Bt Panjang LRT renewal set for 2024 completion

Bukit Panjang LRT will see changes to its operations. From Dec 1, the trains will operate only on the anti-clockwise loop on Service B via Petir station during off-peak hours. The Land Transport Authority and SMRT said the change will better match su
Bukit Panjang LRT will see changes to its operations. From Dec 1, the trains will operate only on the anti-clockwise loop on Service B via Petir station during off-peak hours. The Land Transport Authority and SMRT said the change will better match supply with demand and will not affect service to commuters.ST FILE PHOTO

Light rail system now more reliable after boost in maintenance, say LTA and SMRT

The renewal of Bukit Panjang LRT is on track for completion by 2024.

In an update yesterday, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and rail operator SMRT said the light rail system had become more reliable after SMRT stepped up maintenance.

In March last year, the Government had given details of the $344 million project to overhaul the problematic Bukit Panjang LRT, saying that a new signalling system and new trains would be fully rolled out by 2022.

Other works such as replacement of the power rail and decommissioning of the old signalling system's track circuits are slated to be completed by 2024.

In yesterday's statement, SMRT said it began installing the new communications-based train control signalling system in April, and that software testing had started in its system supplier Bombadier Transportation's overseas test laboratories.

Meanwhile, SMRT will be making some changes to the operations of Bukit Panjang LRT.

From Dec 1, the trains will operate only on the anti-clockwise loop on Service B via Petir station during off-peak hours. The trains currently run in both directions.

 
 
 

Off-peak hours are from 9am to 5pm and from 8pm to midnight on weekdays as well as on weekends and public holidays.

LTA and SMRT said the change will better match supply with demand and will not affect service to commuters.

SMRT added that to enhance connectivity between Bukit Panjang and Choa Chu Kang, the existing peak-hour bus service BPS1 will be upgraded to a new full-day bus service from Nov 10.

This new service 976 will enhance connectivity to the schools in Bukit Panjang Ring Road, Institute of Technical Education College West, and other local amenities such as the upcoming polyclinic and hawker centre in Senja, said LTA and SMRT.

Mr Liang Eng Hwa, an MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, told The Straits Times that the new bus service was the result of more than a year of lobbying.

He said four schools in Bukit Panjang Ring Road - Beacon Primary School, Greenridge Secondary School, West Spring Primary School and Zhenghua Secondary School - which previously had no access to public transport, will be served by the new bus service.

"With the new changes, I hope we can become a greener and more car-lite town," he said.

SMRT said that to ensure commuters are aware of the changes, announcements will be made at all LRT stations and additional staff will be deployed to provide commuters with assistance.

Updates will also be available on SMRT's website, Facebook page and Twitter feed, as well as on the SMRTConnect app.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 26, 2019, with the headline 'Bt Panjang LRT renewal set for 2024 completion'. Print Edition | Subscribe