Bukit Panjang LRT Overhaul: Commuters to Expect More Disruptions and Shorter Operating Hours

Commuters who use the Bukit Panjang LRT can expect more disruptions as the Land Transport Authority and SMRT look to overhaul the train line.

Following the revelations that Singapore’ most problematic train line was built under “political pressure” and had incorporated a design that wasn’t suited for Bukit Panjang’s terrain, the government will be calling a tender to overhaul the system.

The contract is expected to be awarded in the first quarter of 2018.

Said Second Transport Minister Ng Chee Meng in parliament today:

“In the immediate term, LTA and SMRT are carrying out detailed checks of the LRT’s power rails and performing hotspot replacement works where needed… LTA will also install a new power source at Ten Mile Junction substation to provide a backup to the existing system at Choa Chu Kang.”

Mr Ng added that both exercises will be completed by year-end and in the meantime LTA and SMRT are looking to extend engineering hours to cater to the additional works.

SMRT is forming a “quick response team” to rectify train faults and shorten service recovery times, and more bus services will be deployed from the new Bukit Panjang Integrated Transport Hub to alleviate commuter inconvenience.

But Mr Ng has warned that Bukit Panjang is a “relatively mature estate”, and there are “limits on the number of buses that can be put on the roads without causing further congestion”.

He had told commuters to brace themselves for disruptions and shortened operating hours.

Construction of the BPLRT began in 1996 and it was completed in 1999 at a cost of S$285 million.



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