SINGAPORE- Soldiers and staff at Kranji Camp III (KC3) can now save time when travelling to and from camp.
In a trial that started last Tuesday (July 3),national servicemen (NSF) - who used to take up to two hours to get to camp - can now choose a shorter and more convenient commute by using a shuttle service run by ride-hailing application Grab.
Announcing the launch of the trial on the Singapore Army Facebook page, lieutenant-colonel (LTC) Choy Yong Cong, Commanding Officer, 2nd Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment (2 SIR), said: "With the consolidation of our camps into larger multiplexes for more efficient land use and training, it was noted that servicemen working in some of the Singapore Armed Forces camps were taking a longer time to get to work. The idea to latch onto GrabShuttle was thus conceived to enable our servicemen to travel to and from camp more conveniently, and to cut down on their commute time."
According to the post, the trial catchment neighbourhoods and routes were derived by Grab, based onpostal codes of parties interested in utilising this service in KC3.
As part of the trial, each shuttle service to the neighbourhood clusters uses a 13-seater minibus while shuttle services to the nearest MRT station are served by two 23-seater buses making two trips each.
The camp is still monitoring the ridership rate. However, the numbers look promising, with buses full during peak periods. If the trial services prove successful, they may be expanded to include more timings and neighbourhoods. This model could also be studied for adaptation in other camps.
The service currently serves Punggol, Sengkang, Hougang, Sembawang, Yishun, Jurong, Bukit Panjang and Bukit Batok.
It also includes a fixed service that shuttles between Yew Tee MRT Station and the camp on Monday nights, and from the camp to the station on Thursday evenings.
Fares are determined by Grab and the SAF does not pay for or subsidise the fares.
A Grab spokesman said that responses to the trial have been encouraging, citing the example of a soldier travelling to Kranji Camp III from his home in Punggol.
According to the spokesman, the shuttle service could reduce overall travelling time by at least 50 per cent, compared to other modes of public transport.
In the Facebook post, corporal (CPL) Darrel Teng said he saves 30 minutes on his travelling time when using the shuttle service.
He said: "With the shuttle service, a lot of us, NSFs and Regulars, can get from our respective units to a nearby bus stop around our neighbourhood and go home from there. I feel it doesn't only save time, but it is also very convenient. I can use the time saved to get more rest."