Our beloved Woodlands Bus Interchange is moving, again. Twenty years ago, in 1996, the Woodlands Bus Interchange moved from further up north to its current location beneath the Woodlands MRT, and after serving us for 20 years, it is going to move elsewhere soon. For most Woodlanders, waiting for buses at the interchange is a daily thing, and as much as we hated waiting, we definitely feel sad that our familiar interchange is going to go soon. Very sad indeed.
But then again, we all know it’s for the good of all Woodlanders. After all, we would most likely be expecting some high-tech interchange (think: Boon Lay Interchange before & after, or Ang Mo Kio Interchange before & after) whereby buses can fly.
The temporary interchange, to be active on 12 March 2016, would still be awesome, though. There are sheltered walkways to both the MRT station and Causeway Point, and we’re sure there would be some new features in it as well.
Here are 10 memories about the Woodlands Interchange that we’ll all cherish. And no, they don’t include the first kiss you have there because there are, well, people who broke up there, too.
It is awesome
Seriously, Woodlands Interchange is the most awesome interchange in the whole of Singapore. And we have our reasons for this bold claim. If you didn’t know, it is the only underground bus interchange in Singapore. Yes. We didn’t know it too at first. Like you, we have treated it just like any other interchange that gives us bus rides home. But one fine day, we go “wait a minute…” and we realise that in no other places can we find the bus interchange sitting right underneath the MRT station. If you are slapping your thighs in enlightenment after reading this, you are as observant as a lamp and should probably start opening your eyes.
It is ingenious
Because the designers of the interchange have decided to save precious land by building the interchange underneath the MRT station, Woodlanders are treated to an awesome view of grass whenever they return home. Seriously. The MRT stands like a lone tree surrounded by huge fields of unused land occasionally used to host pasar malams. Sadly, they are going to go soon too, together with the interchange. We’ll miss it like siao.
Mixing up directions
Woodlands interchange is confusing. Very confusing. There is an east exit and a west exit. And some buses go both ways. So when you try to tell your friends the directions to your house, you have to repeatedly emphasise to take the bus in the correct direction. However, because Woodlands in the only place with an east exit and west exit, your friends will never understand you, and will end up in Marsiling anyway.
Cannot find the interchange
Sometimes, a friend with the direction sense of a chair will call you ten times and still not find the bus interchange. Because they just couldn’t fathom the idea of a bus interchange being underground. A huge one too. Woodlands interchange came straight out of a sci-fi film, minus the air-con and Commander Spock.
Smiles, smiles everywhere
Working in the bus interchange could have been one of the happiest things in the world because it seems like wherever I go, bus captains would be smiling at me. With so many happy bus captains there (check out here and here!), it’s no surprise that you’ll feel better once you step into the interchange, because smiles, smiles everywhere!
The relief brought by the interchange
Woodlanders really live in the “countryside”, and it means hour-long journeys to everywhere else on the island. Fortunately, Woodlands interchange hosts a whole range of long distance buses to help us get around a little easier. And nothing beats the feeling you get when you see the bus sinking underground into the interchange and you know that your sore butt is finally going to get some relief soon.
Because it is underground, the noise from the engine can get really loud, so you have to blast your music. But over time that “noise of Woodlands Interchange” has become associated with the feeling of “reaching home soon”, so, surprisingly, some of us might actually miss that sound.
Naturally, personal vehicles are not allowed into the interchange (because it’s dangerous, duh!). However, some of the bus drivers just seem to have to ride a motorbike to work, so every now and then we see a random motorbike cruise across in front of us which actually looks really comical beside all the huge double decked buses.
All Woodlanders would be familiar with this.
This gigantic two-storey sculpture used to be inside the MRT station, then, by some magical means, it was moved outside the station where it stands now. After twenty years and countless hours waiting for the bus spent deciphering the meaning of this thing, we still do not have a definitive answer. Is it a steel dragon? A worm? A collection of many grumpy faces? We hope someday we will get the answer for this question. Meanwhile, it’ll continue to fascinate the minds of Woodlanders. And I seriously hope it won’t be removed, because thinking about the meaning of this thing is as deep as thinking about the origin of the universe–and we all like to think about deep things in the bus.
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