Tower Transit Announces Full Strength of Bus Captains With a Singaporean Core – Three in Four Are Citizens or Permanent Residents


Singapore’s third local bus operator Tower Transit has built a strong Singaporean core in its team of Bus Captains. All 448 of its new Bus Captains are Singapore citizens or Permanent Residents (PRs). Another 364, affected Bus Captains who currently drive the 26 bus services to be progressively taken over by Tower Transit from 29 May 2016, bring the full strength of its Bus Captains to 812, and the total proportion of citizens and permanent residents to 77%.


PUBLISHED April 29, 2016

Singapore’s third local bus operator Tower Transit has built a strong Singaporean core in its team of Bus Captains. All 448 of its new Bus Captains are Singapore citizens or Permanent Residents (PRs). Another 364, affected Bus Captains who currently drive the 26 bus services to be progressively taken over by Tower Transit from 29 May 2016, bring the full strength of its Bus Captains to 812, and the total proportion of citizens and permanent residents to 77%.

“Back in May last year when we were first awarded the Bulim Package, we prepared ourselves for the uphill task of recruiting talented Singaporeans to captain our buses. We weren’t however prepared for the wave of interest that followed,” said Andrew Bujtor, MD, Tower Transit Singapore. “In December 2015, at the mid-point of our recruitment campaign, we announced a 70% Singaporean core. Today we’ve exceeded that and built a team with a strong Singaporean identity. Three in four of our Bus Captains are Singaporeans or PRs. This is unprecedented in the local public bus industry.”

A closer look at the profile of Tower Transit’s 448 new Bus Captains reveals demographics that buck industry trends.

Attracting new talents to the public bus industry

278 or over 60% of Tower Transit’s new Bus Captains are entering the public bus industry for the first time. While the majority come from other driving professions, up to 30% were in non-driving vocations from industries as diverse as retail, services, F&B, logistics and manufacturing. More than 90 were hired with only a passenger car licence and had their training for class 4 licences sponsored by the company. In addition, 117 former Bus Captains have returned to the industry to join Tower Transit.

Each new Bus Captain will be put through 9 weeks of rigorous training which includes safety driving techniques, incident management and approximately 135 hours on the road as part of route familiarisation.

“I was really drawn to Tower Transit because it is introducing new ways of doing things like professionalising the role of a Bus Captain. I wanted to be part of that culture and have a small, but pioneering role in the changing transport landscape,” said former IT consultant, Lee Shao Xiang, 29.

Lower average age

Tower Transit has attracted younger people to join the company as Bus Captains, its youngest being 21 years-old. The median age of its new Bus Captains is 43 years-old, 15 years less than the industry’s median of 58, while average age is 46 years-old. The average age of Singaporean affected Bus Captains joining Tower Transit is 55 years-old.

“We’re trying to introduce a Tower Transit culture, not just jobs. We’ve got a flat structure and a lot of open engagement between Bus Captains and management. As a result, we’ve been able to attract talented young people, senior Captains looking for new horizons, and Captains with unrivalled experience on our 26 routes,” said Mr Bujtor.

“To our passengers: we’ve got a good team of eager, passionate people. I hope you’ll get behind them and encourage them to deliver the best possible public bus experience for Singapore,” he said.

From May 2015, more than 5,000 people, not including affected Bus Captains, formally expressed interest in joining Tower Transit as Bus Captains. Over 2,000 are Singaporean citizens and PRs.