Faster bus rides to city from the north with North-South Corridor

An artist's impression of the North-South Corridor along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6. The project is set to be completed in 2026.
An artist's impression of the North-South Corridor along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6. The project is set to be completed in 2026.PHOTO: LAND TRANSPORT AUTHORITY

Residents in the northern part of the island can enjoy speedier bus rides to the city, when the 21.5km North-South Corridor is ready by around 2026.

One of three lanes on each side of the expressway will be reserved for express bus services, reducing bus journey times by up to 30 minutes, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) yesterday.

A bus service now takes 60 to 70 minutes to get from Woodlands to the Central Business District (CBD). With an express bus service on the upcoming corridor, the journey will take just 30 to 40 minutes.

Bus commuters living in the north welcomed news of the new corridor, which links towns in the north to the CBD.

Some said they may even take the bus to the city instead of the MRT in future.

 

Ms Koh Cai Ni, 20, a part-time retail assistant, now takes the MRT from her home in Yishun to the city, which takes about 45 minutes.

"If (travel time is) really shorter, I might switch to buses. Plus, it may be cheaper," she said.

Teaching assistant Betsy Lim, 49, said it takes about 45 minutes to go from her home in Hougang to Orchard. "The dedicated lanes for buses will be good, especially in the morning during peak hours, as the buses can avoid traffic jams."

However, Ms Cynthia Lim, 19, who is waiting to enter university, said the wait for express bus services tends to be longer, which may not amount to time savings.

"So even if travel time is shorter, the waiting time might make it the same," she said.

The LTA also said yesterday that inter-town bus services could leverage on the corridor.

Residents in Woodlands, Sembawang and Yishun, for example, could have faster bus connections to towns such as Ang Mo Kio, Bishan and Toa Payoh.

Mr Marcus Heng, 21, a polytechnic graduate, said it takes him about 45 minutes to get from his home in Bishan to places like Woodlands and Sembawang.

"I think it'll be useful, especially for full-time national servicemen going home from the Yishun and Sembawang camps," he said.

Along with dedicated bus lanes, a cycling path stretching the entire length of the corridor will be built. It will be linked to other cycling infrastructure along the corridor, such as park connector networks.

Said Ms Betsy Lim: "The cycling track is a good move to encourage people to keep fit. Some may even choose to cycle to work in the city."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 29, 2016, with the headline 'Faster bus rides to city from the north'. Print Edition | Subscribe