SBS Transit to try out plastic shields to protect bus drivers
In an effort to better ensure the safety of its bus captains, SBS Transit has installed transparent protective shields around the driver's seat on six of its buses.
The public transport operator said yesterday the move is part of a two-week trial to gauge the effectiveness of the protective screens.
The shields are made of polycarbonate, a hard plastic material, and they aim to minimise potential contact between bus drivers and their passengers to further reduce the risk of a coronavirus infection.
They are modelled after the ones being trialled in 400 Comfort DelGro taxis but have been modified for use on buses.
The installation of taxi shields was completed last month and Comfort DelGro said the ongoing 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 distraction from reflections, a transparent film has been applied on the shield.
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 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 the use of protective shields in their buses and are evaluating the need to do the same for their taxis.