Rush-hour traffic near Yishun Integrated Transport Hub eases a day after massive jams

Tuesday's traffic condition (left) was starkly different from that on Monday evening (right), when a long queue of buses formed during the rush hour period. Traffic was also congested during the morning rush hour on Monday. ST PHOTOS: TOH TING WEI, KHALID BABA

SINGAPORE - Commuters and road users passing by the new Yishun Integrated Transport Hub on Tuesday morning (Sept 10) enjoyed a smooth journey, a day after a long line of buses was spotted at the same spot during rush hour.

The timing of the traffic light at the junction was said to have been adjusted, and more marshals were seen directing buses turning into the interchange.

When The Straits Times visited the area between 6.50am and 8.30am, traffic was observed to be smooth-flowing along Yishun Avenue 2 in front of the transport hub.

All buses making right turns from the road opposite the hub could do so without issue, and they moved on fast enough such that a queue did not build up.

Buses on the side of the road closer to the hub also headed into the interchange without much delay.

The transport hub, which opened on Sunday, is operated by SMRT Buses, a division under SMRT Roads. The hub comprises an air-conditioned bus interchange that is connected to Yishun MRT station and is integrated with Northpoint City shopping mall.

An SMRT employee at the interchange told ST that the timing of the traffic light at the junction has been tweaked, which helped to improve the traffic flow.

About 10 traffic marshals were seen at the two entrances of the interchange, with a few more deployed inside to manage the flow of buses.

A driver for bus operator Go-Ahead Singapore, who declined to be named, said that the deployment of more marshals helped to ease traffic flow inside the interchange on Tuesday morning, which enabled buses to enter and exit faster.

He added that it was normal for delays to occur initially as operations were being ironed out and did not foresee further issues.

But a 39-year-old SBS Transit bus driver, who has been driving for six years, said: "This interchange is smaller than other interchanges and there are many buses here, so there might be more jams again in the future."

Tuesday's traffic condition was starkly different from that on Monday morning, when traffic came to a standstill in the area during the same rush-hour period. Traffic was also congested during the evening rush hour.

The traffic jams delayed the journeys of some commuters by as much as 30 minutes. Some commuters even had to alight from buses and walk to Yishun MRT station.

Commuters said buses could not turn into the interchange even when the traffic light was in their favour. They also reported that buses were stuck on the road in a zig-zag manner as they tried to move to the lane to turn into the interchange.

The jams resulted in multiple complaints from commuters.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) and SMRT Buses said that they were working to address "teething issues" surrounding the opening of the hub. .

SMRT Roads also said more staff would be deployed to better control the flow of traffic in and out of the interchange. It would consult the LTA on adjustments to the traffic light timing at the junction outside the interchange.

The LTA said that bus operators needed time to familiarise themselves with "the new environment". It added that it is monitoring the situation and will introduce more measures if needed.

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