SINGAPORE — After a two-year delay, Bukit Panjang’s integrated transport hub will officially open on Sept 4.
Connected to Hillion Mall, which is located near the Bukit Panjang MRT Station, the hub will allow commuters to get from the second-level basement of the shopping centre to the train station. They can also walk to a new air-conditioned bus interchange and LRT stations located around the mall.
The integrated transport hub — the first to be run by SMRT Buses — will be the ninth in Singapore, where fully air-conditioned bus interchanges are linked to MRT stations and adjoining commercial developments to allow commuters to travel and shop conveniently.
The other transport hubs, run by bus company SBS Transit, are at Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Boon Lay, Clementi, Joo Koon, Serangoon, Sengkang and Toa Payoh. The next one, to open in 2019, will be located in Yishun.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) first announced plans for the Bukit Panjang hub in 2012, saying it would be ready in 2015, but later revised the opening to this year.
Part of the LTA’s efforts to have a more inclusive public transport system to cater to commuters’ various needs, the new hub will be fully equipped with barrier-free facilities, including dedicated spots for the wheelchair-bound to board buses, as well as priority queues with seats for the elderly and the less mobile at the concourse.
There will also be a nursing room with diaper-changing amenities, and an electronic feedback system for users to alert workers if a toilet requires cleaning in between designated maintenance times.
Cyclists can make use of the 120 bicycle racks put up at the hub, and commuters may use the digital display panels to get bus service information as well as updates on various community events.
To enhance safety, SMRT Buses will introduce a traffic management system that detects bus movements from parking lots to the driveway. Drivers will get spacious facilities at their rest area, which is equipped with digital screens to display safety reminders and bus schedules.
With the opening of the hub, bus services 176, 920, 922, 970, 972, 973, 975 and 979 will move from the temporary bus park to the new one, and routes and stopping points will be adjusted.
Posters with information on this and other changes will be put up at affected bus stops, interchanges and on buses, and flyers will be distributed to households.