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Oct 23, 2011

One-Man-Operation

Bus Conductress collecting bus fares in the 1970s. Source: National Archives of Singapore.

"One-Man-Operation" or the acronym "OMO" was the buzzword or a new concept among Singaporean commuters in the 1970s as a mode of transportation travelling by public buses.

To pick up a related topic and memories of my blogger friend Yeo Hong Eng had loquaciously blogged "My Experience with the Bus Transport in the 50s and 60s" here .

Hong Eng's vivid recollection of bus travelling experience in our early days as shown on the old photos on this blog, courtesy of the National Archives of Singapore.

"A man, casually dressed, had a small sling bag slung over his left shoulder came forward. Without a word, he pressed his empty single-holed puncher several times making rapid ‘click, click’ sounds".

To supplement Hong Eng's blog, this "blog to express" in self-explanatory pictures below:

As a transition moving from "two-men-operation" on the buses with a driver and a conductor to OMO, the changes in Man, Machines and Methods were as observed:

The first woman bus driver in 1974.

In the past, the bus drivers and conductors were "all-man" gender-specific and preference.

With more women in the workforce, the equal opportunities for jobs on the buses in Singapore evolved. There was no gender discrimination in an enlightened employers and management. The system engineers in the bus company introduced better working environment and conditions to benefit the staff and the commuters.

The collection of bus fares in crowded buses was replaced by a comfortably seated conductor stationed at the entrance of the two-doors buses.

Boarding the bus to queue in an orderly manner.

With extensive computerised systems by the bus companies and the launch of double-deck buses on the road, "One-Man-Operation" (OMO) brought about the evolution of bus transportation in Singapore.

The first fleet of double-decker buses in Singapore in 1977.

On the upper deck of the OMO double-decker bus.

The bus drivers were redesignated as "Bus Captains", a name which is appropriate to their job specification and roles.

The job restructure with new technologies using computerised prepaid farecards and ticketing machines enhanced the OMO bus fare collection systems. Although most bus collectors were made obsolete, they were upgraded and retrained, employed as drivers.

Collection of used bus tickets in Singapore as a hobby has been abandoned.

The new buses has also made the bus captain's job safer, more efficient and more productive. "One-Man-Operation" is job redesigned for a better trained and skilled workers, work process in a publc transportation service to benefit commuters to travel in comfort today.

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4 Comments:

Blogger lim said...

Personally, I'm really happy they removed the bus conductor. Too many times, I had seen bus conductors quarreling with passengers and scolding school children.

The introduction of woman drivers is a welcome change. I actually feel safer seating in a bus driven by a woman. They drive carefully, and are never too slow nor too fast. On the other hand, man drivers tend to rush along, and then slow down to a crawl when they feel they had too much time on hand or for whatever reason.

October 23, 2011 at 2:31 PM  
Blogger Icemoon said...

They still have bus conductors but their job is to spot-check on the non fare-paying passengers.

In case any of you wonder whether the photos of the first double decker buses are taken, I blogged about it here

October 23, 2011 at 7:30 PM  
Blogger dashing hongeng said...

With a computerised system of ticketing the chances of shortchanging or not issuing a ticket after the fare has paid, has reduced to a tickle. With O-M-O the driver is paid better and is less likely to siphon off fares.

October 23, 2011 at 11:02 PM  
Blogger dashing hongeng said...

With the computerised system of ticketing, shortchanging and non-isuing tickets to passengers after fares have been paid has been reduced to a tickle.

October 23, 2011 at 11:06 PM  

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