New bus service 241 for Jurong West; 242 cuts it short March 29, 2009Posted by hafizbam in SBS Transit, Something New.
Tags: bus 241, jurong west, pioneer mrt
I recall this particular complaint to a local newspaper regarding the complexity of feeder bus service 242 some time back, calling it winding and lengthy, as it plies through some of the busiest thoroughfares of the town such as Jalan Boon Lay. Well, that particular Jurong West resident can breathe easy now.
Route 242 was shortened a fortnight ago (15th March 2009) to loop at Jurong West Street 71 instead of going all the way to what is perhaps the western-most cluster of HDB flats in Singapore – Jurong West Street 91. The result is going one-directional along Street 72 and Avenue 5, and serving Pioneer Mall (which houses a Giant hypermarket) along Avenue 4. This beefs up the transport links in that particular stretch previously served only by services 192 and 193.
In its place at Street 91 is new route 241 which should be very well received by residents because it indeed shaved almost half the journey time it would take via the old 242 route. It only plies Jurong West Street 63 and Pioneer Road North before turning left into Jurong West Street 91 and completing the loop at Street 92. The best part about this new service: it brings residents direct to the spanking new Pioneer MRT station along Street 63 which means those transferring to the train there will have higher chances of grabbing a seat.
Weirdly enough though, service 241 is made to serve the whole stretch of Jurong West Street 63 which is already served by the uber frequent NTU service 179. A better alternative would have been to make it serve Street 62 instead, which is currently served by sister feeder 243, giving residents along this stretch a link to Pioneer MRT station as well. At most, it would have only incurred an additional 5 minutes journey time one way.
There weren’t any visible hiccups on the first day of change. Staff of SBS Transit were seen handing out flyers regarding the change to passengers not just at Boon Lay bus interchange but at selected bus stops as well. Commendable effort. However, some double decker buses running service 241 were seen to be using what seems like recycled front number plates which looks very odd, if not ugly, given the different fonts used for only three numbers! Surely there are other ways to cut costs.
While these changes in the feeder bus network in the Jurong West Extension area has brought about positive changes, some tweaking to service 243 in the form of connecting residents of Street 81 to Pioneer MRT station would complete the jigsaw puzzle very well. Hopefully that will come when LTA takes over the bus planning responsibility soon.