Controversy over Bus 14 Route Amendment

The amendment of SBS Transit Bus Service 14 to serve Buona Vista MRT Station, which takes effect from Sunday, 9 September 2018, has been met with the irks of many.

Bus Service 14, which currently travels between Bedok and Clementi, is one of three bus services providing connections from various educational institutions along Dover Road such as Fairfield Methodist Primary School, Fairfield Methodist Secondary School, Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC), Anglo-Chinese School (ACS) Independent and Singapore Polytechnic (SP) to Dover and Clementi MRT stations. Its current route along Dover Road and Dover Avenue can be traced back to 25 years ago in 1993, when it was extended from Bukit Merah to Clementi after being integrated with former SBS Bus Service 92 (not to be confused with the current SBS Transit Bus Service 92 between Ghim Moh and Singapore Science Park I), which operated between Clementi and Paya Lebar Air Base. Many signatories of a petition, Revert route change for SBS Bus Service 14, have complained about the removal of this direct bus connection.

SBS Transit Poster for Service 14 Amendment to Buona Vista MRT Station
Bus Service 14 Amendment Poster

To enhance connectivity to Buona Vista MRT Station, Bus Service 14 will be amended to ply North Buona Vista Road and Commonwealth Avenue West, skipping its existing sector along Dover Road and Dover Avenue. No other bus service has been introduced or amended to replace the lost sector of Bus Service 14, and commuters are asked to take Bus Services 33, 74, 166 or 196 as direct alternatives, or to connect to Bus Service 14 following the route amendment.

It is understood that many people, particularly students, depend on Bus Service 14 as a direct bus between the various educational institutions and residential blocks along Dover Road and the MRT stations of Dover and Clementi. With the route amendment starting from 9 September, affected passengers along Dover Road travelling towards Dover or Clementi MRT stations will have to choose between walking to North Buona Vista Road to take the amended Bus Service 14, or rely on Bus 33, 74, 166 and 196.

The additional hassle of transferring to another bus is unjustified if a large proportion of Bus 14’s commuters depend on it as just 1 of 2 direct and quick buses between Dover Road and Clementi. Bus 166, which currently plies the same route as Bus 14 from Dover Road to Clementi, might be overcrowded by displaced passengers. Bus 166 already receives high ridership levels during peak hours, but overcrowding can be offset by deploying more double-decker buses. Bus 196 also connects Dover Road with Clementi Town Centre, but takes a slightly longer route via Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) and Clementi Avenue 6.

Previously, amendment of a bus service was successfully averted by discontented residents – SMRT Bus Service 300, which was originally planned to split into a bi-directional service, 300G and 300W. Residents affected the route change took their concerns to their Member of Parliament, who, in turn, prevented the route change.

However, a similar controversy over the amendment of a bus service in 2016 failed to be overturned by dissatisfied commuters – SBS Transit Bus Service 76, which was previously a loop service between Yio Chu Kang and Marine Terrace, was shortened to Eunos Bus Interchange as planned. To justify the route amendment, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) introduced 2 new bus services under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP)134 and 150 – to replace the deleted sector of Bus Service 76. Read more about this controversial route amendment in Controversy over Bus 76 Route Amendment.

The petition to revert Bus Service 14’s amended route is still open. To date, it has garnered more than 2,400 signatures from discontented residents and students, close to its target of achieving 2,500 signatures. You may find the petition at this link to support the cause.

LTA Response

In response to an enquiry from Channel NewsAsia, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) mentioned that the route amendment would benefit residents at new HDB developments in the area, namely Ghim Moh Edge and Ghim Moh Valley, who currently do not have a direct link to Buona Vista MRT station. In addition, bus ticketing data showed that the number of commuters affected by the skipping of bus stops along Dover Avenue and Dover Road is small.

The reply also advised commuters to consider other bus services as direct alternatives to Clementi MRT station, Dover MRT station, Alexandra Road and Jalan Bukit Merah. For further destinations, alternative bus services can connect to the amended Service 14 further down the route.

In addition, the route amendment poster for Service 14 was updated to further highlight the use of alternative bus services for commuters along Dover Road and Dover Avenue.

SBS Transit Poster for Service 14 Amendment to Buona Vista MRT Station (Updated Poster)
SBS Transit Poster for Service 14 Amendment to Buona Vista MRT Station (Updated Poster)

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7 thoughts on “Controversy over Bus 14 Route Amendment

  • 5 September 2018 at 11:31 AM

    Alternatively, 99 can be extended to Ayer Rajah Bus Park or Bukit Merah Interchange (via One North Avenue) to cover the deleted sector of 14 and to provide direct link between Dover Road and One North MRT. Ever since 99 was extended to Joo Koon, the one-way route is only 17km long. An extension to Ayer Rajah Bus Park adds 4 more km to the route and an extension to Bukit Merah Interchange adds 8 more km. The extended route is still shorter than 14 (33km one way) and is comparable to 33 (26km one way).

  • 30 August 2018 at 12:42 PM

    To reconcile the PT needs of thousands of residents at Ghim Moh, and of the thousands of residents and students at Dover Rd there, a Ghim Moh BV HV feeder service should be introduced to serve GM I feel

  • 29 August 2018 at 8:10 PM

    Maybe should consider amending 33 via Dover Ave, C’wealth Ave West and North Buona Vista Rd instead of touching 14. Then the ACS/UWC students and Dover residents who depend on 33 can walk 5 mins to the Dover Ave stop or LTA can build a bus stop just opposite Dover Court school so its more convenient for the students.

      • 31 August 2018 at 8:55 AM

        Alternatively just extend 185 to terminate/loop at Ayer Rajah Bus Park, and remove 91. Solves the problem too

        • 31 August 2018 at 3:53 PM

          But this might inconvenience commuters who would want to switch to other services (e.g 32,100,105,106,111,147) at Blk 43 stop along C’wealth Ave if 91 gets withdrawn. I’d assume not everyone not would get off at Buona Vista stn stop.

  • 28 August 2018 at 7:03 PM

    These days route amendment often invite criticism even if a minor one.
    If what the claimant said is true abt peak hr overcrowding, SBS may consider shortworking trips say 166M to cover clementi to dover rd or to loop at AYE/portsdown rd junction.


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