Free bus, train rides on June 30 for all NSmen in uniform

Free bus, train rides on June 30 for all NSmen in uniform
TODAY file photo

Free bus, train rides on June 30 for all NSmen in uniform

SINGAPORE — All past and present national servicemen will get free travel on public buses and trains on June 30. They will, however, have to wear their uniforms for "verification purposes" by bus captains or MRT station personnel.

The free rides for that day are part of the commemorative efforts for 50 years of National Sevice (NS50), said four transport companies in a joint media release Monday (June 19).

"... All past and present national servicemen from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) will enjoy free travel on public buses and trains operated by public transport operators Go-Ahead Singapore, SBS Transit, SMRT Corporation and Tower Transit Singapore on 30 June, 2017," they added.

SAF national servicemen wearing the No 3 or No 4 service uniforms, and SPF and SCDF national servicemen wearing duty uniforms can enjoy free rides from the first to the last bus, and train services, including Nite Owl and Night Rider on that day.

There is also no limit to the number of rides they can take on June 30, a Friday.

Mr Gan Juay Kiat, SBS Transit's chief executive officer, describing national servicemen as the "backbone of our national defence", said: "The safety and security of Singapore is something we must never take for granted."

Mr Adam Leishman, group CEO of Tower Transit, added: "We put a lot of importance on the security of our passengers and our facilities, so we can fully appreciate the even bigger responsibility our (national servicemen) have for the security of the country."

For Go-Ahead Singapore, "this gesture of providing them complimentary travel on our bus services is a small token of our thanks" for the "invaluable contributions" by past and present national servicemen, said its managing director, Mr David Cutts.

The free travel on June 30 "will provide a boost to NS50 activities held across Singapore" as the nation marks half a century of NS, noted Mr Desmond Kuek, SMRT's president and group CEO.

The free travel is the latest in a slew of measures and activities to mark the year-long NS50 campaign. Its theme, From My Generation to Yours, is meant to highlight the importance of Singaporeans' continued support of NS by passing the duty from one generation to the next.

Last month, the Ministry of Defence said that national servicemen, past and present, will receive S$100 vouchers as part of a recognition package to mark NS50.

The vouchers can be used at more than 6,000 outlets.

Since April, the People's Association has also been organising ceremonies to show the community's recognition for and appreciation of national servicemen.

NS50 Week, to be held from Aug 1 to 10, will feature a series of community engagement events, such as an NS50-themed picnic.

An NS50 dinner reception will be held later in the year, where national servicemen, their families and employers, and companies who have shown strong support for NS over the past 50 years will be recognised.