Training Buses are buses from various transport operators (SBS Transit, SMRT, Tower Transit & Go Ahead Singapore) that have been delegated to driver training duties. Bus Operators (PTOs) maintain a small fleet of such buses specifically for full-time training use, however other buses may be used.
Driver training encompasses a few disciplines. In its most basic form, drivers are trained for the basic operation of buses before they can acquire their license. During the training phase, specialized training buses will be used. These buses are usually modified from their revenue service counterparts, with additional L-plate holders (which indicates under instruction), safety cameras mounted on the bus exterior, and an additional seat fitted beside the driver’s cab for the driving instructor. This additional features are not compulsory; ordinary revenue service buses can also be used as training buses when not deployed on the roads.
At the end of basic training, bus captains working for public bus companies have an Omnibus Driver’s Vocational Licence, valid only while the holder is an omnibus driver a Public Transport operator, mainly SBS Transit Ltd, SMRT Buses Ltd, Tower Transit Singapore Pte Ltd or Go Ahead Loyang Pte Ltd.
Apart from basic training, bus and route familiarization may also utilize training buses. Bus drivers receiving additional training for the operating of new bus models (or high-capacity buses) undergo additional training which usually does not require the need for specially retrofitted training buses. Currently, SBS Transit and SMRT allow drivers (who have been with the company for a few years) to undergo additional training for the operation of double-deck and/or bendy buses, which require additional care while handling.
Next, route familiarization trains drivers on existing or new bus routes, ensuring that they are familiar with the route before the drivers can be deployed on service. It can be conducted with or without the need for dedicated training buses. Sometimes, route familiarization can be conducted whilst on revenue service (with a route instructor).
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