While the opening of the Bedok Integrated Transport Hub on Sunday (Nov 30) was marred by some commuter complaints of traffic jams, LTA said on Tuesday that anti-congestion measures had been put in place ahead of the opening of the transport hub.
These measures include the widening of roads, assigning traffic marshals to control traffic, and the installation of sensors within the interchange that are meant to interact with the traffic lights to control the flow of buses in and out of the terminus, an LTA spokesperson told Channel NewsAsia.
“However, some time is required for bus operations to familiarise with the new interchange, and to allow some fine tuning during the start of operations,” added the spokesperson.
‘BUS FLOW WAS PRETTY BAD’
After Bedok Integrated Transport Hub opened, some complained that buses seemed to take longer than acceptable to leave and enter Singapore’s largest bus interchange.
“The bus flow was pretty bad” on Sunday, said a commuter who chose to remain unnamed. He pointed the finger at the traffic light at the junction of Bedok North Drive – the road leading to the transport hub – and Bedok North Ave 1. “The roads here are also too narrow,” he added.
Traffic jam outside Bedok Integrated Transport Hub. (Photo by Wei Kang) http://t.co/VvRHdfYmoY
— (buses[IN]gapore!) (@busesINgapore) December 2, 2014
Not a fan of the new bedok inter…..
— goldie (@sarahelmannn) December 2, 2014
DON’T TRUST THE NEW BEDOK INTERCHANGE BUS TIMINGS
— Colin (@colmecolin) December 2, 2014
Ms Emily Kan, 73, said the feeder bus trip from her home to the interchange, which used to take less than 15 minutes, took about half an hour on Sunday and Monday.
Another commuter, Mr Eric Ng, said that the bus he took to the interchange on Monday at 8.30am took about 15 minutes just to enter the interchange. He noted that on the return journey, the bus he boarded left the interchange without any delays.
The owner of a shop nearby, who identified herself as Ms Lin, 27, said one of her staff was late for work on Monday evening, having waited 40 minutes for the bus she was on to turn into the interchange. From 5pm to 5.40pm, the staff “could see the interchange but could not get down”, Ms Lin said.
On Tuesday, a resident of one of the blocks directly facing the interchange said the traffic situation had improved since the day before, when she said there was a traffic jam during the morning rush hour. “Traffic has been smooth today,” said the resident, who also asked to remain unnamed.
“LTA is monitoring the traffic situation closely and will continue to review for further adjustments to enhance the traffic flow,” the LTA spokesperson added.
“THERE ARE SO MANY BUSES HERE”
When Channel NewsAsia visited during the morning off-peak period, a string of buses were seen waiting for the traffic light to change in their favour, allowing them to turn right into Bedok North Drive from Bedok North Ave 1. Previously, buses entered the old terminal via New Upper Changi Road. No marshals were seen assigned to direct traffic.
A commuter at the interchange on Tuesday afternoon, Madam Fathma Adam, 73, said she was not surprised about the jams. “There are so many buses here, and roads are very small, and there’s only one lane leading to the terminal,” she said.
A shopowner, Ms Liang, noted that compared to the previous interchange, in which about “five or six” buses could stop concurrently to let passengers alight, only three buses can stop at the same time at the new transport hub.
A bus captain who asked to remain unnamed also cited the number of traffic lights outside the terminal and the narrow lanes as possible causes of delays. “There is also limited parking space for the buses inside the interchange,” said the bus captain, who added that it was confusing that two of the three lanes exiting the terminal filtered to the left.
Not all the chatter on social media was negative, with many lauding the new addition to the Bedok landscape.
Really cool transformation of bedok interchange pic.twitter.com/CVT036T77j
— chinsquare (@cheen_o) December 1, 2014
New bedok interchange. Life is good now pic.twitter.com/qnr5p1hjMj
— ☆JESSI CHIO☆ (@Sisicious) November 30, 2014
bedok inter expanding eastpoint opening whitesands renovating airport expanding & siglap restaurants life in the east has never felt so good
— ℝ (@renaldildo) November 30, 2014
The 1.6-hectare interchange, which is linked to Bedok Mall, allows commuters an air-conditioned transfer to Bedok MRT Station. A total of 29 bus services call at the hub.