An elderly man was seen in a video raging at an SBS bus driver for his slow driving which caused the bus driver distress, leading him to stop the vehicle on road to call the helpline for assistance.
The video posted on the Facebook page of All Singapore Stuff on Thursday (9 April) has gained traction online and sparked the discussion among netizens.
In the video, an elderly man was seen speaking coarsely and loudly to the driver, scolding the driver for slow driving as the elderly commuter is in a hurry to go to the market to buy vegetables.
The driver started arguing with the man, saying that he has to adhere to the time schedules and could not speed up.
The elderly man seemed like he didn’t understand and went on to say, “What are you talking about? Follow the time? You are just a driver. It’s none of your business.”
He then continued to nag at the driver, asking him to stop talking and hurry up.
Meanwhile, one of the commuters, who is also the person recording the video, stepped in between to stop the passenger from talking and apologised to the driver.
The driver was distressed by the man’s coarse and insulting manner as he proceeded to stop driving in order to call the helpline for assistance.
He complained to the helpline that he is too upset and decided to stop the bus at the roadside because his body was “trembling” after being insulted by the commuter – who called him a ‘dead person’ who does not know how to drive.
He explained that he is actually performing his duty and responsibility by adhering to the allotted schedule set up by control centres, but the commuter did not seem to understand his explanation.
Bus operators adhere to the Bus Service Reliability Framework (BSRF)
In the past, we have also seen a similar incident where a commuter lost patience with the bus driver who stopped and waited at every single stop along the route, even when the stops were empty.
According to the Land Transport Authority (LTA), the Bus Service Reliability Framework (BSRF) was introduced in 2014 as a way to improve the regularity and reliability of bus services, while reducing instances of bus bunching and prolonged waiting times.
The regularity of a bus service will be measured based on the Excess Wait Time (EWT), which is the percentage of on-time arrivals at bus stops compared with the operator’s published schedule via an indicator called On-Time Adherence (OTA).
Under the OTA, a bus is considered on time when it is no more than 2 minutes early and no more than 5 minutes late.
The bus operators will also be given incentives for the improvement of regularity and penalised if there is deterioration in regularity.
It was noted that for every 6 seconds of over-performance or under-performance in EWT score when compared to the baseline, operators face anywhere from a monthly incentive amount of $6,000 or a monthly penalty of $4,000 respectively.
So to qualify for an incentive of $2,000 per month for every 2 percent of OTA improvement, busses are expected to be on time more than 87 percent per day. On the other hand, for every 2 percent deterioration in OTA per month, operators are fined $1,300.
Netizens expressed sympathy to bus driver, reminding commuter to be more considerate in the midst of tough period
Upon viewing the video, many netizens commented that it is understandable that bus drivers have to comply with their schedule, and that they would control their speed and manage their need to reach the bus stops at a certain timing. Arriving either too early or too late to at bus stops might cause them to be penalised.
Some netizens also spoke out in support of the bus driver, critising the elderly man for his “self-entitled” and “rotten” manner. The netizens said the man should be thankful and respectful that these essential service workers who are “merely carrying out the system” but still service at the frontline in the midst of a tough period.
“Instead of hurling abuse at the driver, you should just be grateful that there’s still a bus service plying the streets, taking you to where you need to go,” one netizen wrote.
By not taking sides, some netizens also opined that everyone should be more considerate and understand each other during these sensitive times. One netizen wrote, “Sometimes we have to be more sensitive towards words especially during this periods [because] you never know what have they been facing,”
However, there are some netizens who urged the bus company to find a better solution by having a review and making adjustments so that it can be a ‘win-win’ situation for both drivers and commuters.
There were also two netizens, one working as a frontline worker and another as a bus driver, who voiced out that they are not being appreciated by the commuters though they are working tirelessly during the current COVID-19 outbreak.
(Translated: I also experienced commuters scolding me for being ‘so late’. I was so sad at the moment as the commuters would not understand the reason of bus for being early or late. To put the safety of passengers first, I will start driving after all the passengers sit down. But some commuters will purposely walk slowly and that results in delaying the time.)