Petitioners voice concerns about bus route change that will skip school stops along Dover Road
SINGAPORE: More than 1,900 people have signed an online petition against a bus route change along Dover Road which will skip stops by several schools, including Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) and Fairfield Methodist Primary and Secondary.
The petition, titled "revert route change for SBS bus service 14", had garnered nearly 2,000 signatures as of Tuesday night (Aug 28), four days after it was started on change.org by user Ethan P.
SBS Transit announced last week that bus service 14's route would be amended from Sep 9 to "enhance commuters' connectivity to Buona Vista MRT station".
Instead of going along Dover Avenue and Dover Road, the bus service will travel along Commonwealth Avenue West and North Buona Vista Road and call at eight new bus stops along the way.
Seven bus stops will, however, be skipped with the route amendment: Opp ACS Independent, Opp ACS Boarding Sch, Fairfield Meth Pr Sch, Opp Fairfield Meth Pr Sch, ACS Independent, S'pore Poly and Opp S'pore Poly.
"I feel that the announced route change does not help the commuters at Buona Vista MRT station greatly, as announced in the press release, yet it brings great inconvenience to the residents and students living and studying along Dover Road and Dover Avenue," said the petition.
These changes, according to the petition, might mean that more parents might take their children to school by private transport, leading to traffic jams.
"These changes to service 14 may cause more parents to send their children to school by private transport daily, worsening the already atrocious jam along Dover Road in the morning and afternoon," it said.
In addition, the petition asserted that the route change would not substantially benefit commuters of Buona Vista MRT station, as "many of the stops covered by service 14 are already covered by other buses stopping at Buona Vista".
"Most commuters that will benefit from the route change can already take a direct bus from Buona Vista Station, and thus will not greatly benefit from this change.
However, it said that commuters in the affected area would lose travel options to "significant portions of the east of Singapore", including a direct bus service to East Coast Road and Tanah Merah MRT station.
In response, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said the new route would benefit residents at new HDB developments in the area.
"The route amendment will primarily benefit residents of the new HDB developments Ghim Moh Edge and Ghim Moh Valley, who currently don’t have (a) direct link to Buona Vista MRT station," an LTA spokesperson said in response to Channel NewsAsia's queries.
"The ticketing data show that the number of commuters affected by the skipping of bus stops along Dover Avenue and Dover Road is small," the spokesperson said.
These commuters can take other services as "direct alternatives" to destinations including Clementi MRT station, Dover MRT station, Alexandra Road and Jalan Bukit Merah, added the spokesperson.
"For further destinations, commuters can take these alternative services to connect to the amended service 14."