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Parks 408 now serves Telok Blangah estate March 21, 2009

Posted by hafizbam in Route Amendment, SBS Transit.
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Residents of Telok Blangah estate finally got their direct bus link to nearby HarbourFront – but with strings attached. SBS Transit’s Parks service 408 has been recently amended to serve Henderson Road, Depot Road and Alexandra Road enroute to Labrador Park.

Besides the primary aim of providing a dedicated bus link to the new Southern Ridges attraction of Henderson Waves and Alexandra Arch bridges, the service has been made to serve Telok Blangah Heights, Telok Blangah Drive and Telok Blangah Drive on its return journey to HarbourFront. This estate last received a boost shortly after the opening of the company’s Northeast MRT line, with a direct link to Chinatown following the amendment of service 124.

While this results in a longer journey for those heading to the seaside park, the flat fare of $1 remains unchanged. This is both good and bad news, as Labrador parkgoers would not be penalised, but residents of Telok Blangah would have to pay a premium for a ride which they could be paying less for, if only service 408 is a basic bus service.

In addition, while the direct link to HarbourFront is welcomed, it is only one-directional. Those from HarbourFront would not be able to access the estate in the direction towards Labrador Park. Furthermore, this connection to VivoCity is only available on weekends. The stated frequency of half hour intervals is also a drawback.

It would have been better had SBS introduce a dedicated feeder bus service connecting HarbourFront with this part of Telok Blangah estate, possibly serving Telok Blangah Way enroute to ensure sufficient demand.

Overall, I expect this route to remain as it is even after the six months trial period as stated in the publicity poster, unless residents of Telok Blangah really do shun this service for the reasons stated above.

Separately, three other Parks branded services, namely services 400, 401 and 403, have been declassified as such. In other words, they have now returned to what they once were – plain old basic bus services with the obligation to stick to the Public Transport Council’s Quality of Service standards. Something for the commuting public to cheer about.

While it is understandable for services 401 and 403 to be classified as Parks services (401 serving East Coast Park; 403 serving Pasir Ris Park), I have never agreed with the conversion of service 400 to a Parks service in the first place as its primary aim back then was to provide the one and only bus link to the old popular steamboat makan place at Marina South.

Regardless, both the park and makan attractions have now made way for the new Marina Bay Sands integrated resort, rendering the service rather useless.

parks_declassification

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