SBS Transit gets its first Caucasian bus captain
The next time you board a bus, a driver may also greet you with a cheerful "goeie more" (pronounced ho-yah mo-ra) on your morning commute.
That will be Mr Daniel Jacobus Ellis wishing you good morning in his native Afrikaans, one of the 11 official languages of South Africa.
The 34-year-old started his training to be a bus captain in February and has been driving with SBS Transit since April.
He is the only Caucasian employed by the firm as a bus captain. SBS Transit has about 5,800 bus captains.
He is believed to be the only bus captain here from South Africa.
He said he had previously worked as a freelance business analyst here, but turned to the bus company for a stable job.
"I saw an ad at the LRT station advertising positions for bus captains, and I thought to myself, why not give it a try," he said.
Mr Ellis - who moved here in 2011 when he married his Singaporean wife - gained his citizenship two years ago.
Home is a four-room Build-To-Order Housing Board flat in Punggol which he shares with his wife, a school counsellor.
To keep himself alert during his 12-hour long shifts - which can see him start the day as early as 2.45am - he enjoys a cup of kopi gao (thick coffee) from the Hougang Central Bus Interchange canteen.
Mr Lee Teck Chuan, the interchange manager, said Mr Ellis projects "a very professional image". - THE STRAITS TIMES