On Facebook on Wednesday, May 23, a netizen posted a photo of a bus stop with barriers in front of it, with the caption, “sometimes I’m really confuse[d] with the construction in SG.. what is that barrier for if the bus stop is build there.. maybe someone can enlighten me..”
The bus stop in the post is along Bukit Timah, near Newton Circus, after KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and Sim Lim Square.
The post has since been reacted to almost five hundred times, and more importantly, shared more than 2,500 times, as many other netizens seemed to identify with the poster’s confusion regarding the reason why there are barriers in front of the bus stop.
Some netizens speculated that it was a temporary bus stop.
Others made light of the situation, asking whether it was a test for bus riders to show their Parkour, jumping or climbing skills.
One netizen commented, “According to a reliable source, This bus stop is unique because there’s no ‘waiting area’ buffer as they have to cut an inlet for the bus to stop, Hence the barrier is there to prevent pedestrians and phone zombies waiting for the bus to step into the inlet (Yes there are stupid people).”
When asked, he said that the reliable source is one of the contractors.
Some claimed that the mistake lay with the bus stop, not with the barriers, and so the contractors should be held responsible.
Many commented that there really did not seem to be enough space for the bus stop to begin with.
Finally, a commenter placed a link that answered the original poster’s question. According to an answer published in 2012 on the website of the LTA (Land Transport Authority), where bus stops are located depends on people’s convenience. Where there is enough space, “a typical bus shelter is located along the straight section of the bus bay to allow buses to stop for passengers to alight and board at the designated bus stop location expediently and safely.”
However, in the bus stop in the post, there is not enough space to do this. And since traffic is heavy in this area at peak hours, a bus bay was constructed so that busses would not block traffic at the main road. The barriers were put up so that commuters would only board at the designated bus bay, where they would be safe; and also for bus drivers not to stop at the narrow area while commuters alighted from the bus, which would also cause traffic. The shelter was built for the comfort of the commuters waiting for their busses, since many people use this particular bus stop.
Ultimately, it all boiled down to a question of space, though the answer seemed to defy logic. The LTA concluded with, “To overcome the site constraint, the bus shelter had to be located slightly away from the bus bay, so that commuters can still wait within the bus shelter before their bus arrives.”
The poster got her question answered, however, many netizens still feel that the bus stop is a huge design fail.