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Bus stops get new sign poles December 5, 2009

Posted by hafizbam in Miscellaneous, Private operators, SBS Transit, SMRT, Something New, Transport Events.
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The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has replaced 1,430 bus stop sign poles with snazzier and more prominent ones that cost $1,000 each.

By March next year, all 4,500 bus stops islandwide will have the new sign poles, costing a total of $4.5 million.

The roll-out came soon after the authority finished canvassing for public feedback on the new design in end-August.

The new sign poles feature a schematic symbol of Singapore island, which can be spotted at all train stations too.

Besides displaying the bus services commuters can flag down, the sign poles will also have location names – usually that of a road, landmark or a nearby building.

Like existing bus stop sign poles, they will also each have a five-digit bus stop code which commuters can use to retrieve bus arrival information via SMS or the Internet.

The LTA added that the public can also use the code to provide feedback on a particular bus stop.

Where necessary, the new sign poles will include a notice board to give commuters additional bus service information, such as connection to an MRT station.

The decision to embark on the extensive replacement exercise was taken after the LTA conducted a review in February last year. The authority  found that 60 per cent of Singapore’s bus stop poles were showing signs of wear.

And another 39.5 per cent of the poles were already 10 years old. Only 21 bus stop poles, or 0.5 per cent of the total number of poles, were relatively new, the LTA said.

“As the majority of the bus stop poles needed to be replaced, this is a good time to improve the design of the poles,” said Mr Chan Kwok Cheong, LTA director of public transport promotion and services.

“The replaced poles will have more distinctive coloured sign plates and bigger bus service numbers. This will make it easier for commuters, especially senior citizens, to read them,” he added.

According to the LTA, the new poles are designed to last at least 20 years.

School teacher Tristan Yeo, 24, said the new sign poles are aesthetically pleasing. “It is an attempt to infuse something symbolic of Singapore in the design,” he said. “Quite nice.”

–  The Straits Times, page B7, Saturday November 29 2009

While I applaud the bus stop pole replacement exercise, there are a few flaws to the design:

– For those with additional information boards, there is no pole space left for bus companies to tie their cardboard press release notices to. This is unlike the old bus stop poles which is practically empty from middle down.

– The bus service numbers are colour-coded according to the bus company running the route; red for SBS Transit and grey for SMRT Buses, as well as a variety of other colour combinations for other special services and even Scheme B routes. While I have no problems with differentiating basic services from special ones, there should not be any differences between SBS Transit and SMRT basic bus services as the bigger notice board(s) planted within the bus stop shelter itself already has colour coding complete with detailed route information. Furthermore, with LTA’s overhaul of the bus network, bus routes may swop operator control every now and then. To repeatedly change the colour codes for all the bus stop poles along the affected routes is not exactly cost-effective.

– The prominent location names and bus stop codes are good additions/improvements and makes it easier for commuters using the various real-time bus arrival information services provided by SBS Transit and LTA. Standardisation of information displays also helps make it easier for commuters make more informed decisions.