Commuters May Expect Delays At Bus Interchanges Due To Infection Clusters
Singapore’s bus system has a longstanding reputation for being reliable. Most of the time, buses arrive on time, allowing for efficient movement.
However, the recent infection clusters affecting staff at bus interchanges islandwide could eventually translate to delays in bus arrival times.
The delays can reportedly range from 5 to 10 minutes, though they will likely affect services with low demand first, according to the Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) contingency plans.
Affected staff in clusters represent 3% of workers
In a press release on Thursday (2 Aug), LTA shared that 284 frontline staff in the bus interchanges have tested positive for Covid-19.
This represents only 3% of the 11,000 frontline staff in the bus sector.
With almost all of the transport frontline workers fully vaccinated, those who tested positive have only shown mild symptoms or are asymptomatic. None of the affected drivers has fallen seriously ill.
Enhanced safe management measures at bus interchanges
According to the LTA, public transport operators (PTOs) are working closely with the National Transport Workers’ Union to enhance safe management measures (SMMs).
These measures are meant to reduce workplace transmission and they include:
- Segregating staff resting and dining areas at bus interchanges
- Single seating at dining areas
- Doubling frequency of cleaning of high touch points at staff areas to twice every hour
- Accelerating ongoing installation of HEPA air purifiers at enclosed working areas
- Setting up physical separators at designated smoking areas.
Thankfully, there hasn’t been a huge impact on bus services so far. However, if there were to be another spate of infections, contingency plans are in place.
One of these plans includes progressively changing bus service timings, with the lower demand bus services impacted first.
The Straits Times reported that the delay could be by 5 to 10 minutes, as bus controllers will adjust the schedules when necessary.
Hope impacts of bus interchange clusters remain manageable
As the bus interchange clusters continue to report new cases, we are glad to know that PTOs are working quickly to mitigate the impacts.
While some changes resulting from the clusters are inevitable, we hope that they won’t affect operations severely.
We wish all the affected staff a smooth recovery and the best of health, so they can return to their normal routines soon.
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Featured image adapted from Boy_you_want_buses (Defunct) on Flickr.