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Jurong Town Hall Bus Interchange starts operating on 26 Nov, but users say it seems “very empty” on day 1

The Jurong Town Hall Bus Interchange (JTHBI) commenced operations on Sunday.

With just three bus services, the JTHBI showed low usage on its first day, prompting nearby residents to question its relevance.

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SINGAPORE: The Jurong Town Hall Bus Interchange (JTHBI) officially commenced operations on Sunday, (26 Nov).

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) had earlier highlighted that this new addition aims to offer enhanced and more inclusive public transport facilities for commuters in Western Singapore.

Situated along Venture Drive, LTA said the JTHBI complements the existing infrastructure of the Jurong East MRT station and Jurong East Bus Interchange, designed to accommodate the future growth and transportation needs in the area.

To ensure seamless connectivity, JTHBI features additional covered linkways and a pedestrian overhead bridge equipped with lifts, providing convenient access between the interchange, MRT station, and bus terminal, offering commuters a fully sheltered route.

However, observations on the first day of its operation indicated relatively low usage and foot traffic at the JTHBI, which seemed notably subdued.

Presently operate only three bus services

Managed by Tower Transit, the JTHBI currently operates only three bus services: 78, 160, and 870.

When Gutzy Asia’s correspondent visited the bus interchange on Sunday, described the scene as “very empty.”

Based on the photos shared by the correspondent, although there were members of the public present at the bus interchange, the level of activity was obviously lower compared to the bustling and high foot traffic typically seen at other bus interchanges.

For instance, on the inaugural day of the new 870 bus service, our correspondent observed that fewer than 10 passengers were waiting to board a bus around 10 a.m in the morning.

According to LTA, Bus Service 870 was introduced to connect residents in Tengah new town to key amenities in Jurong East Town Centre. Service 870 will ply along corridors such as Jurong East Central, and Bukit Batok West Avenues 3 and 6.

With the opening of the Jurong Town Hall Bus Interchange, Service 78 now departs from the new interchange while continuing to stop at all previous bus stops.

 

Service 160’s departure point has also shifted from Jurong East Bus Interchange to the Jurong Town Hall Bus Interchange.

It now stops at the bus stop on Jurong East Avenue near the Jurong East MRT station, making it more convenient for passengers heading to the MRT station.

To facilitate smooth bus operations, the existing Venture Drive extended to connect Jurong East Street 11 with Jurong Gateway Road

“Very empty bus interchange”, some residents think JTHBI “waste of money”

Gutzy Asia also learned that some nearby residents have raised doubts regarding the rationale behind constructing another bus interchange here when the Jurong East Bus Interchange already exists.

Voicing concern over what they deem a “waste of money,” a resident questioned the decision to create a new interchange serving only three bus routes. They questioned whether the established Jurong East Bus Interchange could effectively manage the bus capacity.

In a separate report by Singapore’s Chinese media outlet, Lianhe Zaobao, a Bukit Batok resident shared feedback regarding Bus 870, indicating it provided direct access to a Jurong East mall.

However, she highlighted her discomfort with the distance between the new bus interchange and both the mall and MRT station.

Consequently, she prefers taking two buses from the original Jurong East Bus Interchange on her return trips, stating, “Sometimes the things we carry are too heavy, so the closer the bus stop, the better.”

Another 65-year-old resident acknowledged the limitations of the original Bus 992 from Plantation Crescent, which solely travelled to Bukit Batok. To reach other destinations, commuters were required to transfer at the MRT station or another bus interchange, restricting travel options for work and outings.

She emphasized the convenience of having more direct buses to Jurong East, making travel to places like the city centre and other areas more accessible.

S$19.73 million worth of contract

In the 3 November press statement, LTA said the bus interchange has been designed to be more accessible for families with young children, seniors, as well as those with mobility challenges.

“For example, it will feature barrier-free access at entrances and a dedicated priority queue zone with seating at all boarding berths.”

Other facilities include wheelchair-accessible toilets and changing rooms, a baby care room for parents and a commuter care room for those who might require a quiet and calming space.

According to Land Transport Guru, On 12 July 2019,  LTA called a tender for Proposed Design and Construction of Bus Interchange & Associated Works at Venture Drive (Reference PT375), was scheduled for completion by 2023.

The contract was awarded to Tat Hin Builders Pte Ltd on 16 March 2020 for a sum of S$19.73 million.

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The original Jurong interchange was well designed, being the largest in Singapore when it was constructed. Buses could enter and exit from two roads, the absence of three shopping malls also meant that traffic was incredibly smooth. But of course, as the “integration” of other open-air bus stops into shopping malls and private residences have shown. The ruling government has taken a greedy turn, turning well-constructed pieces of public infrastructure that had space for expansion into utter nightmares. The “temporary” interchanges of Jurong East all suffered from traffic congestion that could delay travel by up to five minutes. Pushing the… Read more »

Btw, how much wasted money had been spent over the last 2 decades building and destroying, building a new and destroying again… Bus interchanges at Jurong East? If I can recall, this is the 4th bus interchange next to JE MRT and by far, the furthest located one

Very simple issue of poor planning, information dissemination and saturation.

Obviously one don’t discount the huge wastage of public money which is their 2nd nature to deal with property that’s not theirs, and which also, they don’t need own their mistakes with no one barking down each necks.

You can refer this interchange as Non Mature Interchange lor .

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