National Transport Worker’s Union (NTWU 2012) is striving of offering higher pay with more allowances for each bus drivers. It is considered as one of the ways to attract more drivers for new buses.


As early post of ‘foreigners can be recruited as bus drivers in Singapore’ explained, not many Singaporeans like to take the job of bus drivers even their pay higher than those drivers from China or Malaysia. The union expects to recruit new one and retain current drivers through increasing salaries and giving some increment for their seniorities. As the result, ‘SMRT has increased the basic monthly salary for new Singaporean bus drivers from $1,200 to $1,625 since May 1, 2012’ (Lee Xin En 2012). The new Singaporean bus drivers of ‘SBS Transit can expect a basic salary of S$1,600 compared to the current S$1,375’ (Yahoo! Newsroom 2012).


The increase starting basic pay will be a heavy cost to the transportation companies. They might have to find ways to reduce the cost and retain more profit such as from advertising on bus shelters.


To retain bus drivers who are professional and attract more locals and foreign workers, the union is working on the process to offer better working conditions and better remuneration for each driver. So drivers may have their own career development in the future instead of working as a driver for a lifetime.

Reference list:

Lee Xin En 2012, Straits Times: SMRT raises starting pay for local bus drivers, [online]. Available at URL: [Accessed 5 May 2012].

NTWU 2012, Objectives of NTWU, [online]. Available at URL: [Accessed 5 May 2012].

Yahoo! Newsroom 2012, Yahoo! News: SBS to raise S’porean bus drivers’ salaries by 16%, [online]. Available at URL:–salaries-by-16-.html [Accessed 5 May 2012].