The Tower Transit Study Grants are awarded to students to upskill themselves in the transport industry. Tower Transit, a passenger transport operator specialising in bus franchising, is driven by innovation and ideas. It works with governments to bring safe, clean, reliable and efficient bus services to key cities.
A conversation on how
transport and logistics
Technology That Moves
Mr Toh: The power of technology to enhance almost all sectors is huge, including improving inclusivity.
For us at Tower Transit, which is in the transport sector, we’ve been involved in many discussions with commuters from all walks of life. We see plenty of room for technology to make public transport more welcoming to the elderly and people with disabilities.
Technology can also greatly improve public transport safety. I believe we’re only starting to scratch the surface of fatigue management technology. More can be done to help professional drivers stay alert on the roads.
Ding Cheng: As for me, I was working in a freight forwarding company before embarking on further studies. At the time, I witnessed many exciting digitalisation projects.
Just imagine a one-stop online platform for customers to get instant quotations, book their cargo delivery and use electronic proofs of delivery instead of physical copies. It’s already happening. The platform empowers the customer because he or she can now digitally manage the entire logistical process and cut out the middlemen.
Ushering an Era of Automation
Ding Cheng: Most of us know by now that automation will very much be a part of our lives, which is both an opportunity and a challenge.
In logistics, task allocation can now be automated via the transport management system. Even more game-changing is the automated warehouse, which enables better utilisation of space with a seamless end-to-end warehousing process.
Mr Toh: Automation is similarly changing the transport sector. Autonomous vehicles may appear on our roads sooner than we think.
To prepare for this, Singapore is advancing the development and regulation of autonomous vehicle technology by establishing a set of national standards. These standards will guide the design of various towns to be ready for autonomous bus deployment as early as 2022.
Ding Cheng: Well, that’s certainly fascinating! I agree that we’ll need to prepare people quickly for the era of automation. Many are concerned about job security while having to adapt to new technologies and the safety issues that arise.
Mr Toh: Indeed. We’re constantly upskilling our transport workers so that they can keep up with technological advancements.
A People Business
Mr Toh: Public transport is ultimately a people business. So, it’s not just about technology. There is still a need to nurture a gracious and caring commuting culture for public transport to be enjoyable and efficient.
Ding Cheng: Yes, truly effective services have people at its heart. What also got me interested in logistics is how people with different skills are needed to manage the complexities of a supply chain across its various stages. It’s not as easy as simply implementing a technological solution.
MR TOH: I agree; what remains important in the future is the flexibility of applying skills from different disciplines to jobs in our industries. This is especially so as our industries will continue to evolve rapidly, whether due to technology or changing needs.
How Tower Transit is training Bus Captains to drive happiness on the roads.
MR TOH: “Tower Transit is embarking on a plan called ‘Every Bus Captain a Customer Service Officer’. We believe that autonomous buses will reshape the job of the Bus Captain, making it less about driving and more about customer service.
Our aim is to train all our Bus Captains using the Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) Service Excellence Competency Framework, which professionalises service careers. The WSQ training will prepare our Bus Captains for the changes that new technology will bring and, of course, improve customer service standards to bring more joy to all our commuters.
Needless to say, efforts to upskill transport workers align with Singapore’s Continuing Education and Training initiative, which SUSS champions so strongly!”