SMRT launches new bus training centre

SINGAPORE - Transport operator SMRT has opened a new bus training centre, which will allow bus drivers to learn how to navigate different buses, weather, and road conditions virtually before starting on the job.

In a statement on Thursday, SMRT announced that its new Bus Training and Evaluation Centre (BTEC) would be a centre for research, development, training and evaluation to promote better management of bus service safety and reliability.

This is done through closer coordination between bus captains and service coordinators, who monitor buses on the roads with GPS satellite trackers.

The centre, located at the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability in Jurong East, houses an Integrated Driving and Service Control (iDSC) simulator that employs the latest simulation technolgies to create virtual traffic scenarios.

This enables bus captains to be well-prepared for situations which may be dangerous to practise in real life.

The centre also has a total of eight Full Cabin Simulators and eight Bus Simulator Trainers, which will improve training quality and safety for bus drivers.

Open to both public and private bus operators, it has the capacity to train up to 8,000 bus professionals in a year.

It was set up in collaboration with the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) and the National Transport Workers' Union as part of a joint initiative to drive the professionalisation of Singapore's bus industry.

Senior Minister of State for Transport Mrs Josephine Teo, who opened the BTEC and was given a full tour of its facilities, said that professionalising bus careers would enhance their attractiveness to prospective entrants to the industry.

She added that there are merits to consolidating training resources, and that the Public Transport Tripartite Committee had held discussions to bring about greater alignment of training efforts.