Rail standards to rise substantially from next year

SINGAPORE - Rail operators will have to meet significantly higher service standards from next year, the Land Transport Authority announced on Thursday.

Coinciding with the completion of re-signalling works on the North-South Line, requirements include increasing train frequency from around 120 seconds today to 100 seconds. The East-West Line's frequency will be 110 seconds because of some technical constraints.

Frequency on the North-East Line will be 120 seconds, down from 160 today. And Circle Line trains will run as frequently as once every 160 seconds, from 210 seconds now.

The LTA will also track and measure rail disruptions more stringently, to reflect more closely what commuters experience in real life.

Delays are also measured on an end-to-end journey basis, rather than per-station.

Standards will also be raised for station services such as lifts, escalators and air-conditioning. Security-related standards will also go up.

All the new standards come with a new set of financial penalties that will be based on a percentage of a line's revenue - rather than the existing fixed ceiling today.

With these in place, the LTA said commuters can expect shorter waiting times, faster and more comfortable rides and fewer disruptions.

christan@sph.com.sg