Driving same bus service drives them closer

These siblings do not just work together, they even drive the same bus service.

Brothers Foo Kim Siong, 50, and Foo Kim Ming, 47, used to ply the route from Woodlands to Ang Mo Kio on the 169 service.

Commuters often used to mix them up, said the younger Mr Foo.

He told The New Paper in Mandarin: "If they missed the 169 bus (that my brother was driving), they would be confused when they boarded my bus as we looked alike back then."

They have worked for transport operator SMRT for 18 years. Mr Foo is now a chief bus captain and his older brother is a senior bus captain.

Mr Foo said they used to work in their family's minimart business in Kulai, Malaysia, until it was hit by the economic downturn in 1997.

A year later, on a friend's recommendation, they packed their bags to come here and have not looked back since.


Both agreed that working together has brought them closer as they could share their experiences and tips with each other.

The older Mr Foo said: "The initial years were tough because we were so unfamiliar with the roads, but we helped each other along the way."

They traded stories of how they had to clean up vomit from ill commuters and resolve verbal fights between passengers.

Today, they no longer have a fixed bus service to drive.

Read also: Sibling bus captains prove age is no matter

They are stationed at Woodlands Temporary Bus Interchange and would take on the service that requires a driver.

One of the perks of the job is becoming friends with regular commuters, they said.

The duo bantered about who is treated better by their friends.

The younger Mr Foo said: "I received more red packets than my brother last year because I worked on the first day of Chinese New Year."

His brother replied: "But I have commuters who pack dinner for me when I am on the night shift."

Mr Tan Kian Heong, managing director of SMRT Buses & Roads Service, said: "I'm very happy to see our people working together, united in purpose and bonding as one 'SMRT family' to serve our commuters."

He added that having the siblings work together is a testament that people trust SMRT Buses to "provide a meaningful and fulfilling career for them and their families".

Mr Tan said: "We care for our people and want to nurture and develop them to their fullest potential."


This article was first published on Feb 18, 2017.
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