SINGAPORE: All past and present national servicemen will get free travel on public buses and trains next Friday (Jun 30), Singapore's four public transport operators announced on Monday.
The move is part of the transport companies' commemorative efforts to mark 50 years of National Service, said SMRT, SBS Transit, Go-Ahead Singapore and Tower Transit Singapore in a joint press release.
The NS50 Free Travel Day will be effective from the start of the public bus and train service on Jun 30 to the last bus and train service (including Nite Owl and NightRider).
To be eligible for free travel, national servicemen are required to wear their uniforms for "verification purposes" by bus captains or MRT station staff:
- SAF national servicemen: No. 3 or No. 4 service uniforms.
- SPF and SCDF national servicemen: duty uniforms.
The transport companies said the event was their way of expressing appreciation for Singapore's national servicemen.
"As we celebrate NS50, free travel on Jun 30 will provide a boost to NS50 activities held across Singapore," said SMRT president and group CEO Desmond Kuek.
"We express our appreciation towards both past and present national servicemen for their invaluable contributions to the country and nation-building," added managing director of Go-Ahead Singapore David Cutts.
In response to queries from Channel NewsAsia on how transport workers would be able to verify if the uniforms were genuine, a Go-Ahead spokesperson said that they will be briefed on the different national servicemen uniforms.
"Our bus captains will be duly briefed on the mechanics of the NS50 free travel day as well as made aware of all the past and present uniform types across the SAF, SCDF and SPF."
In response to media queries, the NS50 executive committee said the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) are "heartened" by the transport companies' initiative to recognise the contributions of Singapore's national servicemen.
It added that as SAF Day falls on a Saturday this year, activities to commemorate the day, such as the Combined Rededication Ceremonies, will be held on Jun 30 instead.
"MINDEF and MHA encourage our national servicemen to wear their uniforms on Jun 30 as a show of support for NS and to enjoy NS50 promotions and discounts from supporting organisations and retailers, including the NS50 Free Travel Day,” the committee said.