As 2020 gears off with a fresh start, lets take a look at the upcoming developments in the public transport industry for the year.
Opening of Thomson-East Coast Line
The first phase of the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) will open on Friday, 31 January 2019. Spanning just three stations (Woodlands North, Woodlands and Woodlands South), the line will offer greater connectivity within the Woodlands estate. Woodlands Station will be an interchange station with the existing North South Line.
The second phase, running between Springleaf and Caldecott, is also expected to open later this year, but might be further delayed.
Launch of Electric Buses and 3-Door Double Decker Buses
Main Articles: STE-Linkker Autonomous Electric Bus & ST Engineering STROBO Series 12 Bus
ST Engineering Land Systems announced in April 2017 that it was developing two autonomous buses for the Land Transport Authority (LTA) that will undergo public road trials by mid-2020. The company signed a partnership agreement with the LTA to harness autonomous vehicle technology as part of mobility concepts such as mobility-on-demand and autonomous buses.
New Integrated Transport Hubs
Bidadari and Woodlands Integrated Transport Hubs are expected to open this year. The former will be the first air-conditioned underground bus interchange beneath public housing flats, integrated within Woodleigh Village and seamlessly connected to Woodleigh MRT Station via an underground link. Woodlands ITH, which utilizes the original land Woodlands Bus Interchange, has been undergoing extensive renovation and upgrading works, including an air-conditioned concourse.
Transfer of City Direct Bus Operators
City Direct Bus Services 651, 652, 671 & 672 will be transferred to Public Transport Operators in January 2020, leaving only Services 666, 667, 668 and 670 under Private Bus Operators. The remaining services are expected to follow suit, either withdrawn or transferred to PTOs.