SINGAPORE - The Bukit Panjang LRT system will see an increase in capacity within the next few months, to bring relief to peak-hour congestion.
The first of 13 new train cars for the system arrived in Singapore on Sunday, with the rest due over the new few months.
Giving an update on LRT improvement projects on Wednesday, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said the new train cars will undergo extensive tests at the Bukit Panjang depot before they are injected into the network from the last quarter of this year.
Commuters have seen the LRT system become increasingly overcrowded during peak periods, as ridership continues to grow.
The 13 additional trains, first announced in 2011, will increase the peak-hour capacity of the system by about 50 per cent. There are currently 19 trains in the LRT system.
The LTA said the frequency between Choa Chu Kang and Bukit Panjang LRT stations will go down from 2.5 minutes today to 2.2 minutes, while train frequency for the loop between Petir and Senja stations will improve from 5 minutes now to 4.4 minutes.
In addition, work has begun to construct two additional platforms at Choa Chu Kang LRT station.
Currently, commuters face a tight squeeze on the single platform during peak hours due to the high volume of passengers moving in and out.
The two new platforms will serve alighting passengers, freeing up the existing platform for boarding passengers.
Extra fare gates will be built, and a staircase that commuters use to transfer between the MRT and LRT will be widened. All these works will be completed by the end of 2016.
On the Sengkang-Punggol LRT system, engineers have begun work to modify the train cars and signalling system to allow two-car train operations. These modifications are also due to be ready by the end of 2016.