New premium shuttle bus to MRT for Serangoon residents December 13, 2009Posted by hafizbam in Bus, Premium Bus, Private operators, Something New, Transport Events.
Tags: Hillside Rosyth Neighbourhood Committee, premium bus service 595, Serangoon MRT station, Serangoon private estate
PREMIUM BUS SERVICE CHARGES A FLAT FARE OF $1.20 AND WILL SAVE RESIDENTS LONG TREKS
For years, getting to the nearest MRT station has been a hot, tiresome, 30-minute affair for Ms Amy Zhang.
The 36-year old Chinese expatriate lives in Glasgow Road, along Upper Serangoon Road. To get to work, she has to walk to the main road to catch a bus to the Serangoon MRT station and from there take the train to her workplace in Bugis.
But from tomorrow, her long treks will be a thing of the past.
The Hillside Rosyth Neighbourhood Committee (NC) has teamed up with the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and a private bus operator to launch a premium bus service for the private residential area.
This will provide much-needed relief for non-drivers like Ms Zhang.
“I used to spend so much money on taxis when I did not feel like walking,” said the education consultant. “But now I guess there’s no need any more.”
The air-conditioned service, bus number 595, was launched yesterday by MP for Aljunied GRC, Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, who also tried out the 19-seater bus.
The service will operate from Mondays to Saturdays at a flat fare of $1.20.
Covering 31 stops in the neighbourhood, the loop service runs at 20-minute intervals in the morning, afternoon and evening, taking residents to and from the Serangoon MRT station.
The route – which covers condominiums like Nouvelle Park and Palm Grove – was planned by residents in the neighbourhood as well as grassroots leaders from Serangoon constituency.
Last year, they formed a taskforce to look into the transport woes of those living in the area.
“We received a lot of feedback from residents so we sent a proposal to the LTA and managed to get a private company to provide the service,” said Mr John Leow, a 69-year old accountant who chaired the committee.
About 60 per cent of the residents in Serangoon live in private estates, and this is the third such service to be introduced in the constituency.
The other two services take residents in Upper Serangoon Road and Serangoon Gardens to Shenton Way.
If the newest shuttle bus service proves popular, the operator may be asked to ramp up the frequency.
Mrs Lim, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Finance and Transport, urged residents to support the service.
“We have to impress upon residents that now that you have an operator who is willing to come forward, we better make sure we have the demand to justify it,” she said.
“I think it is our responsibility to make sure we get in as many commuters as possible.”
– The Sunday Times, page 6, December 13 2009
The route for Premium 595 is as follows:
Serangoon North Avenue 1 > Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 > Yio Chu Kang Road > Poh Huat Road West > Kang Choo Bin Road > Palm Grove Avenue > Highland Road > Yio Chu Kang Link > Serangoon Central (MRT station) > Upper Serangoon Road > Boundary Road and return via the same route.
Besides serving the underserved private estate in Serangoon, the service also partly duplicates SBS Transit’s feeder service 315 in serving Serangoon North Avenue 1.
And as Mrs Lim Hwee Hua aptly puts it across, there is a need for the residents to support the bus service and use it to commute, instead of just complaining about the lack of transport options, but not patronising it once it’s up and running.
Hopefully this service will continue to run permanently with support from heavyweight MPs and vocal residents and not go the way of Cheery’s premium shuttle service 721 which used to link Sin Ming estate with Marymount MRT station for a short while earlier this year.