SMRT Corporation has converted 20 buses from its fleet into special vehicles for COVID-19-related operations.
Called COVID-19 Multi-Passenger Enhanced Transporter (COMET MAXI), these vehicles will help facilitate the mass transfer of passengers between facilities – including hospitals, dormitories and various community facilities.
The initiative is a joint effort between SMRT, Singapore-based engineering firm HOPE Technik and Sheares Healthcare, with the support of Temasek Foundation.
Engineered for the safety of all on board, the COMET MAXI has the driver and the passengers located in two compartments separated by a completely sealed divider. Each compartment has its own independent air-conditioning system, which allows air circulation within both cabins to be separated.
The driver’s compartment has two additional seats for accompanying paramedics, if they are needed.
The passengers’ compartment is equipped with a Negative Pressure System with a HEPA filter. This will help ensure that only clean air is filtered out from the passengers’ compartment.
The COMET MAXIs, which can take more than 30 passengers in the passengers’ compartment, have been deployed since May 6. Prior to deployment, COMET MAXI drivers need to undergo 20 hours of training conducted by SMRT, including familiarisation with operating the vehicles’ safety features such as the Negative Pressure System.
To further protect the drivers, they will also have to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) while on duty.
In support of Temasek Foundation’s “Stay Prepared” initiative, SMRT has worked with Sheares Healthcare and HOPE Technik to design and produce COMET MAXIs to transport passengers," said Seah Moon Ming, Chairman, SMRT Corporation.
"We are glad to support this meaningful initiative by leveraging our operational and technical capabilities in public transport.”