Bukit Panjang LRT overhaul on track for completion by 2024: LTA, SMRT

From Dec 1, the trains on the Bukit Panjang LRT will operate only the anticlockwise loop on Service B via Petir station during off-peak hours. The trains currently run in both directions.
From Dec 1, the trains on the Bukit Panjang LRT will operate only the anticlockwise loop on Service B via Petir station during off-peak hours. The trains currently run in both directions.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The renewal of the Bukit Panjang LRT (BPLRT) is on track for completion by 2024.

In an update on Friday (Oct 25), the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and SMRT said that the light-rail system had become more reliable after SMRT stepped up maintenance.

In March last year, the Government gave details of the $344 million project to overhaul the problematic BPLRT, saying that a new signalling system and new trains will be fully rolled out by 2022. Other works such as the replacement of the power rail, and the decommissioning of the old signalling system's track circuits, are slated to be completed by 2024.

In the statement on Friday, 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 Transport's overseas test laboratories.

Meanwhile, SMRT will be making some changes to the operations of the BPLRT.

From Dec 1, the trains will operate only the anticlockwise loop on Service B via Petir station during off-peak hours.

The trains currently run in both directions.

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

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

To enhance connectivity between Bukit Panjang and Choa Chu Kang, SMRT added that the existing peak-hour bus service BPS1 will be upgraded to a new full-day bus Service 976 from Nov 10.

 
 
 

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

Mr Liang Eng Hwa, 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 would now be served by the new bus Service 976.

He said: “With the new changes, I hope we can become a greener and more car-lite town.”

To ensure that the commuters are aware of the changes, SMRT said 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, and the SMRTConnect app.