SBS Transit has installed transparent protective shields around the driver's seat on six of its buses to better ensure the safety of its bus drivers.
SBS Transit installs plastic shields for bus captains To better ensure the safety of its bus drivers, SBS Transit has installed transparent protective shields around the driver\'s seat on six of its buses. PHOTO: ST FILE

To better ensure the safety of its bus drivers, SBS Transit has installed transparent protective shields around the driver's seat on six of its buses.


The public transport operator said yesterday that this is part of a two-week trial to gauge the effectiveness of protective screens amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The shields are made of polycarbonate, a hard plastic material. They aim to minimise potential contact between bus drivers and their passengers, to further reduce the risk of coronavirus infection. They are modelled after the ones being trialled in 400 ComfortDelGro taxis, but have been modified for use on buses.

The installation of taxi shields was completed in the middle of last month, and ComfortDelGro said the trial will run for at least a few months. Eight in 10 passengers in these taxis said the shield made them feel safer, in a survey conducted by the taxi giant. Like the taxi shield, the bus shield covers the driver's cabin.

A side opening allows an unobstructed view of the bus' left side mirror and the side flap makes it easy for drivers to get out of their seats to assist passengers in need. To minimise reflection, a transparent film has been applied on the shield. The locally manufactured screens were designed and installed by Moove Media, a wholly owned subsidiary of ComfortDelGro, the parent company of SBS Transit.

SBS Transit Acting Chief Executive Cheng Siak Kian said: "Our bus captains are on the front line where they serve many commuters daily. Given the prolonged and uncertain situation with COVID-19, we think the protective shield is an idea worth exploring to enhance protection for our bus captains."

The six buses that have been fitted with the shields are on services 19, 28, 147, 196, 198 and 249. The Straits Times understands that SMRT has submitted a proposal to the Land Transport Authority to trial protective shields on its buses and is evaluating their use for its taxis. When contacted, SMRT said it will provide details later.

Tower Transit and Premier Taxis said they currently have no plans to install protective shields in the vehicles they manage.