SINGAPORE: The new Bukit Panjang integrated transport hub will look to improve commuter convenience through initiatives such as allowing people to borrow items for a limited period of time when it opens next month.
In a preview of the hub on Wednesday (Aug 23), operator SMRT Buses said commuters can borrow umbrellas, portable chargers and shopping trolleys at no deposit from the WeCare Shop for up to three days, it said.
Other initiatives include interactive information kiosks that allow commuters to plan their journeys, and an open-concept passenger services counter.
“The WeCare Shop is a very daring initiative. We started off with a simple idea – how can we reach out to the commuters,” said managing director of SMRT Buses and Roads Tan Kian Heong. “The whole idea was to promote social graciousness, where people come, borrow things, use it and return them in good condition.”
The 6,700-sq-m hub will also include barrier-free facilities, such as dedicated boarding points at each berth and graduated kerb edges to make boarding easier for passengers in wheelchairs.
TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT SYSTEM TO ENHANCE SAFETY
Besides the initiatives for commuters, the operator said an intelligent traffic management system will be implemented to allow bus drivers to detect the movement of vehicles in the bus parking area.
While similar traffic management systems are already in place at some integrated transport hubs, SMRT said it has modified the system to include multi-sensor lights in front of parking lots, alerting drivers to vehicle movements in the driveway behind them.
“If you look at where the bus boarding and alighting berths are, it’s actually a very small congested space, where during peak hours there will be buses coming in and going out from the parking lots," said Mr Tan.
"It’s because of this that we’ve worked with our partner to design something to guide the bus drivers to know when they can move and when they should not be moving, and this will clearly enhance the safety in this integrated transport hub."
The Bukit Panjang hub will integrate the new bus interchange with the LRT and MRT stations, as well as Hillion Mall, which opened earlier this February.
The hub, which is the first integrated transport hub to be operated by SMRT Buses, will be Singapore's ninth integrated transport hub when it opens on Sep 4.