View Single Post
Old 19-07-2003, 12:59 PM   #3
sunsetbay
Moderator
 
sunsetbay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 41,823
this maybe revelant for those looking for new flats near Buangkok Mrt Station in the near future... :rolleyes:

From ST 19 July 2003

Buangkok Station Debate
When housing demand picks up... HDB priority is to build flats in area

By CHRISTOPHER TAN and DIANA SER

WHEN the demand for public housing picks up, priority will go to building flats around the Buangkok train station, which remains closed for now because there are too few residents in the area.

Giving residents of the area this assurance, National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan yesterday said: 'We have started building some flats there already... We hope to do some more this year and I am asking HDB to make sure they are built around Buangkok station. In this way, we can bring more people to the station a bit earlier.'

Buangkok station has not been opened because SBS Transit believes it will not attract enough passengers.

Among the reasons it has cited is that there are 'only seven blocks of flats' near the station and they are 600m south of it.

It has also said that it would not be worth its while to open the station because people were loath to walk more than 400m to an MRT station. It based this assumption on its experience as a bus operator.

But a survey by rival rail operator SMRT Corporation shows that many Singaporeans walk 10 to 15 minutes to a train station.

Based on a healthy adult's normal walking speed of 3.5kmh, this translates to a distance between 580m and 870m.

The finding was part of a customer satisfaction survey conducted late last year by SMRT, which operates a subway network of 51 stations.

The survey covered 1,100 respondents, and found that 65 per cent of them walked to a station from home.

Mr Charles Chong, an MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC who has been lobbying for SBS Transit to open Buangkok station, said he is sure there are more than seven blocks within a 600m radius of the station.

In fact, Block 443 is just about 380m from the station, he said. His grassroots leaders have actually measured the distance, he added.

However, SBS Transit said the difference in distance is 'not very significant'.

It added: 'We believe that the distance, in particular, being exposed to the elements without any shelter, is one which few people are likely to walk every day.'

But Mr Chong is hoping that a survey of close to 2,000 residents in the area conducted by his grassroots leaders will prove otherwise.

Although its results are not yet ready, preliminary findings show an 'overwhelming' percentage of respondents saying they would use the station if it was opened, he said.

Not convinced by the operator's explanations, some readers have also pointed out that there are many stations with low ridership which are nevertheless open, including Dover station that serves Singapore Polytechnic, Marina Bay station, Clarke Quay station, and Expo station in Changi.

Urging SBS to reconsider, bank officer Lim Beng Chong, 31, wrote in an e-mail message that under the current weak economic environment, the authorities 'have really underestimated the residents' willingness to walk an extra distance in order to save on expenses'.
sunsetbay is online now   Reply With Quote