BUKIT Panjang residents were given reason to hope yesterday that their existing bus interchange could be moved closer to an upcoming MRT station.
They were told that the authorities were considering the suggestion put up by three MPs, whose residents are affected by the planned siting of the Downtown Line MRT station expected to open in 2015.
They had pointed out that transfers would be inconvenient as the MRT station will be sited about 120m from the existing Bukit Panjang LRT and bus interchange.
The MPs' proposal would reduce the distance between the LRT and the MRT station to 70m, said Bukit Panjang MP Teo Ho Pin at a dialogue with residents in his ward.
Residents can cut through the bus interchange to get to either station, making it very convenient for them, he added.
Currently, the plot of land between the LRT station and the upcoming MRT station is empty.
Dr Teo as well as Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MPs Vivian Balakrishnan and Liang Eng Hwa have had two meetings with the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to discuss the proposal.
Dr Balakrishnan is also the Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports.
The issue was first raised last year and yesterday, Transport Minister Raymond Lim, who was holding a dialogue after his visit to the ward, assured residents that the matter was under consideration.
Said Mr Lim: 'We are working closely with the other agencies to see how best to integrate the three: the bus interchange, the LRT and the MRT.'
Previously, the LTA had explained that the MRT station could not be moved next to the LRT station owing to technical constraints.
The underground Downtown line is not able to swing sharply to meet the LRT station and return again to Woodlands Road in such a short distance.
Bukit Panjang residents like Ms Lim Ai Kheng, 43, are pleased that the authorities are looking into the suggestion.
'I really hope it can be achieved,' said the architectural assistant.
The Downtown Line station, with four exits, will also provide residents with a quick underground link to places like the Sri Murugan Hill Temple.
Devotees who worship at the temple, which is opposite the Bukit Panjang LRT station, will no longer need to take an overhead bridge to get to it.
They will be able reach the temple directly through an underpass from the MRT station.
Source, Straits Times, 31 Aug 2009