Singapore expects longer bus waits as COVID sickens drivers

File photo of an SBS bus. Photo: @dkim278
File photo of an SBS bus. Photo: @dkim278

Singapore’s buses may not arrive on time in the coming days as a growing number of their drivers take ill.

Bus provider SBS Transit apologized this afternoon for longer waits due to an outbreak of COVID-19 that has spread among its staff, leading to 80 bus captains calling in sick.

“With the rising wave of COVID-19 infection in the community, the number of Bus Captains (BC) being affected by the virus has been on the increase,” they wrote. “Today, there was an unprecedented surge in the number of BCs who have reported ill. This has led to a shortage of close to 80 BCs, resulting in longer waiting times for some bus services.”

The bus service said that 99% of its bus captains are vaccinated, and those infected are recovering in isolation with mild or no symptoms.

It added that bus intervals will be increased and more double-deck buses deployed to reduce the fallout.

The Land Transport Authority also prepared passengers for additional delays.

“We are monitoring the situation closely to minimise disruption,” it said at about 1pm. “However, should the number of cases climb further, commuters may see an increase in waiting times for more bus services.”

Singapore is seeing its highest number of cases ever with 9,082 new infections and nine fatalities reported yesterday. Infections have been surging since New Year’s Day, with a one-day high of 13,000 reached last week. About 64% of the population has received a booster shot.

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