Oasis station will open only when there is significant demand: SBS Transit

LRT Train

TODAY newspaper reported that Oasis station will remain closed until there is significant demand in the area. Hence, Edgedale Green residents moving into the estate have to walk to the nearest operating station, about 10 to 15 minutes away.

The newspaper also interviewed several residents. “I thought transport would be very convenient,” said Mr Francis Tay, who will move into his new home in two months when renovations are complete. “I thought the station would already be open when I move in.” Instead, he now walks 10 to 15 minutes to Kadaloor station to ride the LRT. “The bus stops are even further away,” he said.

“We see quite a lot of lights on at night in our estate,” said Madam Evon Ng, a housewife who moved in last month. “And there’s a lot of renovation going on, so even more people will be moving in soon. “Our block is very far away from Kadaloor and it’s very inconvenient when I have to take my two kids to school,” she added. “When it rains, there’s no shelter either.”

SBS Transit, which manages the route, said the station will open when there is significant demand. “We regularly look at the state of development of the areas surrounding our unopened stations,” said Ms Tammy Tan, director, corporate communications, SBS Transit.

“In January this year, we conducted a survey focusing on the area close to Kadaloor station. During the three-day survey, done during the morning peak hours of between 6.30am and 10.30am, the highest number of commuters recorded was 24; with 60 per cent observed to be heading for the LRT and the balance of 40 per cent for the nearest bus stop.”

Another survey late last month produced almost similar findings. “We also checked our ridership records and noted that there was no significant increase in passenger load, which validated our survey findings. As such, it is not viable for us to open the station, given the low demand, which has to be balanced against the operating cost of running a station,” said Ms Tan.

She added that based on Land Transport Authority guidelines, residents in public housing estates need not walk more than 400m to gain access to public transport. For residents who live in Punggol Drive between Kadaloor and Oasis stations, Kadaloor station serves their needs as it falls within this guideline.

Commuters, especially those who work in the CBD, are heartened by the greater number of options. Said Punggol resident, Wendy Chung, 22: “There are now only one or two buses serving the Punggol Field area. I have to wait up to 20 minutes for a bus. With this premium service, there will be more specific arrival times so that’s good.”

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