Longer Waiting Times for Buses May Be Expected if Bus Interchange Clusters Continue to Grow


If there’s one thing we Singaporeans like to do, it’s complaining. 

While guzzling bubble tea and queueing up for 4D tickets are enjoyable, complaining allows us to vent the inherent frustration and cynicism all of us on this tiny island are born with.

Whether it’s MRT disruptions, GST hikes, or literally anything about CPF, we’ll grumble about if someone’s listening.

Well, if cases keep increasing at bus interchanges clusters, it may not be the pandemic we’re whinging about, but longer waiting times for buses. 

Longer Waiting Times for Buses May Be Expected if Bus Interchange Clusters Continue to Grow

That’s right, commuters might have to scroll through Instagram or read Goody Feed articles for a little longer at the bus stop while waiting for their ride.

If the clusters linked to staff working at bus interchanges keep growing, as observed in the last few days, we might have to wait longer for buses.

According to a statement by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), the clusters have not yet had a major impact on bus operations.

However, LTA said it has worked with the public transport operators to develop contingency plans that can be implemented quickly to “minimise the impact on commuters should more cases emerge from ongoing community surveillance testing.”

These contingency plans were actually drawn up before the pandemic, in case manpower took a severe hit.

“Any lengthening of bus service headways required will be progressive, starting with low demand bus services to minimise the impact on commuters,” it said.

Reader: So, how long are we talking here?

The Straits Times reported that the adjustment in bus schedules could lead to waiting times going up by five to ten minutes.

Reader: I need to pen a lengthy post on Facebook immediately explaining why this is the worst thing to happen in our country!

One bus service has reportedly already had its operating intervals lengthened.

8 Clusters Linked to Bus Interchange Staff; 341 Cases in Total

At the moment, there are eight active COVID-19 clusters linked to staff working at bus interchanges.

They are:

  • Tampines bus interchange staff – 24 cases
  • Boon Lay bus interchange staff – 74 cases
  • Jurong East bus interchange staff – 30 cases
  • Bishan bus interchange staff – 29 cases
  • Clementi bus interchange staff – 23 cases
  • Toa Payoh bus interchange – 104 cases
  • Punggol bus interchange – 32 cases
  • Sengkang bus interchange – 25 cases

In total, there are 341 infections linked to these clusters. The largest bus interchange cluster, at Toa Payoh, saw 10 more additions yesterday.

LTA: Over 95% of Public Transport Workers Fully Vaccinated

According to LTA, over 95% of public transport frontline workers are fully vaccinated.

More than 99% have also received their first dose of the vaccine.

In addition to surveillance testing, the authorities have enhanced safe management measures to reduce the likelihood of further transmission.

These include:

  • Segregating staff resting and dining areas at bus interchanges
  • Single seating at dining areas
  • Doubling the frequency of cleaning of high touch points at staff areas to at least once every hour
  • Accelerating ongoing installation of HEPA air purifiers at enclosed working areas
  • Setting up physical separators at designated smoking areas

Hopefully, the coronavirus can take a break so our poor, privileged butts won’t have to suffer on those grey or orange seats for too long.

Understand the importance of getting vaccinated here:

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Featured Image: Kaie Lee/shutterstock.com