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SBS Transit trials plastic shields on buses to protect drivers

SBS Transit - shields in buses 1.JPG
The transparent shields are made of polycarbonate, a strong plastic material.

SBS Transit.JPG
A PVC flap next to the shield enables the bus captain to get in and out of the cabin easily.

PUBLIC transport operator SBS Transit on Monday put up protective shields in six of its buses in Singapore, to minimise contact between the bus drivers and passengers in view of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

This is part of a two-week trial to gauge the usability and effectiveness of such screens, the mainboard-listed company said in a press statement.

The transparent shields are made of polycarbonate, a strong plastic material.

They are modelled after the ones being trialled in ComfortDelGro's taxis, but have several modifications for use on buses. ComfortDelGro is SBS Transit's parent company.

For instance, there is a side opening to ensure that the view of the bus' left-side mirror is not obstructed.

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There is also a transparent film applied on the shield to minimise distraction from reflections on the surface.

The modified design also allows the bus captains to get out of their seats easily when they need to assist passengers. This is achieved with a flap on the side which the drivers can enter and exit from.

Locally manufactured, the protective shields were designed and installed on the buses by Moove Media, which is ComfortDelGro's wholly-owned outdoor advertising arm.

SBS Transit said the shields' design will be improved upon based on feedback received from the bus captains during the trial.

Results from the trial will also be shared with the Land Transport Authority, so that the statutory board can assess the suitability of a fleet-wide installation.

SBS Transit's acting chief executive officer Cheng Siak Kian said: "Our bus captains are on the frontline 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 shields are installed for bus services 19, 28, 147, 196, 198 and 249.

In May, ComfortDelGro started fitting its plastic shields in 400 taxis, covering the driver's cabin entirely but featuring two "window" openings for passengers to make payment.

Shares of SBS Transit were down S$0.02 or 0.7 per cent to trade at S$2.98 as at the midday break on Monday.

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