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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs 2 December 2014  

 Singapore's largest transport hub opens in Bedok

SINGAPORE: A revamped Bedok bus interchange, now air-conditioned and linked to Bedok Mall and Bedok MRT station, opened on Sunday (30 Nov) after three years of construction.

The Bedok Integrated Transport Hub is Singapore's largest interchange, and joins the ranks of six other similar hubs in Toa Payoh, Sengkang, Ang Mo Kio, Boon Lay, Serangoon and Clementi. About 30 bus services operate from Bedok - twice that of a typical interchange.

Speaking at the opening, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said integrated transport hubs are one of several initiatives to improve travel experience for bus commuters.

Another is expanding the bus fleet to provide more services, shorten the waiting times and reduce crowding levels, Mr Lui said. This is done through the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP), which aims to add 1,000 buses to expand Singapore's bus fleet by 2017.

Mr Lui said more than half of the 1,000 buses have already been added and 33 new bus services introduced.

"With the BSEP, waiting times for commuters have been shortened by three to seven minutes on the more popular services. We were also able to reduce the number of bus services that were persistently crowded during peak hours by 60 per cent," he said.

"We will continue to do more in the coming years to add more new routes, add more buses to existing routes and to raise the service levels, because, remember, we're only halfway through the BSEP programme and we'll have close to another 500 buses that we will add in to the system."

The Bedok Integrated Transport Hub is expected to benefit some 40,000 commuters daily. Residents were delighted with the opening of the hub. Cheong Boon Chai, a 70-year-old retiree, said: "It's excellent. Now you have air con, whereas the other time, it's so hot and it's so far away, so every time you have to walk quite a distance to your destination to take a bus." Gan Chin Boon, a 20-year-old NSman, said: "I can do all the necessary shopping, so it's rather convenient for me. And it's all sheltered."

Three more integrated transport hubs are under construction, with the one in Joo Koon slated to open next year.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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