SINGAPORE: The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has announced that the Little India Bus Service (LIBS) has extended its routes on Sundays for migrant workers who live in the Kranji and Sungei Kadut areas. The bus service is now serving residents of Westlite Kranji Way Dormitory, Wee Guan Construction and Eng Chin Hang Tiling Construction, among others.

“We are working with the relevant agencies to familiarise workers with the extended service and to discourage them from using illegal transport options. Enforcement action will continue to be taken against those who provide illegal transport services,” added the LTA in a Facebook post on Monday (Oct 16).

LIBS, a private bus service, is operated by the Singapore School Transport Association (SSTA) and the Singapore School and Private Hire Bus Owners’ Association (SSPHBOA). According to its website, SSTA operates six shuttle services to and from various dormitories for migrant workers. The SSPHBOA, on the other hand, is the representative body of private bus service companies in the country.

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The LIBS bus service has made it easier for migrant workers to return to their dorms on Sunday evenings. On Oct 8, LIBS began providing a point-to-point connection for migrant workers living in dormitories along Kranji Way, Sungei Kadut and Kranji Link to and from Little India. Each trip costs S$3, and the buses can accommodate as many as 45 passengers.

On Oct 2, it was reported that some foreign workers were commuting via illegal truck services to return to their dorms late on Sunday evenings from Kranji MRT station. Although SMRT Bus services 925 and 925M ply in the area, service 925 does not operate on Sundays, and 925M ends its service at 7:40 pm on Sundays and public holidays. Workers returning to their dorms on Sunday after this time have said they pay truck drivers S$2 each to take them back from Kranji MRT station. But now, with LIBS’ extended services, the last bus is at 8:50 pm.

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The Straits Times quotes SSTA manager Ms Elsie Zhang as saying, “We have been serving migrant workers in the Mandai area, but we never got any requests from workers staying in Kranji.” She added, “We hope the passengers from Kranji enjoy the convenience we provide. If the demand is high, we will increase the bus frequency.”

LIBS picks up workers from six pick-up points in Kranji and Mandai between 2 pm and 6 pm on Sundays. Migrant workers on the way home board the bus at Tekka Lane to return to their residence between 2 pm and 9 pm. /TISG

Migrant workers use illegal truck service in Kranji for lack of public transport