Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 12/22/2013 20:59 | By Channel NewsAsia

Little India shuttle services for workers resume after one-week suspension

Little India shuttle services for workers resume after one-week suspension

Little India shuttle services for workers resume after one-week suspension

SINGAPORE: Bus services ferrying workers to and from Little India resumed on Sunday after a one-week suspension, but at half the number of scheduled buses.

The 25 bus services run by private operators were temporarily halted to ease congestion in the area.

At 2pm on Sunday, buses at Hampshire Road and Tekka Lane started ferrying workers from their dormitories to Little India.

The operating hours of the bus services have been shortened by two hours to end at 9pm instead of 11pm.

While LTA said these changes are not permanent, they are meant to reduce traffic congestion and the inconvenience to residents.

Fewer foreign workers took the buses - those who did wanted to remit money or meet their friends for a meal.

Usually, bus operators ferry about 23,000 workers to and from Little India over the weekend.

But with fewer bus services operating on Sunday, human and road traffic has been smooth.

To further ease congestion, Halifax Road, which is quite a distance from the area, is being used as a holding area for buses.

There were families relaxing at a field along Race Course Road - not a usual sight on Sunday evenings.

Residents said this is due to the ban on alcohol consumption in public areas and increased police presence.

The police continued to patrol Little India to ensure revised measures for the sale and consumption of alcohol are being followed.

On Sunday, uniformed officers from the Divisional Tactical Team were seen inspecting and reminding those gathered in Little India of the ban on consumption of alcohol in public areas.

As for retail outlets and restaurants, plainclothes police officers, also known as compliance management officers, also ensured that businesses were following their respective licensing rules.

Vikas Gurung, a resident who lives at Race Course Road, said: "Around here during the weekends, it is now quiet and I like it. It's much better than before. People don't come here and drink and make it dirty."

Ravi Shankar, also a Race Course Road resident, said: "Moving around will be easy and clean. Because usually on Monday mornings the trash bins are very full."

Meanwhile LTA is looking into improving boarding and alighting points to make it more convenient for the foreign workers to queue while waiting for buses.  - CNA/xq

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