If you are resident living near bus stops and MRT Stations, you are liking to marvel at the convenience and accessibility of public buses in Queenstown. Journeys to Town or work places in the industrial estates are relatively short and bus frequencies are usually reliable and fast. Shenton Way? 25 minutes. City Hall MRT Station? 12 minutes. Orchard Road? 15 minutes. Boon Lay MRT Station? 17 minutes. At most bus stops along Queensway and Commonwealth Avenue in Queenstown, residents can hop onto a bus service that bring them to their destination directly. However, if you are a resident living in the heart of districts such as Commonwealth Crescent, Commonwealth Drive or Mei Ling Street, you may not benefit from the transport services at all.
Let's talk about the bus services which serve the various districts. Bus service 32 is a popular service for residents plying from Commonwealth/Red Hill MRT to Strathmore and Margaret Drive. Residents waiting for this service at Commonwealth MRT Station will notice that the service will arrive "at 4 minutes" for an extended period of time at the electronic display screen. During peak hours, waiting time can be as long as 30 minutes. If you are heading home at Strathmore from Redhill at 9pm, don't be startled that the bus may arrive some 15-45 minutes. There are new developments at Dawson and Strathmore but the frequencies remain atrocious.
Bus Service 195 - another unreliable service
Same goes for Bus Service 195. It either comes in pairs or once in a blue, blue moon! These complains, courtesy of feedbacks from residents, appear very common in our services. However, it must be understood that these trunk services serve as feeder services for Queenstown residents. Hence, the frequency for the service is atrocious because of operators such as SBS transit are keen on profit maximising and not keen on providing quality services. Well, let's take a look at other estates. Feeder services in Jurong West averaged 5-8 minutes whereas those in Choa Chu Kang averaged only 3-7 minutes (according to the operators' website).
Residents in Strathmore and Mei Ling Street have petitioned strongly for such service lately. On one hand, stallholders in Mei Chin Market are looking forward for a reliable service so as to improve the traffic flow to the market area. On the other hand, residents are looking forward to more bus services plying along Margaret Drive and Strathmore Avenue which bring them to markets prior to the demolishing of Margaret Drive Food Centre.
However, reliable sources indicate that all of these requests are wishful thinking. The LTA has rejected residents' request to extend Bus Service 64 to the MRT Station and Polyclinic so that residents from Mei Ling Street can travel home from Queenstown Station. Have you recalled that Mei Ling/Mei Chin district in Queenstown is a hilly region where elderly residents got to climb flights of stairs every day to reach home? (Read Here) This service will certainly make travelling more convenient for the elderly folks in Mei Ling!
Will there be an end to this transport "mess"? Perhaps, that is what elderly residents in Mei Ling/MeiChin have to "tahan" to their death bed.