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SMRT and LTA’s Possible Solution to Pain-In-The-Ass Bukit Panjang LRT: Just Scrap It Lah

Let residents take the bus lah – that’s one of the ideas that has come up as SMRT and the LTA decide what to do with the problematic Bukit Panjang LRT line.

The pair are considering scrapping the train line altogether, which may inconvenience up to 50,000 commuters who take the train daily.

SMRTS Trains managing director Mr Lee Ling Wee said in an internal blog post that a joint team is reviewing the future of the system with a view to giving it a major overhaul.

The Bukit Panjang LRT line has been a big embarrassment for SMRT ever since it began operating in 1999.

It has been plagued with problems, including a disruption last week where train services were suspended for 5 hours between interchanges.

In July, a passenger reported that the Emergency Stop button wasn’t working even as a train sped past 3 LRT stations, and there was no response from the Emergency Phone.

Possibly the most embarrassing incident came in 2000, when a LRT train crashed into the back of another train, marking the first ever head-to-tail collision involving LRT trains.

But besides scrapping the line, other options are on the table.

These include deploying self-powered autonomous guided vehicles, building a whole new LRT system with design enhancements, and to renewing the existing Bombardier system with a more updated signalling system – allowing trains to be tracked more accurately, and to ply at a higher frequency.



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