Woodlands MRT station
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Woodlands MRT station was constructed as a part of the Woodlands MRT line built in the early 1990s connecting Choa Chu Kang to Yishun. Woodlands MRT station is home to the first underground bus interchange in Singapore, which is located directly under the Woodlands MRT station.
The Woodlands MRT station is spread over a 5,448 sq m area on top of a six-metre hillock. The contractors chosen for the Woodlands station construction project were a team formed jointly by Hyundai Engineering & Construction and Koon Seng Construction & Transport. The station was designed by Parsons Brinckerhoff and Mausell Consultants in association with MRTC Architectural Review. They decided on giving the station a modern look so that in future it could blend in with the other modern developments that take place around its landscape. The station is built on clean lines with an eye-catching stone and tile finish. The tiles are in beige and green colours. The station has three storeys and a circular barrel-like roof. A 15 m high sculpture weighing 4,000 kg is positioned at the centre of the station. This sculpture, called Faces II, is designed by Singapore artist Min Chen.
Facilities such as covered walkways were integrated into the design concept right at the beginning of the construction, unlike the older stations where walkways were constructed after the stations were constructed. The platforms have more waiting space than those in the older stations. This was made possible by building the electrical maintenance rooms at the concourse where the station control booths and transitlink booths are located. In the older MRT stations, electrical maintenance rooms are located are located on the platforms, thereby reducing waiting space on them. An information system giving commuters information on train arrival times on electronic display boards were set up on all the Woodlands MRT line stations in 1995 before the line was officially opened. The station control room is also better located. In most MRT stations the station control room is located in between the fare collection gates, but in the Woodlands MRT station it is located at one side of the fare gates. This helps staff to monitor passenger movement more easily. Other facilities such as the station master's room is also located adjacent to the station control room.
Underground Bus Interchange
The Woodlands MRT station is one of the most heavily used stations in the North-South line. Facilities around the station include more commercial and entertainment space for the benefit of commuters and an underground bus interchange. In 1992, the government commissioned Mass Rapid Transit Corporation (MRTC) to build a bus interchange in Woodlands. This bus interchange was built directly under the MRT station, at a cost of S$34 million. The bus interchange was the first to be built by MRTC as all the other bus interchanges until then were built by the HDB. The bus interchange is aesthetically designed with enhanced commuter comfort and operations efficiency. It is equipped with extended call-zone areas, bum rests on queue railings, piped music, covered walk-ways to nearby buildings, conveniently located bicycle parks, bus-stops, a taxi stand and a car drop-off point.
The interchange also boasts of a mall over its roof. Computerised display boards were set up to give real-time bus schedules. Six television monitors provide information on major bus routes and bus departure times. The bus interchange has five alighting bays and 11 boarding bays for buses. It can take up to 33 bus services. Additional features include a mechanical ventilation system to draw out bus exhaust fumes and better noise irrigation facilities. Noise levels are reduced as the parking bays are situated away from the boarding and alighting bays. The bus interchange was officially opened along with the rest of the Woodlands MRT Line on 10 February 1996 by Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong. However, its operations had begun earlier on 4 February 1996. With the opening of the new bus interchange, all trunk and feeder bus services from the Marsiling Terminal as well as the existing Woodlands Interchange were moved here. New bus routes were also introduced.
Woodlands Regional Centre
The URA announced its Concept Plan to develop Woodlands into a regional centre in the north of Singapore in 1991. This was followed by HDB's announcement of its blueprint for the Woodlands regional centre on 23 December 1992 to transform it into a business and leisure hub.
The Woodlands regional centre is spread over a 33 ha area, with cultural and entertainment centres such as cinemas and parks as well as shops, offices and community facilities, all centered around the Woodlands MRT station. A seven-storey commercial and entertainment mall, the Causeway Point Shopping Centre which spreads over 1.5 ha, was built near the MRT station in 1999. And just a stone's throw away is the Woodlands Civics Centre, a 36,300 sq m building which was intended to be a one-stop government centre serving residents living in the north and has several major public agencies housed here under one roof.
Naidu Ratnala Thulaja
Goh, J. (1992, February 14). Underground bus station to be built in Woodlands. The Straits Times, p. 3.
MRTC to build $34m underground bus interchange in Woodlands. (1992, February 14). The Business Times, p. 3.
Nadarajah, I., & Kee, J. (1996, January 21). Residents prepare for easier life with Woodlands MRT line. The Straits Times, p. 24.
Ng, W. J. (1997, March 21). More commercial, industrial space for Woodlands as northern hub. The Straits Times, p. 74.
Tan, C. (1992, December 24). HDB unveils blueprint for Woodlands regional centre. The Business Times, p. 2.
Vaidyanathan, S. (1993, October 14). Bus interchange under Woodlands station. The Straits Times, Life!, p. 14.
Woodlands commuters get real-time timetables. (1995, April 29). The Straits Times, p. 3.
Woodlands interchange will be state-of-the-art. (1996, January 27). The Straits Times, p. 32.
Yeo, G. (1996, April 4). Businesses hard hit by Woodlands bus terminal shift. The Straits Times, p. 33.
Yeo, S. (1997, March 21). Woodlands: Out of the wood. The Straits Times, p. 3.
Siti Andrianie. (2001, January 21). One-stop govt centre in the north. The Straits Times, Home, p. 33.
Tan, C. (1992, December 10). More retail space for Woodlands MRT stops. The Straits Times, p. 26.
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