Jurong East Has A Shiny New High-Tech Bus Stop – But It’s An Idea That Took 2 Years To Complete

“To be a Smart Nation” – that was the aim for Singapore since 2014 when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong mentioned it in his National Day Rally speech.

Ever since then, many initiatives have been introduced to Singaporeans in hopes of them adopting some, and moving forward to the goal.

One of these latest initiatives is the newly renovated bus stop at Jurong East:

Display boards at new Jurong East bus stop/ Image Credit: fivestarsandamoon
Display boards at new Jurong East bus stop/ Image Credit: fivestarsandamoon

Though it may seem like a new idea, the plan for the Jurong East bus stop is actually a two-year-old one and we’ve even covered it before – albeit then, it was charging points and cashcard top-ups.

The reason why it took two years to bring us a Smarter bus stop, we don’t know. It could be there were other more important matters to take care of – solving the problem of the breakdown of trains possibly?

Or, it could be that the completion of the Downtown Line was more prevalent, leading to “Project Fun Bus Stop” to be pushed further.

The possibilities are endless, but nevertheless, we are still excited at the new unveiling.

Make Waiting More Fun

Aimed to make the wait for their buses a more pleasant one, Land Transport Authority (LTA) and DP Architects refurbished the bus stop to add features such as free Wi-fi and phone charging stations.

Other benefits travellers receive include a selection of physical or e-books, as well as a swing for those who feel like sitting still is too mainstream.

The stop is environmentally-friendly as well. With a green roof, vertical greenery, bicycle parking and solar panels it shows Singaporeans how to be current and caring.

Charging point at Jurong East bus stop/ Image Credit: LTA Facebook
Charging point at Jurong East bus stop/ Image Credit: LTA Facebook

Past Ventures

This isn’t the first time LTA has introduced free Wi-Fi and other technology options for commuters.

In January 2016, the Government introduced the use of an electronic paper (e-paper) technology for the information boards at 11 different bus stops.

Image Credit: e-ink-info.com
Image Credit: e-ink-info.com

The technology, which mimics the appearance of ink on paper, is reported to replace the current arrival information boards that run on LED technology.

The e-paper technology display is powered by solar panels, and unlike the LED which displays up to three colours – the e-paper produces up to four thousand different colours. Cost-wise, it is also much cheaper than LED displays.

April saw the announcement of two buses in Singapore offering free Wi-Fi to passengers for the first time. The 176 buses that route between Bukit Merah and Bukit Panjang will allow commuters to access the Wireless@SG network while taking a leisurely ride home.

Image Credit: tanlamsiong.blogspot.com
Image Credit: tanlamsiong.blogspot.com

In 2014, Singapore implemented the idea of adding free Wi-Fi to a selected few MRT stations like City Hall, Orchard and Raffles Place. It was later extended to 33 MRT stations in 2015, with the plan set to be available to all stations by 2020 according to LTA’s press release.

In addition, commuters can enjoy fully charged phones at MRT stations by using the mobile charging points. The initiative that started included five stations, but due to positive feedback has been extended to other stations as well.

Mobile charging points at MRT station/ Image Credit: SMRT Facebook
Mobile charging points at MRT station/ Image Credit: SMRT Facebook

Forget The Gimmicks, Fix Bus Timings First

However, the spanking new bus stop isn’t as well taken to by Singaporeans as LTA might hoped:

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Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 2.48.21 PM

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Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 2.48.54 PM

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 2.49.07 PM

While someone brought in how superficial all the changes are:

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 2.48.10 PM

The new bus stop does look fun, but it does look like Singaporeans are pretty skeptical about it.

What do you think? Let us know!

Feature Image Credit: Five stars and a moon

Also Read: 3 Predictions For The Short-Term Future Of Singapore, According To An Industrial Designer

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