Complaining about the lack of time to do maintenance works, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan today (Mar 7) announced that operating hours will shorten further in the year instead of the previously planned dates. The Minister admitted that he underestimated the amount of work to be done and asked for more days of shortened operating hours:
“Extended engineering hours will continue beyond June this year, in order to speed up maintenance works. To accelerate the renewal of the ageing assets, we will reinforce our bus network to provide some back-up capacity. We will be deploying 450 buses to bolster capacity along existing bus routes which support critical stretches of the rail network undergoing renewal. These buses were planned to meet growing ridership demand and to replace our ageing bus fleet. We are bringing forward their deployment to strengthen the resilience of our public transport network in the interim.”
The PAP Minister reported that maintenance progress has “doubled”:
“The additional engineering hours has led to SMRT doubling its progress of preventive maintenance and repairs. Extended engineering hours have been very useful to our engineering team. They allow us to speed up the renewal of ageing assets, as well as the installation of noise barriers around the island. For residents living next to MRT tracks, this is a welcome development. Extended engineering hours have also allowed us to step up preventive maintenance and repairs.”
Minister Khaw Boon Wan promised the project will be completed by “early” 2020, the year of General Election.