Singapore’s public transport operator SMRT today (Feb 18) said that they are considering to increase the basic salary of bus drivers after they losing over 126 bus drivers to new transport operators Go-Ahead and Tower Transit who took over the routes formerly managed by SMRT. Only 30% of over 180 affected drivers remained with SMRT when the government announced that SMRT lost its bid for some of the bus routes in Jurong and Changi.

Currently, SMRT drivers get S$1,625 basic salaries – the lowest among all. SBS drivers are paid S$1,775, while the two new operators offered S$1,865. SMRT’s Human Resource vice-president said that the company will consider increasing salaries to retain experienced drivers:

“We are watching to see whether our current structure will attract a fair number of bus captains. There may be some restructuring of the basic pay versus incentives to keep competitive.”

SMRT also intend to increase annual leaves of senior drivers from 14 to 18 days and build in-house clinics as an additional medical benefit. The company said they aim to increase headcount to 500, with the bulk being bus drivers.