Bukit Panjang residents will find it easier to transfer between buses and trains when the Bukit Panjang Integrated Transport Hub opens next month after a two-year delay.
The hub - which incorporates a new air-conditioned bus interchange as well as the existing Bukit Panjang LRT station and MRT station on the Downtown Line - is also fully integrated with the six- month-old Hillion Mall.
Originally scheduled to open two years ago, its was delayed because of difficulties faced by the developer, Sim Lian Group. Connecting the hub to the MRT station required the diversion of a 13m- wide canal.
The country's ninth integrated transport hub will allow for "seamless transfers" between buses and trains, and includes several features aimed at creating a more inclusive public transport system, the Land Transport Authority said yesterday.
These include dedicated boarding points and graduated kerb edges at the bus interchange for commuters in wheelchairs, as well as priority queues with seats for the elderly.
There is also a nursing room with diaper-changing facilities for those travelling with infants and young children.
The integrated hub, which includes 120 bicycle racks to improve first- and last-mile connectivity, is the first to be operated by SMRT Buses.
SMRT Buses and Road Services managing director Tan Kian Heong said the transport operator introduced features to the hub with the "safety, comfort and convenience" of commuters in mind.
SMRT has also introduced digital display panels featuring bus service information, maps and updates on community events, as well as an electronic feedback system that allows commuters to alert cleaners if toilets require cleaning.
A new traffic management system that detects vehicle movements and increases the "visual awareness" of bus movements in the bus parking area for drivers will also be introduced.
Sim Lian Group - which also developed Hillion Mall - has installed electronic information departure system boards in locations such as near lifts and the foodcourt to help commuters plan their journeys.
Bukit Panjang residents welcomed the opening of the hub.
Mr Herwan Nulhaqiem, a 33-year-old executive officer, believes it will improve human traffic in the area, by making the process of transferring to the Downtown Line from buses or the Bukit Panjang LRT network easier.