Should SMRT Bus Drivers Know How To Speak English?
"Driver went on STRIKE, did not want to continue the journey and all of us had to change to the next 969 bus..."
Like most things these days, it all began with a Facebook post.
On Saturday, Facebook user Fareen Salauddin put up a post about a dispute that happened on SMRT bus service 969. According to Fareen’s account, 2 small kids, aged around 2 and 4, had boarded the bus and the bus captain had insisted that they pay the bus fare. Fareen writes, “but the driver can’t tell how much is the fare in ENGLISH.”
Apparently, there was some sort of dispute as a result of which the, “Driver went on STRIKE, did not want to continue the journey and all of us had to change to the next 969 bus. Waste all of the passenger’s fare and time.. “
Finally, Fareen has 2 suggestions to prevent such incidents in future, “Please send your FOREIGN drivers for a basic English Speaking course to interact with passengers who can’t speak in Chinese. Number 2, please revise your “Child Bus Fare” requirements.. now year 2017 going 2018 already.. All children below 7 years are tall already…”
The Facebook user also added that one of the children who paid for the bus fare was 0.86 m tall.
The post seems to have resonated well with readers for it got shared more than 2000 times. It has since then been taken down.
Meanwhile, SMRT has responded to the allegations in a separate Facebook post. It has apologised for the incident and is looking into the issue, “Some of you may have come across the post of an SMRT Bus Captain refusing to continue the operation of bus service 969 over a fare disagreement with a passenger due to communication difficulties.”
“We would like to assure the public that we take such feedback very seriously and we are currently looking into this matter. We apologise for the inconvenience caused to all affected passengers.”
“We would also like to reassure that our Bus Captains do attend classes to improve their ability to understand and converse in English. They are also encouraged to seek help from other passengers if they do encounter communication difficulties. So please help where you can. Thank you.”
We wonder if all this confusion arose over BOTH age and height requirements for free child travel in Singapore?
According to TransitLink’s website, “With the enhanced concession scheme kicking in on 6 April 2014, children under 7 years old can travel for FREE on basic bus services, express bus services and trains.
If your child is above 0.9m in height, below 7 years old and not in Primary School, you may apply for a Child Concession Card. The card will be valid for use till 30 April of the year the child turns 7 years old.
All children up to 0.9m in height and accompanied by a fare-paying commuter will travel for free.”
What do you feel, parents? Let us know your opinion about the issue in the comments below!