Singapore

Bt Panjang LRT system upgrades to cost millions

Are you one of those affected by the Bukit Panjang LRT system disruptions?

The 16-year-old system has suffered a spate of problems and delays this year.

For instance, the 90-minute-long evening peak-hour disruption in April affected about 10,000 commuters.

The problems have left commuters like data analyst Chua Way Ne, 27, hoping for greater reliability

Commuters at the Bukit Panjang LRT station last November. PHOTO: ST FILE

Mr Chua told The Straits Times: 

“Once in a while, there are delays of a couple of minutes... Those are okay. But the one in April was bad.

"Even though there were bus bridging services, I was still late for work.”

About 54,000 people use the Bukit Panjang LRT currently, ST reported.

Last year's daily ridership was 51,000.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) and SMRT said in a statement on Thursday (June 25) that they will be upgrading the system.

Passengers walking on the track on 30 Nov 2010, after the Bukit Panjang LRT's services were disrupted due to a power fault. PHOTO: STOMP

Set to cost "millions", the improvements will take up to nine months to implement.

Here are the changes, at a glance: *Replace power rail brackets at crossings To address the issue of traction power tripping and loss of power to train cars. *Cameras will be installed under train cars to detect problems early *SMRT will work with manufacturer Bombardier on remote reset feature for train cars to allow for quicker recovery when the service is down. *Add 26 more employees at stations across the line To drive the trains manually, trained to resolve technical faults. *Ongoing works to enhance ​Bukit Panjang and Choa Chu Kang LRT stations To cater to higher traffic expected (with opening of Downtown Line 2)

Holland-Bukit Timan GRC MP Liang Eng Hwa welcomed the improvements.

He added: “Equally important is the service recovery... the operator (must) respond in a speedy manner and have clear instructions about where there would be free back- up bus services."

He also posted on Facebook:

PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ LIANG ENG HWA

Some commuters praised the upcoming changes.

Others pointed out areas where more improvements are welcome.

Sources: Straits Times, Channel NewsAsia, Facebook

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