SINGAPORE - Seven MRT stations along the North-South Line will close earlier on Fridays and Saturdays and open later on the weekends in May, to facilitate maintenance and rectification works.
Khatib, Yio Chu Kang, Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Braddell, Toa Payoh and Novena stations will close earlier at around 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and open later at around 8am on weekends in May.
The additional hours from the early closure and late opening will "more than double" the available time for SMRT's engineering teams to intensify maintenance and accelerate rectification works along the North-South Line, said the train operator in a statement on Thursday (April 19).
During the planned closures, commuters can still travel on the NSL between Jurong East and Yishun stations, and between Newton and Marina South Pier stations.
For the affected stations, commuters can take Shuttle Bus Service 9, which will ply along the stretch between Yishun and Newton stations. The bus service will stop at designated pick-up and drop-off points near the affected stations.
An express bus service, Express 16, will also be provided as a direct connection to the North-East Line and Circle Line, SMRT said.
It will run between Ang Mo Kio and Serangoon MRT stations.
Last month, all 35 stations on the East-West Line were also affected by similar early closures and late openings.
On Fridays and Saturdays of last March, the stations closed an hour earlier at around 11pm, and opened later at 8am on the weekends of the month. On March 12 and 14, during the March school holidays, the EWL stations also closed earlier at 10.30pm.
Last December, shorter operating hours were also scheduled for 19 stations on the NSL and EWL, and some stations were closed all day on two Sundays. The affected stations were Tiong Bahru to Tuas Link on the East-West Line, as well as Bukit Batok and Bukit Gombak stations on the North-South Line.
Trains usually run from 5.30am to about midnight daily.
Last month, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said commuters should expect early closures and late openings of the train network to continue beyond June, to give engineers more time to do carry out upgrading work.
Three out of six major renewal programmes for the North-South, East-West MRT lines will be completed by middle of this year, with the remaining three slated for completion by early-2020s.