In a press conference yesterday (Nov 21), SMRT announced that they will be cutting operating hours but there will be no reduction in fares. Commuters will have to pay train fares for the slower shuttle bus services. Starting in December with no project completion date, 19 stations in total – 17 on the East-West Line and 2 North-South Line stations, Bukit Batok and Bukit Gombak – will end operation hours at 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Service will also start later at 8am instead of the usual 5.30am on Saturdays and Sundays.
Also announced is the full-day shut down on Dec 10 and Dec 17, affecting all 19 stations.
“The shorter operating hours will double engineering and track access time for engineers to “accelerate” re-signalling works on the EWL. Bukit Batok and Bukit Gombak are affected as engineering works will extend to Jurong East MRT station, a heavily used intersection of the NSL and EWL. With extended engineering hours from December, the completion of re-signalling works on the EWL will be significantly accelerated from the end of 2017 to June 2018.”
There will be no reduction in train fares. The Transport Ministry increased fares by 4.2% in Oct and did not inform commuters of the reduced working hours in advance.