If you have ever seen Singapore from the top-view of a map, it is undeniable that the gridwork of roads and spaces filled with high-rise buildings, public amenities, and green spaces is quite appealing to the eye.
But that does not mean that there aren’t flaws when the city blueprint is actualised on the ground level.
The Problem With The Punggol Bus Stop
On 11 August, a Facebook user by the alias of Jack Lisa took to Facebook to complain about the bus stop outside Punggol MRT station.
Jack wrote, “Whoever designed this bus stop is really dumb… I wonder how to see if the bus stop is coming… The only way you see the bus coming is you have to stand near the main road to see the bus coming then I see no point in having the chairs there…”
He added that the pillars should be built behind the sign boards instead, just like the normal bus stops.
Singaporeans may love to complain, but you have to admit that Jack has a point there.
That is a serious design flaw.
Jack is not alone in his frustrations; Shin Min Daily News reported that other commuters are facing the same problem as well, whereby the pillars are obstructing the vision of approaching buses.
This issue only worsens when there is more than one bus arriving at a time.
If the commuters fail to flag down the second bus in time, they have to wait for another 20 minutes for the next bus to arrive.
If you are a student in this scenario, you may say goodbye to your perfect attendance record and say hello to the discipline master.
The excuse “the pillars are stupidly big so I couldn’t flag down the bus and the bus captain also cannot see me” probably won’t fly well.
Moreover, commuters needing to poke their head out to see the oncoming vehicles is a genuine safety hazard, to say nothing of people who are travelling with children.
One commuter also remarked that having to stand up from the bench to check for bus arrivals is a major inconvenience to the elderly too.
In Jack Lisa’s words, what’s the point for having the seats then?
Social media is clearly the most effective feedback platform, because the Land Transport Authority (LTA) told Shin Min Daily News that it is aware of the feedback regarding the bus stops near Punggol MRT Station.
The government agency explained that these bus stops were narrower because they were converted from passenger pick-up points.
… Even if it was originally made to be a passenger pick-up point, the design is still counterintuitive because the passenger still can’t see the oncoming cars?
Actually, it might be worse because the drivers can’t see their passengers either, who might be harder to spot compared to a group of commuters.
Although LTA acknowledged that the bus stops are problematic, it states that there is little that can be done. The drain behind the bus stop causes space constraints and it prevents further expansion.
As a temporary solution, the authorities are working with bus operators to remind bus captains to slow down when approaching these bus stops.
Featured Image: Facebook (Jack Lisa) & Google Maps