first before you go into branding.'


http://www.straitstimes.com/Free/Sto...ry_236468.html

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Old 12th May 2008, 04:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Shortage of bus drivers expected to worsen

Maybe more pay will helps. But that will impact to fare hike.

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Old 12th May 2008, 04:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Shortage of bus drivers expected to worsen

Bus drivers very siong de... much more siong then Taxi driver I think. ^^"

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Old 12th May 2008, 05:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Shortage of bus drivers expected to worsen

i wanna take up class 4. so that i can join the sbs bus when i retire.

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Old 12th May 2008, 05:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Shortage of bus drivers expected to worsen

That's why I have to wait for 15 minutes for a bus to come every time...

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Old 12th May 2008, 08:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Shortage of bus drivers expected to worsen

every year the 2 companies earn so much money.... when say wana raise their salary use price hike..

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Old 12th May 2008, 08:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Shortage of bus drivers expected to worsen

well i wait one bus also wait for 20min.
and now its going to get worst? .

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Old 13th May 2008, 09:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Shortage of bus drivers expected to worsen

who want to work as bus driver?Even holidays when you want spend time with family also got to work..

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Old 13th May 2008, 09:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Shortage of bus drivers expected to worsen

Originally Posted by perfect_mind View Post
who want to work as bus driver?Even holidays when you want spend time with family also got to work..
tt are some driver whose children earn a few thousand buck is still driving u know? there are ppl who will drive cuz they love it

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Old 13th May 2008, 09:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Shortage of bus drivers expected to worsen

No wonder there were ads at the interchange about bus drivers wanted.I saw smth about 'attractive pay and benifits'.

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Old 13th May 2008, 10:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Shortage of bus drivers expected to worsen

hope they'll like increase their pay or something,
oh well,
the more insignificant they seem, they more important they're, i guess.

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Old 13th May 2008, 10:03 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Shortage of bus drivers expected to worsen

i think sbs should depoly their NEL staff to go drive bus.
NEL the train staff like nothing to do, always walk here and there lehs.

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Old 13th May 2008, 10:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Shortage of bus drivers expected to worsen

Originally Posted by SupahStrider View Post
No wonder there were ads at the interchange about bus drivers wanted.I saw smth about 'attractive pay and benifits'.
even if increase hw high will it be if increase our fare oso increase

Originally Posted by edyork View Post
hope they'll like increase their pay or something,
oh well,
the more insignificant they seem, they more important they're, i guess.
no use

Originally Posted by SimplyInVogue View Post
i think sbs should depoly their NEL staff to go drive bus.
NEL the train staff like nothing to do, always walk here and there lehs.
well they are ther 2 check got BOMB anot

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Old 13th May 2008, 11:54 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Shortage of bus drivers expected to worsen

lol this mean no need study liao..go learn to drive bus

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Old 13th May 2008, 11:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Shortage of bus drivers expected to worsen

Originally Posted by Weiwei View Post
lol this mean no need study liao..go learn to drive bus
wanna be a driver, be a private bus driver better....can earn alot. lol

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Old 14th May 2008, 12:24 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Shortage of bus drivers expected to worsen

Originally Posted by perfect_mind View Post
who want to work as bus driver?Even holidays when you want spend time with family also got to work..
wells. some of them just like the job.
got a friend, who grad from NUS, now driving a bus with SBSTransit as well.

wells, though this job which many will think that its low class, think about it..
without enough bus drivers, arent our waiting time for buses getting longer, especially with the increase of traffic jams in Singapore.

and yeah, (either 2001 or 2002), SBSTransit's Bus Captains were invited to National Day Parade to recite our National Pledge (during finale), which only a handful were chosen every year (the few chosen include singaporeans from all walks of life).

Now, who says bus drivers are low classed people?

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Old 14th May 2008, 12:28 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Shortage of bus drivers expected to worsen

singapore every go up, but the pay are still the same..working as bus driver are stress and is not easy with so many live in ur hand when u are driving..very easy kana complain also..

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Old 14th May 2008, 12:30 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Shortage of bus drivers expected to worsen

yep. seriously, i pei4 fu2 some of the bus drivers. some commuters can get really irritating wif all the questions but they still answer patiently while keeping their focus on the road.

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Old 14th May 2008, 01:03 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Shortage of bus drivers expected to worsen

Originally Posted by wcong View Post
wells. some of them just like the job.
got a friend, who grad from NUS, now driving a bus with SBSTransit as well.

wells, though this job which many will think that its low class, think about it..
without enough bus drivers, arent our waiting time for buses getting longer, especially with the increase of traffic jams in Singapore.

and yeah, (either 2001 or 2002), SBSTransit's Bus Captains were invited to National Day Parade to recite our National Pledge (during finale), which only a handful were chosen every year (the few chosen include singaporeans from all walks of life).

Now, who says bus drivers are low classed people?
grad go drive bus....? study till he become bonker? actually its all about the pay... if road sweeper pay is $3-4k per mth i also go sweep road...

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Old 17th May 2008, 08:13 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Shortage of bus drivers expected to worsen

lol i thought they are hiring china drivers , this will be good for singaporeans , but i know some will say why hire china instead of us ? , then the answer is cause yu are lazy ..

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