Friday, October 31, 2008

Boon Lay MRT Extension To Open On Feb28

Source : The Business Times, October 31, 2008

THE Boon Lay Extension (BLE) of the East-West Line is expected to begin service on Feb 28, according to the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

The BLE, it said, will help reduce travel time by as much as 15 minutes by offering direct access to the MRT system instead of requiring bus transfers at Boon Lay station.

It will also reduce the current high utilisation rate of Boon Lay bus interchange and Boon Lay MRT station.

'The BLE is part and parcel of the Land Transport Masterplan to double the rail network in 12 years, from now to 2020,' said Raymond Lim, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs.

In addition, the LTA announced its revised MRT Operating Performance Standards (OPS), which came into effect yesterday.

For one, LTA has tightened the train passenger load indicator from 1,700 to 1,600 passengers per train, placing a more stringent limit on the number of passengers each train can carry.

Secondly, a new indicator - train headway - has been imposed to ensure that the intervals between trains during the peak periods do not exceed stipulated standards.

For instance, the operator will have to ensure that during lunch time on weekdays, the headways at Raffles Place (all bounds) range from three to four minutes.

Thirdly, the availability targets of key equipment such as lifts and escalators will be raised to minimise downtime.

'These standards are necessary for today's passenger ride, and SMRT has always remained well within these standards,' said Saw Phaik Hwa, president and chief executive officer of SMRT Corporation.

The 3.8km extension will benefit residents in Jurong West Town and those working in Jurong Industrial Estate. It has two stations - Pioneer Station at Jurong West St 63, and Joo Koon Station at Joo Koon Circle.

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