Buses stuck in long queues to enter new Yishun interchange
Commuters upset by delay of up to 30 minutes during peak hours
Commuters were upset and frustrated after their buses were stuck for almost half an hour waiting for their turn to enter the new Yishun bus interchange during morning and evening peak hours yesterday.
Several complained about having their journeys delayed, with some noting they would have reached their destination faster if they had walked.
When The New Paper was at the interchange around 5.30pm yesterday, there was a queue of 15 buses from the direction of Sembawang, and another queue of 10 buses from the direction of Khatib.
A commuter who wanted to be known only as Mr Aw, 60, said he was stuck on a bus coming from Khatib for half an hour before it could enter the interchange.
He said: "It usually takes less than 30 minutes to get from my home to the interchange, which is four stops away. But I took one hour to get here.
"So am I supposed to set aside one hour for just four stops? That is just ridiculous."
NEW INTEGRATED HUB
The new interchange, managed by SMRT Buses, opened on Sunday and is part of the new Yishun Integrated Transport Hub (ITH), the tenth ITH here.
The interchange has two entrances - Gate 1 is next to Northpoint City mall and Gate 2 is at the other end. (See map, right.)
Most of the buses entered from Gate 2, TNP observed.
SMRT marshals were stationed at both entrances.
At Gate 2, they let in four to five buses each time as about five buses exited.
The interchange has four alighting berths and eight boarding berths, some of which had long queues of commuters.
One of them, who wanted to be known only as Mr Chee, 40, said he had been waiting for 10 minutes for his bus.
He said: "When I took the bus from my home to the interchange this morning, it took me 25 minutes. If I had walked, it would have taken 15 minutes.
"Many were crowding at the entrances, many of them cutting lanes to try to squeeze into the interchange. It is dangerous. Accidents are bound to happen."
He said the new bus routes seem to have resulted in more buses using the interchange, which he felt is too small to cope with the number of buses.
MP for Nee Soon GRC Louis Ng told TNP : "There are bound to be teething issues in the transition. The bus routes have changed after many years and the drivers also have to get used to the new routes.
He said this week will be used as a test phase to resolve issues that arise before the full peak period, when schools reopen.
When the Bedok ITH opened in 2014, the bus interchange had similar problems.
SMRT Roads president Tan Kian Heong said it is working closely with the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to resolve the operational teething issues.
He said: "We will consult LTA on the adjustments to be made to the traffic light timing at the traffic junction outside the interchange, and additional staff will be deployed to better control bus movements in and out of the interchange."
A spokesman for LTA said it is working with bus operators to fine-tune ground operations.
She said that before the opening of the ITH, LTA implemented measures to mitigate congestion, including widening of roads, traffic light timing adjustment and route testing.
LTA also chose to open the ITH during the school holidays, when ridership is relatively lower and traffic relatively lighter, so as to minimise inconvenience to commuters.
Further measures will be put in place if necessary, she added.