MRT more reliable with fewer delays, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

MRT more reliable with fewer delays

This article is more than 12 months old

NEL leads way with record 4 million train-km between delays

Singapore's MRT network continued to improve in the first half of this year, with SBS Transit's North East Line (NEL) leading the way with a record 4 million train-km between delays - double its figure in the first quarter.

On the whole, the network clocked an average of 955,000 train-km between delays - up from 786,000 train-km in the first quarter and 690,000 train-km for the whole of last year.

This puts it close to Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan's 2020 target of 1 million train-km between delays.

The figures were released by the Land Transport Authority yesterday and were based on a 12-month average.

SMRT's North South Line was the second-best performer, with 1.44 million train-km, up from 1.1 million train-km in the first three months.

The performance of Singapore's oldest line, which had three of its six major assets renewed, exceeded that of the newest line, the Downtown Line (DTL). Operated by SBS Transit, the DTL clocked 1.15 million train-km between glitches.

This was followed by SMRT's two other lines: the East-West Line with 693,000 train-km and Circle Line with 606,000 train-km.

The LRT network also showed improvement, clocking 130,000 car-km between delays, up from 115,000 car-km in the first quarter. The Sengkang-Punggol LRT posted 353,000 car-km (up from 216,000 car-km), while the Bukit Panjang LRT managed 66,000 car-km (up from 60,000 car-km).

There were fewer major disruptions (those longer than 30 minutes) on the entire rail network, with three recorded in the second quarter - down from five in the first three months. For the whole of last year, there were 20 major delays.

Mr Jimmy Chua, 35, an author and a regular NEL user, said the line has been more reliable but added it would be good if early closures could be suspended on days of major events.

"One of the maintenance days coincided with Manchester United playing against Inter Milan here (on July 20)," he said. "Many soccer fans had to take bridging bus services."

Mr Khaw told Parliament last month that with rail operators posting losses and the Government subsidising more than 30 per cent of public transport operations, the fare formula, due for a review in 2023, needs to reflect the higher cost of running the MRT.