SMRT – BT

Oct: Circle Line fully open; Dec: more NS, EW capacity

CCL will relieve crowding along N-S and E-W lines by about 10-15%

THE remaining 12 stations on the Circle Line will open for service on Oct 8, while capacity along the North-South and East-West MRT Lines will be increased from December.

Transport Minister and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs Lui Tuck Yew announced this yesterday after riding the Circle Line (CCL) from Labrador Park to Caldecott.

The 12 stations are from Caldecott to HarbourFront and part of the last two of the five CCL phases.

The orbital line has a total of 28 stations, the first five of which were opened in May 2009 and the subsequent 11 in April 2010.

Daily ridership on the CCL is now about 200,000 and when it is fully open, this number is expected to double to 400,000.

Mr Lui said the CCL will enhance connectivity of the rail network and cut travel time for many commuters.

‘For example, travelling from Bishan to Buona Vista will take only 26 minutes compared to 40 minutes today via the North-South and East-West Lines,’ he said.

He added that the full opening of the CCL will relieve crowding along the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL) by about 10-15 per cent.

‘With the completion of the Jurong East Modification Project and injection of the five additional trains since May, we have seen some improvement in train loading along critical stretches of the NSEWL. With these additional trains, LTA and SMRT are able to add more train trips during the peak period,’ said Mr Lui, referring to the Land Transport Authority and train operator SMRT Corp.

He said that to increase capacity, 17 more trains will be added by December along the NSEWL.

‘An additional 13 trains will be delivered around 2014-2015. Together, these 30 trains will enhance the capacity of the NSEWL by about 25 per cent,’ said Mr Lui.

Currently, however, the frequency of train services during peak periods is limited by the signalling system, which is undergoing an upgrade. When this is completed in 2016-2018, intervals between trains will fall from two minutes to 100 seconds.

‘However, I understand that LTA and SMRT are finalising plans to add more train trips to improve off-peak frequencies. These service improvements will be announced soon,’ said Mr Lui.

Peak hours may vary according to the distance of the station from the city centre but they are usually defined as 7-9am, and 5-8pm.

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