Friday, September 24, 2010

The Latest Bus News

Photo: Straits Times

In their quarterly review of bus services, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and public transport operators announced yesterday that more buses have been added on 11 heavily utilised stretches bus services during peak periods.

In a joint statement, the LTA, SBS Transit and SMRT said SBS Transit has identified nine heavily-utilised bus services for improvement and that more double-deck buses have been deployed and additional bus trips have been added to these four services.
On another five, the operator will add additional bus trips.

SBS Transit will add more bus trips later this month, on Service 15.
SMRT will also be adding more buses and trips to two of its heavily utilised services.

It will also be launching a new express bus service 868 on Tuesday September 28 that will take commuters an hour to get to the city. The bus service will run from Bukit Batok to the heart of Central Business District (CBD), another travel option during the morning peak hours in about an hour.

The improved bus services are:
 5 - Pasir Ris Interchange-Bukit Merah Interchange
15 - Pasir Ris Interchange-Marine Parade Road (loop service)
17 - Pasir Ris Interchange-Bedok Interchange (loop service)
58 - Bishan Interchange-Pasir Ris Interchange
78 - Jurong East Interchange-Clementi Avenue 3 (loop service)
97 - Jurong East Interchange-Marina Centre Terminal
174 - Boon Lay Interchange-New Bridge Road Terminal
190 - Choa Chu Kang Interchange-New Bridge Road Terminal
240 - Boon Lay Interchange-Yung Ho Road (loop service)
410 - Bishan Interchange-Upper Thomson Road/ Sin Ming Avenue
856 - Yishun Interchange-Woodlands Regional Interchange


Seeing that the queue with 'umrah' visa was very long, we were ushered to get our passports endorsed at the work permit lanes as the lanes were many, and with shorter queues.

There, Chinese nationals who flew in with SIA, were photographed by immigration officers at the counters. Their 10 fingers-fingerprints were obtained too.

It was said that their arrivals is needed for the coming 'haj' season this November.
Although starting this year, GOD willing, trains will be plying between the 4km distance Muzdalifah and Mina, these Chinese national services will be needed too - they will be driving SAPTCO, the Saudi's buses.
The Muslims will drive around Mecca and Medinah.
The rest, around Jeddah and the neighbouring areas.


An Indonesian driver drove us to Medinah and Mecca.
Once, he asked me about any job opportunity in Singapore or JB as he wants to work at this side of the world when his 2-year work permit expire.
I told him that many people envy him for getting to work in the holy place, but holiness did not matter to him - he wants a job that he wants.

For our 'miqat' trip in Tanaim, we waited 3 hours for him to make his appearance.
And for the sightseeing trip around Mecca, he simply disappeared - his place was taken by an Arabic man until our last bus day back to Jeddah International Airport for our flight back to Singapore.

Judging from the 2 men's driving experience and knowledge of places, the latter is better on the road, because, perhaps  its his motherland.

1 comment:

RoseBelle said...

Interesting conversation you had with the driver. It shows how times are tough now and people are willing to relocate to another country to find work. And you are right, many people do envy those who get to work in a holy place but for those who work there may feel the wages are too low.