Taxi stands altered after spate of bus crashes

Left: Areas marked out for taxis at the taxi stand opposite VivoCity. Above: A height limit sign in bright yellow at the taxi stand outside Yishun MRT station.
Areas marked out for taxis at the taxi stand opposite VivoCity. ST PHOTOS: MARK CHEONG, ZHAKI ABDULLAH
Left: Areas marked out for taxis at the taxi stand opposite VivoCity. Above: A height limit sign in bright yellow at the taxi stand outside Yishun MRT station.
A height limit sign in bright yellow at the taxi stand outside Yishun MRT station.ST PHOTOS: MARK CHEONG, ZHAKI ABDULLAH

Changes have been made to a sheltered taxi stand along Telok Blangah Road - such as making a height limit sign a more prominent yellow - to prevent buses from crashing into it.

This comes after three incidents this year involving double-decker buses.

The most recent accident happened about a week ago, when the top windshield of a double-decker SBS Transit bus shattered after it crashed into the shelter.

In February and July, two separate Tower Transit double-decker buses crashed into the same taxi stand located at HarbourFront MRT station, across from the VivoCity shopping mall.

Sheltered pick-up and drop-off points - including taxi stands - built since 2012 need to have a minimum headroom of 4.5m to provide sufficient clearance for double-decker buses, which are about 4.4m high. These points are fitted with height limit signs and bars to alert drivers.

However, some older taxi stands have a lower height limit. For instance, the one along Telok Blangah Road has a limit of 3.7m.

In response to media queries, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said it has introduced measures to help bus drivers better differentiate these taxi stands from bus stops.

Sheltered pick-up and drop-off points built since 2012 need to have a minimum headroom of 4.5m to provide sufficient clearance for double-decker buses.

These include introducing no entry signs for buses as well as changing the height limit signage to a more prominent yellow, from blue previously, and making taxi space markings more prominent.

"The operators have also reminded their bus captains to look out for the height limit signs, as part of the training of new bus captains," said an LTA spokesman.

There were two other reports of similar incidents at other sheltered taxi stands this year.

In April, an SBS Transit double-decker bus was severely damaged after running into the roof of a taxi stand shelter at Bishan MRT station.

A month later, a double-decker bus operated by Go-Ahead crashed into the shelter of a taxi stand outside Yishun MRT station. No injuries were reported in any of the accidents.

The LTA said the enhanced signs are being progressively introduced at selected sheltered taxi stands.

Checks by The Straits Times found that the changes have also been made to the taxi stand at Yishun MRT station.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2017, with the headline 'Taxi stands altered after spate of bus crashes'. Print Edition | Subscribe