SBS bus captain of 50 years, who drove over 40 routes during tenure, retires on his 71st birthday

He has driven routes spanning Changi to Tuas.

Jean Chien Tay | July 26, 2021, 10:25 AM

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A veteran bus captain of 50 years, Koh Yan Aun, has decided to call it a day and retire on his 71st birthday, July 21.

According to SBS Transit, he was one of its longest serving bus drivers.

In his interview with The Straits Times, Koh said he is stepping down after his recovery from lung cancer.

He told ST he had decided it was time for him to take a break.

Koh's fondest memories are of his family taking his bus.

Koh entered the industry at the age of 21, as he had always been fascinated with watching big buses and lorries since he was young. Since then, he has driven over 40 different routes, "from Changi to Tuas".

Modern technology have helped make drivers' lives easier

In his interview with Zaobao, he recalls a time when he had to pen down road names and memorise up to 40 bus routes. He thinks it's "much easier now" and "100 per cent accurate", with GPS equipped in the buses.

He also told ST he thinks buses nowadays are more comfortable to drive in, and likens it to "driving a BMW".

Facebook post

Following the retirement of the veteran bus captain, SBS Transit published a dedicated Facebook post to give their best wishes and show their appreciation for his years of service.

One of the sweet touches was the poem penned by one of his colleagues, here it is:

"𝗬oung and fearless he joined the fleet, faithfully driving to serve our needs.

𝗔bove and beyond that’s what he does, ensuring our rides are never a fuss.

𝗡ew Bus Captains look up to him, he leads with humility and with beam,

𝗔 leader, a mentor, a father, a friend - he played many roles to all of them.

𝗨nfortunately one day cancer came, "Fret not, I'll conquer" he proclaimed.

𝗡ow almost 50 years have gone by, each day he strives for work with pride. Now it's time for his new phase in life, we thank you for the legacy you leave behind."

Retiring in the best interest of his health, and his wife

As mentioned earlier, Koh had to undergo surgery after he was diagnosed with lung cancer, and he feels that his health has not been as good as it used to be, he tells Zaobao.

After taking into consideration advice from his family, he decided to not "sign the contract".

He tells ST he also plans to "make up for lost time", as he was often busy with work in the past and could not spend much time with his wife.

Now that he's retired, Koh is looking forward to spending more time with his wife, "we can eat and buy things together".

Top image via SBS Transit Ltd/Facebook