Yishun residents looking forward to the joys of a smooth new commute courtesy of their brand-new interchange instead found themselves in a traffic jam yesterday as dozens of buses got backed up by poorly timed traffic lights.
The buses in question were stuck in long queues while waiting to turn into the interchange — which only opened on Sunday — during yesterday’s morning and evening rush hours, numerous photos and videos posted to Facebook and Twitter show, with some complaining it added an extra 30 minutes to their traveling time.
Opening of the new Yishun Bus Interchange causes jam. pic.twitter.com/prX61MmiS7
— shark (@syakirsbna) September 8, 2019
On the plus side, we’re in the middle of the September school holidays, which means the traffic jam didn’t equal busloads of students late for school, too.
Fourteen of the affected bus services were operated by SBS Transit, according to their tweet at 5pm yesterday. They finally announced services were “back to normal” about five hours later.
Please be informed that Services 39, 103, 800, 803, 804, 805, 806, 807/807A, 811, 812, 851, 851e, 852 and 860 are back to normal. https://t.co/BjO3q7cbDl
— SBS Transit (@SBSTransit_Ltd) September 9, 2019
Theories among affected bus commuters abounded on Twitter, where many identified the traffic light signals outside the bus interchange as the culprit, saying they were simply changing too quickly to allow the buses time to move. The Straits Times seemed to confirm that today, reporting that the timing of those signals had been tweaked to allow for smooth traffic this morning.
Others, however, suggested the new bus interchange might simply be too small to accommodate all the buses.
The Yishun Integrated Transport Hub may not have sufficient space to house the buses for alighting purpose. This lead to the long queue of bus waiting for their turn to enter the interchange to unload the passengers.
— Richard Jang (@richardjang) September 9, 2019
The traffic light timing outside yishun inter is too fast honestly. Currently causing a whole line of buses waiting to turn in.
— khye (@khaaairul_anuar) September 9, 2019
Meanwhile, the rest took to social media to vent their frustrations over the “bad planning.”
I knew that the new Yishun bus interchange is opening but nobody told me I need to add 30mins to my travelling time… Bad planning..
— Ng Yung Shee (@cucumber_13) September 9, 2019
Worst bus interchange in Singapore is definitely Yishun’s…
— ryantanjunkai (@rtjk123) September 9, 2019
The new bus interchange — operated by SMRT — was built as part of the town’s integrated transport hub, comprising an underpass linking the bus interchange to the Yishun MRT station and the Northpoint City mall.
Coconuts Singapore has reached out to SMRT for comment and will update this story as soon as more information becomes available.