SINGAPORE - The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is considering running more buses along key rail stretches, especially during peak periods, said Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan on Sunday morning (Jan 21).
This will strengthen the public transport network, while providing it with "some sort of a backup when needed", he said in a Facebook post.
In his post, he also thanked commuters for giving maintenance staff extra engineering hours through early closures, later opening hours and some Sunday closures at MRT stations.
"This has helped to expedite our work, whether it is re-signalling, or the installation of noise barriers, or more intensive maintenance and inspection," he wrote.
"Every extra hour counts when it comes to maintenance."
On Saturday night, Mr Khaw visited a team of rail workers on the tracks, where he was shown how the new signalling system by French firm Thales has made single-line operations for the North-South Line (NSL) possible.
This new communications-based train control system is currently running on the NSL - Singapore's oldest MRT line - with re-signalling works for the East-West Line to be completed by June this year, LTA has said.
"Simply put, trains travelling in both directions are now able to use a single tunnel while the other tunnel is closed for maintenance works," Mr Khaw said.
This option will give engineers the flexibility when planning maintenance works, which was "not possible under the old signalling system", he said.
Mr Khaw added that this would also minimise the inconvenience faced by commuters.
The new system, which replaces the current fixed-block signalling system, will allow trains to run at faster intervals of 100 seconds, instead of 120 seconds.