Embattled transport operator SMRT yesterday (Nov 11) announced that all 14 stations on the Bukit Panjang LRT line will have their opening hours shorten every Sunday. The stations will open one and a half hours later at 7am instead of 5.30am, jeopardising the schedule of weekend shift workers.
“Services on the Bukit Panjang Light Rail Transit (BPLRT) will start 90 minutes later than usual for the remaining Sundays of this year. With the later opening on Sundays, our maintenance teams will have 1.5 more hours on top of the existing 2 hours every night. This is crucial as it allows our engineers to undertake heavy maintenance works and expedites scheduled replacement works.”
According to Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan, the BPLRT is facing multiple train faults because of it’s railway design. The PAP Minister said that there were “political pressure” during it’s construction in 1999, but did not explain further despite probes by Opposition MP Low Thia Kiang in Parliament earlier this week.
BPLRT system fault is only one of the many problems troubling SMRT. The government-owned transport operator has been busy fending off criticisms over an internal corruption case where maintenance records were falsified. However no criminal charges was raised.
SMRT CEOs Desmond Kuek and Lee Ling Wee managed to keep their jobs by pushing all blame to their employees. Transport Ministers Khaw Boon Wan and Ng Chee Meng also came out unscathed from the flooded train tunnel episode, by clearing themselves of faults claiming that the government have done their due diligence as regulators.