Residents in Tampines can now look forward to hearty breakfasts at the popular Tampines Round Market and Hawker Centre without having to squeeze on crowded feeder bus services. Instead, they can take a shuttle bus that will ferry them there for $1 per trip.
It will ply the route between Tampines Street 32 and 33, near Ngee Ann Secondary School; and Tampines Street 11, where both the Tampines Round Market and Hawker Centre and the Tampines Changkat Community Club are located.
The bus will stop eight times along the route, including outside the Tampines Interchange. Payment must be made with an ez-link card.
The shuttle service, run by private operator Republic Express, will operate from 6.30am to 9.30am and 5.30pm to 8.30pm on weekdays. On weekends, the shuttle will operate from 6.30am to 10.30am at 15-minute intervals. It will not operate on weekend nights as there would be low demand.The shuttle will help reduce the congestion of existing feeder bus services in the area, especially bus service 291.
Called TE 1, the shuttle service began plying the route on Friday. It is an initiative of Ms Irene Ng, the area's Member of Parliament, who has been lobbying for a direct bus service that links residents in both areas.
Previously, residents living at Tampines Streets 32 and 33 had to take bus 291 to Tampines Interchange before switching to another service, 292, that takes them to the market and community club.
On Saturday morning, Ms Ng stopped by the Tampines Street 11 bus-stop to monitor the response for the bus service. When The Straits Times stopped by the bus-stop opposite Tampines Changkat community club at about 8am, only a handful of people were seen taking the bus. Ms Ng said this could be due to a lack of awareness of the new service.
As a sweetener, the Tampines St 11 Hawkers' and Merchants' Association is offering morning commuters who take TE1 to the round market a $1 voucher that can be redeemed at the market. The promotion will run until May 31.
Said Ms Ng, who is also advisor to the association: "I hope our residents will make full use of this promotion and benefit from the new shuttle to the Tampines Round Market."