ComfortDelGro Further Steps Up Cleaning Of Vehicles And Facilities

The ComfortDelGro Group of Companies, including listed public transport operator, SBS Transit, is ramping up the cleaning regime of its vehicles and premises to minimise the risk of the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Stepped up measures include temperature screening of visitors, customers and contractors, with the collection of contact details to facilitate contact tracing, if required at all its premises, bus and rail depots, fuelling stations, workshops as well as driving centre; and twice daily temperature checks for all staff. Those with a fever or exhibit respiratory symptoms such as cough or runny nose, will be denied entry. Non-essential large scale events will also be cancelled or deferred.

SBS Transit, which has an average daily ridership of 3.61 million on its bus and rail networks, is increasing the cleaning and disinfecting frequency of its buses, trains and facilities. At bus interchanges and stations, high commuter touchpoints are being cleaned with disinfectants once every two hours. These include queue rails, seats, passenger service centre counters as well as taps, door knobs, flush buttons in the toilets at interchanges. Escalator handrails, bench seats, lift buttons, fare gates, ticketing machines, locality maps, toilet door handles and taps in stations are also cleaned and disinfected. Bus interiors will be cleaned twice a day and undergo a rigorous disinfection every week. Ventilation of buses has also improved by leaving the doors open while buses are parked at the open-air interchanges/terminals. Hand sanitisers have been placed at the Passenger Service Centres for use by commuters and staff at its bus interchanges.

Train interiors will also be cleaned throughout the day at the terminating stations – HarbourFront for the North East Line and Expo for the Downtown Line – and disinfected during engineering hours where the train floors will be mopped with strong disinfectants. The interiors of the Sengkang-Punggol Light Rail Vehicles will also be cleaned and disinfected daily.

The Group’s private bus operator, ComfortDelGro Bus, adopts the same cleaning regime as SBS Transit for its buses, including the driverless smart shuttle that is on passenger trial service at the National University of Singapore. Its driving centre has also been carrying out frequent cleaning and disinfecting of training vehicles, simulators, classrooms after lessons, all common facilities, general service counters as well as its eyesight test machines, while its rental and leasing business also cleans and disinfects rental vehicles after they are returned.

Similarly, ComfortDelGro Taxi has advised all its cabbies to clean and disinfect their taxis more frequently. To aid them in doing so, disinfecting solution will be distributed to all 11,000 taxis starting from 13 February. Hirers are encouraged to leave the disinfecting solution in the taxis so that it is available for their relief cabbies to use. Cabbies have also been advised to wind down their taxi windows when ferrying passengers with flu-like symptoms and after every completed trip to improve ventilation in their vehicles, and to offer passengers printed receipt for contact tracing purpose. A better alternative is for street hail passengers to download the ComfortDelGro Booking App and use “Pay for Street Hail” function for contact tracing. 

ComfortDelGro Taxi is also working closely with the Authorities and Associations to carry out twice daily temperature checks for its cabbies. From today (11 February 2020), temperature checks have been conducted at two of its refuelling stations at Yishun and Marymount from 7am to 11am and 4pm to 8pm. Additional locations, including Loyang and Pandan workshops will be added subsequently. Just as it was during the SARs epidemic in 2003, cabbies who have had their temperature checked will be given a sticker daily as proof of health. Those who are found to be having a fever will be told to stop work and seek medical help immediately.

On top of these added measures, cabbies, bus captains as well as frontline and backend staff have been reminded to remain vigilant and to adopt good personal hygiene practices, including wearing a face mask if they have respiratory symptoms such as a cough or shortness of breath. If they feel unwell, they should stop work and see a doctor immediately. They have also been advised to avoid all travel to Hubei Province and all non-essential travel to Mainland China. Those who have travelled to China recently will be required to go on Leave of Absence for 14 days upon their return to Singapore. Should they feel unwell, they are to seek medical attention promptly and to also inform their doctors of their travel history. 

ComfortDelGro Managing Director/Group CEO, Mr Yang Ban Seng, said: “As part of our business continuity plans, ComfortDelGro will continue to ensure that its frontline troops are equipped to perform their duties safely. We are also adopting split-work arrangements to ensure continuity and safety. We will continue to stay vigilant and to keep our staff and cabbies informed of developments as they unfold.”