Capsule figurines pay tribute to bus sector staff

Mr Yeo Kwang Seng, 59, picking up a capsule with a figurine of a bus industry worker from a Gachapon dispenser. The machines will make their rounds at different bus interchanges this week. There will be 4,000 capsules with six different characters pl
Mr Yeo Kwang Seng, 59, picking up a capsule with a figurine of a bus industry worker from a Gachapon dispenser. The machines will make their rounds at different bus interchanges this week. There will be 4,000 capsules with six different characters placed at each of the five locations.PHOTO: ALICIA CHAN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

While more often found in shopping malls, Gachapon dispensers - vending machines which give out plastic capsules with toys inside- will be making their way around Singapore's bus interchanges this week.

Instead of trinkets, however, commuters can collect figurines of bus industry workers, such as bus captains and conductors.

The capsule machines, which were launched yesterday at Jurong East bus interchange, will move to Yishun bus interchange today and will be accessible to the public from 2pm to 4pm.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) initiative celebrates the jobs of those in the bus sector.

A spokesman said: "The Singapore bus industry has undergone many changes since our early days. Notwithstanding this, our bus conductors and drivers remain iconic in their distinctive uniforms and unique roles."

To redeem a capsule, commuters have to show that they have followed or "liked" one of LTA's social media channels: Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

With each capsule, commuters also get a ticket stub, which they can use to redeem a goodie bag at LTA's roving bus carnival, that will run at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza from March 11 to 13.

Tomorrow, the capsule machines will be at Toa Payoh bus interchange from 6pm to 8pm, followed by Tampines bus interchange (Saturday, 6pm to 8pm) and Choa Chu Kang bus interchange (Sunday, 2pm to 4pm).

There will be 4,000 capsules with six different characters placed at each of the five locations.

University student Derick Leong, 22, one of the commuters who collected a capsule yesterday, said: "The figurines pay tribute to those working hard behind the scenes, and whom commuters often take for granted."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 03, 2016, with the headline 'Capsule figurines pay tribute to bus sector staff'. Print Edition | Subscribe