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Platforms of NE15 Buangkok MRT station

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Buangkok MRT Station (NE15) is an underground station located on the North East Line of the Mass Rapid Transit in Singapore. The station is in Sengkang and near to Hougang and serves residents in the vicinity.

The art in Transit artwork is Water, Nature and the Contemporary by Vincent Leow.

HistoryEdit

Buangkok station was originally planned to be opened with the other of the 16 stations on the North East Line in 2003. A few days before the opening, SBS Transit decided not to open the station as the area around the station is relatively undeveloped and the company claimed that the number of passengers would be too low to cover operating costs.

On 12 November 2005, then Transport Minister Yeo Cheow Tong announced that the station would open in mid January 2006[1] to much approval from the public,[2] and on 29 December, SBS Transit revealed the opening date to be 15 January 2006.[3] The station was well maintained like any other station throughout the time before it was opened. To get ready for the station's opening, the programming had to be updated to include Buangkok. Residents had said they would be willing to walk 400 metres to the station every day.[4]

The station opened with much fanfare on 15 January 2006. SBS Transit had expected around 3,500 commuters using the station daily, which would be the lowest among all the NEL stations and result in the station making a loss.

Even so, ridership on this station was much lower than expected on its opening week. It had an average of only 1,386 passenger trips per day, which was much worse than other NEL stations with low ridership. For example, Clarke Quay MRT Station, the next lowest station in terms of ridership, had already more than 6,000 commuter trips per day. However, Clarke Quay was located in the Central Business District with considerable development in the area.

SBS Transit has since said it is still too early to draw a conclusion on Buangkok Station's ridership and viability. However, with construction of flats behind the station expected to be completed by end 2007, ridership should increase substantially.

First White Elephant IncidentEdit

File:Ne15 buangkok.jpg
File:Buangkok MRT Station 3, Aug 06.JPG

On 27 August 2005, during Minister Vivian Balakrishnan's visit to Punggol South, a resident, displeased with Buangkok's disuse, erected a series of white paper cut-outs of elephants, which were drawn in a cartoon-like style, symbolically calling the unopened Buangkok station a 'white elephant'. Soon after, police started an investigation on it as a case of a public display without permit, on the grounds that a complaint was received and that they may have been in violation of the Public Entertainment and Meetings Act, for which the maximum penalty is a fine not exceeding $10,000. It raised controversy because many people saw it as a harmless, trivial case not worthy of investigation. It also highlighted the general displeasure over the non-operation of the MRT station after it was built with public funds. It also raised questions on how much freedom of expression the government is willing to tolerate. A month later, police closed the investigation without pressing charges but issued a stern warning to the offender.[5] This led Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng to explain to the media, "We cannot apply the law to some and turn a blind eye to others. If we do, then the law becomes the real white elephant."

Second White Elephant IncidentEdit

File:RGS Save the White Elephants.png

On 13 January 2006, during a carnival celebrating the opening of the MRT Station, some 27 students from Raffles Girls' School were preparing to sell T-shirts bearing "Save the White Elephants" to raise funds for a charity Youth Guidance. This prompted a warning from the police that they needed a fund-raising permit and that "wearing of T-shirts en masse may be misconstrued by some as an offence under the Miscellaneous Offences (Public & Order & Nuisance) (Assemblies & Processions) Rules." [6]

The girls said that they had always taken a strong interest in current affairs and Buangkok incident inspired them to start what they called "Project White Elephant" aiming to "galvanise the youth of today to rise up from the apathy they are stereotyped with and take an active role in airing their views". Punggol South grassroots leaders were impressed by their "entrepreneurial spirit and derring-do", and invited them to set up a stall at the opening ceremony of the station to sell the T-shirts.

On 21 January 2006, Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng apologised for the way the police had overreacted to the group of school girls' plan to sell and wear white elephant T-shirts at the opening of Buangkok Station.[7]

Train serviceEdit

Destination First Train Last Train
Mon - Sat Sunday &
Public Holiday
Daily
North East Line
to NE1 HarbourFront 5.47am 6.07am 11.32pm
to NE17 Punggol 6.27am 6.47am 12.22am

Current Station LayoutEdit

L1 Street Level Bus Stops, Shops
B1 Concourse Faregates, Ticketing Machines, Passenger Service Centre
B2 Platform A North East Line towards  NE1  CC29  HarbourFront (→)
Island platform, Doors will open on the right
Platform B North East Line towards  NE17  Punggol (←)

Bus services nearbyEdit

The following bus services pass by the bus stops along Sengkang Central:

Bus Stop Code: 67601 (Buangkok Station)
Service Between And Notes
SBS Transit Trunk Services
27 Hougang Central Bus Interchange Changi Airport PTB 1, 2 and 3 Bus Terminal
43 Punggol Bus Interchange Upper East Coast Bus Terminal
Bus Stop Code: 67609 (Buangkok Station)
Service Between And Notes
SBS Transit Trunk Services
27 Hougang Central Bus Interchange Changi Airport PTB 1, 2 and 3 Bus Terminal
43 Punggol Bus Interchange Upper East Coast Bus Terminal

The following busses pass along Sengkang East Avenue:

Bus Stop Code: 67261 (Blk 203B)
Service Between And Notes
SBS Transit Trunk Services
27 Hougang Central Bus Interchange Changi Airport PTB 1, 2 and 3 Bus Terminal
163 Sengkang Bus Interchange Toa Payoh Bus Interchange
163M Sengkang Bus Interchange Fernvale Lane (loop)
Bus Stop Code: 67269 (Opp Blk 203A)
Service Between And Notes
SBS Transit Trunk Services
27 Hougang Central Bus Interchange Changi Airport PTB 1, 2 and 3 Bus Terminal
163 Sengkang Bus Interchange Toa Payoh Bus Interchange
163M Sengkang Bus Interchange Fernvale Lane (loop)
SBS Transit Premium Services
550 Rivervale Drive Fullerton Road

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

Template:Commonscat

Template:Singapore MRT stationsja:ブアンコック駅 zh:万国地铁站

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