SBS Transit has been awarded the Seletar Bus Package, which is the third set of public bus services that has been put up for tender under the Bus Contracting Model.
The award of the five-year contract, which can be extended by another two years, is the first bus tender award for SBS Transit under the new model.
Under the package, SBS Transit will progressively from 1Q 2018, operate 26 bus services, of which two will be new.
These services will originate from the Ang Mo Kio, Yio Chu Kang and Yishun Bus Interchanges and supported by the new Seletar Bus Depot.
Currently, SBS Transit operates 13 of the 24 existing bus services. With this award, it will run 13 new routes.
SBS Transit Chief Executive Officer, Mr Gan Juay Kiat, said:
“We are delighted that the LTA has given us this vote of confidence based on the quality of our proposal and price competitiveness.
We will invest more in both hardware and software to deliver quality bus services to our commuters and look forward to rolling out the
26 services under the BCM from 1Q 2018.”
Under the terms and agreement of the tender, commuters can look forward to better services and facilities at the bus interchanges.
For instance, handphone charging stations will be made available at the Ang Mo Kio and Yio Chu Kang Bus interchanges.
At the non-air-conditioned Yio Chu Kang Interchange, more fans and water coolers will be installed while the canteen will be air-conditioned
for the comfort of our commuters, Bus Captains (BC) and staff.
A new commuter engagement initiative, “Meet the Managers”, will be rolled out, enabling commuters to share their feedback and suggestions face-to-face with management at the bus interchanges.
Besides this, annual commuter satisfaction surveys will also be conducted to identify areas where we can do better.
In commuter safety, all buses plying the 26 services will be fitted with a smart anti-collision system known as Mobileye, which detects, analyses and monitors road conditions while the buses are on the move.
It provides audio-visual warnings so that our BCs can take defensive actions to avert a collision; delivering safer journeys for our commuters.
Our ISO55001 Bus Asset Management framework and systems, which we were recently certified in, will enable us to effectively manage our operational and engineering assets under the Seletar Bus Package.
Leveraging on technology, our staff, including the workshop technicians, are already actively using mobile applications and tablets for higher productivity and efficiency to provide better quality service to our commuters.
Bus Captains play a very critical role. With higher starting salaries, new local BCs can earn up to $3,460 a month, including allowances, incentives and overtime pay in their first year of service with us.
Free annual health screenings, free travel and $500 worth of flexible benefit credits are among the slew of benefits we offer.
At the Seletar Depot, our BCs will be encouraged to stay healthy as facilities such as a gym, health check corner and other recreational amenities will be provided.
They can also look forward to establishing careers in the bus industry as we adopt a progressive wage model and offer alternative career pathways.
For the Seletar Bus Package, we plan to hire about 330 more Bus Captains and staff.
For affected BCs, who are driving the existing routes operated by SMRT, we will work closely with the National Transport Workers’ Union for their transition if they opt to join us.
With our commitment to strong and harmonious labour-management relations, and the staff engagement plans that we have mapped out, these affected BCs can expect to cross over smoothly.
With the award of the Seletar Bus Package, SBS Transit will operate a total of 223 bus routes, with 197 under the eight Negotiated Contracts.