On 4 January 2019, OCA sent out a circular alerting students to a relocation of the Botanic Gardens MRT stopping point. However, due to some confusion over this news, I have compiled a set of FAQs.
Does the relocation affect the BTC bus heading to Bukit Timah Campus or Kent Ridge Campus?
As mentioned in the circular, the affected service is BTC2. This means the bus from Bukit Timah Campus, en route to Kent Ridge Campus.
Does the bus still stop at Botanic Gardens MRT?
Yes, it does. The phrase “will no longer stop at Botanic Gardens MRT bus stop” was slightly misleading.
It means that the bus will not stop at the public bus stop numbered 41021. Instead, the bus will stop at the pick-up/drop-off point right next to the bus stop.
How far is the new stopping point from the old one?
The new stopping point is about 80 metres further up the road from the old stopping point. It is a walk of less than one minute.
When does the relocation take effect?
The relocation has taken effect since 7 January 2019. It is already in effect.
If I am heading from Botanic Gardens MRT to Kent Ridge Campus, where should I go?
Come out of the station via Exit B and turn left. You will find yourself directly at the pick-up/drop-off point where BTC2 stops; wait for the bus there.
If I am heading from Botanic Gardens MRT to Bukit Timah Campus, where should I go?
Use Exit A, cross the road and continue to use the College Green bus stop as usual to wait for BTC1. There is no change to the stopping point of Service BTC1 for now.
If I am heading from Bukit Timah Campus to Botanic Gardens MRT, where should I alight?
Alight from BTC2 at the stop marked “Botanic Gardens MRT”. You will find yourself right outside Exit B.
Which stop is actually nearer to the MRT station?
The new, relocated stopping point is actually nearer to the MRT Exit B as compared to the public bus stop, which is actually a slightly longer walk to Exit A. Regardless, the difference in distance is negligible.
Exit B was constructed later, in conjunction with the Downtown Line. It is nearer to the DTL platforms.
Why was the stopping point changed?
According to the LTA, private buses are not generally allowed to use public bus stops unless with approval.
Private buses are not allowed to stop, pick up/drop-off or wait for passengers at the bus stops, unless authorised specifically to do so. Such approval is given on a case-by-case basis, and subject to these buses not affecting public bus service operations.
In the case of our ISBs, they are given approval to use public bus stops within the Kent Ridge Campus as well as at Botanic Gardens MRT.
It would seem that previously, BTC2 was authorised to use bus stop 41021. However, this approval may have been revoked, most likely due to the cited reason of affecting public bus service operations.
There are ten public bus services serving 41021, so congestion is likely. Shifting BTC2’s stop to the pick-up/drop-off point not only allows it to avoid disruption to the ten public bus routes, it also spares it from existing congestion at the bus stop. This allows it to perform its route on schedule.
Private bus services using pick-up/drop-off points located adjacent to public bus stops are not unheard of. It is a common practice at busy MRT stations such as Tanah Merah and Bedok, where factory buses are obliged to alight workers at pick-up/drop-off points instead of the public bus stop.
For further enquiries, contact OCA at email@example.com or 6516 1717.