It was raining heavily when Service 139 pulled into the bus bay at River Valley Road. It was clear to Senior Bus Captain Chin Min Jiang that most of his would be passengers did not have umbrellas with them so what did he do? He got out of his bus, opened his umbrella and started sheltering the passengers one by one up the bus.
Senior BC Chin is not alone in his pursuit of good service. There are many others like him in SBS Transit. Take the example of Senior Bus Captain Salehudin Bin Hashim who once helped a student pay her bus fare when she had no money. In fact, Senior BC Salehudin's helpful nature extends not just to his commuters, but to other road users as well. Once, he went out of his way to help a despatch rider locate a building after the latter lost his way.
Even new Bus Captains like Senior Bus Captain Lee Beng Hoong are quick to lend a helping hand. Just 16 months into the job, Senior Bus Captain Lee has received 20 compliments from members of the public for making their day. In fact, his very first compliment came on his first day of work - when he helped an elderly passenger carry her heavily laden grocery cart up the bus without hesitation.
Examples of these heartwarming acts of kindness and consideration have earned our Bus Captains numerous commendations from members of the public who were touched by their consideration. For their efforts, 19 Bus Captains today received the STAR Award from the Chairman of SBS Transit, Mr Lim Jit Poh.
They each received $500 cash, a 22k gold STAR pendant and a STAR collar pin to be worn as part of their Bus Captain's uniform.
STAR - which means Special Tribute And Recognition - is an annual award given to outstanding SBS Transit's frontline staff who consistently provide good customer service, demonstrate good product knowledge and show a strong commitment to safe driving over a period of three years.
"As a service-oriented organisation, we are heartened when our commuters share with us about their positive encounters with our Bus Captains. We thank them for their effort as their kind words do encourage our Bus Captains greatly. Indeed, we are proud of our STARs for they are a good reflection of our commitment to quality service," said Mr Gan Juay Kiat, Chief Operating Officer, SBS Transit.
He added, "act of courtesy or kindness is too small. Every little bit counts and I am glad that more and more of our Bus Captains have come to realise this. We will build upon this and continue to invest efforts in service quality training for our Bus Captains as we recognise that this contributes towards a more pleasant journey for commuters."
To date since the award began in 1997, 274 frontline staff have been honoured.
In conjunction with the STAR Award, Mr Lim also presented Zero Accident and Safety Performance Awards to 4 workshops and 1 warehouse. They were rewarded for not having any industrial accidents during the year. In addition, they chalked fewer than 20.5 cases of safety non-compliance cases per million man hours worked.