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New Premium bus routes 587 & 588 by SMRT July 12, 2008

Posted by hafizbam in Something New.
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SMRT Buses launched two new premium bus services on Monday, 30 June 2008. Services 587 will run from Woodlands Ring Road, Woodlands Avenue 5 and Woodlands Avenue 1 before running down the BKE and PIE to Orchard Road and Shenton Way. Service 588 will begin service at Sin Ming Avenue, before running down Marymount Road, Bishan Street 12 and hitting the CTE down to Shenton Way.

Unlike its earlier premiums 530, 531 and 546 which runs at least two trips every morning, these two services only have one trip running in the morning, similar to their SBS Transit Premium counterparts. The only reason I could think of at the moment is the expected lower demand compared to the other routes, especially for 587 which charges (an exhorbitant) $5 per trip. While Woodlands may be very far away from the city, $5 is in my opinion, still a bit too expensive for daily commute. $4 is as much as premium buses should go.

Similar to other SMRT Premium services however (with the exception of 546), is the design of the 587 and 588 to ply areas with condominiums and/or other private landed property. Service 587 for instance, is deliberately made to serve the LaCasa condominium along Woodlands Avenue 5 and the other landed properties at Woodgrove further down. Service 588 on the other hand, serves the condos at Sin Ming and Bishan Street 21. This has no doubt got to do with its success with 530 and 531, both of which serves mainly condomimiums in River Valley and Upper East Coast respectively. While this has contributed well to the company’s earnings, it is time SMRT realises that there is also quite a substantial demand for city travel among HDB dwellers, as demonstrated by the high loads on SBS Transit’s Premium buses which serve mainly the HDB neighbourhoods.

Something interesting worth taking note of is the u-turn buses on 587 have to make at the Woodlands Avenue 5/Avenue 6 junction after exiting Woodlands Drive 52. And yes, tyre marks have been left behind as a result!

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