Woodlands MRT station



The Woodlands Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) station was constructed as part of the Woodlands MRT line, built in the early 1990s, which connects Choa Chu Kang to Yishun.1 Located directly under the Woodlands station is Singapore’s first underground bus interchange.2

Description
Woodlands MRT station is spread over 5,448 sq m on a 6-metre hillock. A team of contractors, comprising Hyundai Engineering & Construction and Koon Seng Construction & Transport, was formed to manage the construction project jointly. The station was designed by Parsons Brinckerhoff and Mausell Consultants in association with MRTC Architectural Review. The team chose a contemporary design for the station so that it would blend in with future modern developments around it. The design features clean lines with an eye-catching stone and tile finish, and beige and green tiles.3 The station has three storeys and a circular barrel-like roof. A 15-metre high sculpture weighing 4,000 kg is the centrepiece of the station. The sculpture, “Faces II”, was designed by Singaporean artist Min Chen.4


Facilities
Facilities such as covered walkways were integrated into the design concept from the beginning, unlike older stations where such amenities were added on after the stations were constructed.5 The platforms in the Woodlands station are also more spacious, hence offering commuters more waiting space. This was made possible by building the electrical maintenance rooms at the concourse, where the station control booths and transitlink booths are located, rather than on the platforms.6 The station control room is also better positioned. In most MRT stations, the control room is located between the fare collection gates, but at the Woodlands station, it is located to one side of the fare gates. This enables staff to monitor passenger movement more easily.7 An information system providing train arrival times on electronic display boards was installed on all stations along the Woodlands MRT line, including the Woodlands station, before the line was officially opened.8

Underground bus interchange
The Woodlands station is one of the most heavily used stations along the North-South MRT line.9 Facilities around the station include commercial and entertainment space for commuters, and an underground bus interchange. In 1992, the government commissioned the Mass Rapid Transit Corporation (MRTC; now known as SMRT Corporation) to build a bus interchange in Woodlands. This bus interchange was built directly under the MRT station at a cost of S$34 million.10 It was the first interchange built by the MRTC, as all the earlier ones were built by the Housing and Development Board.11

The Woodlands bus interchange is aesthetically designed with enhanced commuter comfort and operational efficiency. It is equipped with extended call-zone areas, bum rests on queue railings, piped music, covered walkways to nearby buildings, conveniently located bicycle parks, bus stops, a taxi stand and a car drop-off point.12

The interchange also boasts a shopping mall over its roof.13 Computerised display boards were set up to give real-time bus schedules. Six television monitors provide information on major bus routes and bus departure times. The interchange has five alighting bays and 11 boarding bays for buses, and can take up to 33 bus services.14 Additional features include a mechanical ventilation system to draw out bus exhaust fumes, and better noise irrigation facilities.15 Noise levels are further reduced as the parking bays are situated away from the boarding and alighting bays.16

The bus interchange was officially opened together with the Woodlands MRT Line on 10 February 1996 by then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong.17 However, its operations had begun earlier on 4 February. With its opening, all trunk and feeder bus services from the Marsiling terminal, as well as the existing Woodlands interchange, were moved here. New bus routes were also introduced.18

Woodlands regional centre
In 1991, the Urban Redevelopment Authority announced its Concept Plan to develop Woodlands into a regional centre in the north of Singapore.19 The blueprint for the Woodlands regional centre, with the objective of transforming Woodlands into a business and leisure hub, was announced by the HDB on 23 December 1992.20

The Woodlands regional centre is spread over 33 ha, with cultural and entertainment centres such as cinemas and parks, as well as shops, offices and community facilities, all centered around the Woodlands MRT station.21 A seven-storey commercial and entertainment mall, the Causeway Point Shopping Centre, was built near the MRT station in 1999.22 A stone’s throw away is the Woodlands Civics Centre. This 36,300-square-metre building, housing several major public agencies including the Woodlands Regional Library, is a one-stop government centre serving residents living in the north.23




Author

Naidu Ratnala Thulaja



References
1. Leong, C. T. (1991, February 26). Work on Woodlands MRT line to begin later this year. The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. Lee, D. (1992, February 14). MRTC to build $34m underground bus interchange in Woodlands. The Business Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. Vaidyanathan, S. (1993, October 14). Bus interchange under Woodlands station. The Straits Times, p. 14. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4. Nadarajah, I., & Kee, J. (1996, January 21). Residents prepare for easier life with Woodlands MRT line. The Straits Times, p. 24. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Vaidyanathan, S. (1993, October 14). Bus interchange under Woodlands station. The Straits Times, p. 14. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. Nadarajah, I., & Kee, J. (1996, January 21). Residents prepare for easier life with Woodlands MRT line. The Straits Times, p. 24. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Designed for comfort and efficiency (1993, October 14). The Straits Times, p. 14. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. Woodlands commuters get real-time timetables. (1995, April 29). The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
9. Nadarajah, I., & Kee, J. (1996, January 21). Residents prepare for easier life with Woodlands MRT line. The Straits Times, p. 24. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
10. Goh, J. (1992, February 14). Underground bus station to be built in Woodlands. The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
11. Lee, D. (1992, February 14). MRTC to build $34m underground bus interchange in Woodlands. The Business Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
12. Woodlands interchange will be state-of-the-art. (1996, January 27). The Straits Times, p. 32. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
13. Designed for comfort and efficiency. (1993, October 14). The Straits Times, p. 14. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
14. Woodlands interchange will be state-of-the-art. (1996, January 27). The Straits Times, p. 32. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
15. Woodlands commuters get real-time timetables. (1995, April 29). The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
16. Woodlands interchange will be state-of-the-art. (1996, January 27). The Straits Times, p. 32. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
17. Tan, S. A. (1996, January 14). Woodlands MRT line to open next month. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
18. Woodlands interchange will be state-of-the-art. (1996, January 27). The Straits Times, p. 32. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
19. Vaidyanathan, S. (1993, October 14). Bus interchange under Woodlands station. The Straits Times, p. 14. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
20. Tan, C. (1992, December 24). HDB unveils blueprint for Woodlands regional centre. The Business Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
21. Tan, C. (1992, December 24). HDB unveils blueprint for Woodlands regional centre. The Business Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
22. Ng, W. J. (1997, March 21). More commercial, industrial space for Woodlands as northern hub. The Straits Times, p. 74. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
23. Siti Andrianie. (2001, January 21). One-stop govt centre in the north. The Straits Times, p. 33. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.



Further resources
Siti Andrianie. (2001, January 21). One-stop govt centre in the north. The Straits Times, p. 33. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.


Tan, C. (1992, December 10). More retail space for Woodlands MRT stops. The Straits Times, p. 26. Retrieved from NewspaperSG. 



The information in this article is valid as at 2003 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

 

Subject
Local transit--Singapore
Commercial buildings
Architecture and Landscape>>Building Types>>Commercial buildings
Business, finance and industry>>Industry>>Services>>Transportation and logistics
Local transit stations--Singapore
Transportation
Arts>>Architecture>>Public and commercial buildings
Commerce and Industry>>Transportation