Apparently, SMRT claimed that in February, 83 more train trips per week had been added. Now SMRT is introducing even more trips, adding another 700 extra train trips a week! Seriously, as commuters do you feel any difference? Has the waiting time been shortened? Or is the train less packed now? Personally, I did not feel any difference at all. The waiting time is still 6-8minutes and the train is still very crowded even at non-peak hours. As mentioned in plaktoz’s blog, the train is still as packed even at 12midnight.

Anyway, I believe that commuters will be very happy for the increase in train trips but are commuters absorbing the $5m extra cost incurred annually? Actually, I don’t mind to squeeze in train than paying more =p. It seems like another smart strategy to increase the fare price in the near future.

SMRT adds 700 extra train trips a week, costing it S$5m annually

SMRT is increasing the number of train trips by at least 700 a week to cut commuters’ waiting time and provide them with a more comfortable ride.

A common complaint by MRT passengers is that it gets very crowded at peak periods and on many occasions, commuters are not able to get on the train.

In February, 83 more train trips per week had been added. Now, SMRT is introducing even more trips.

More than 50 per cent of these will be during weekday lunch times (noon-2pm), when waiting time will be halved to just three-and-a-half minutes, SMRT said.

Improvements are also expected for those who go home later after work and those who go out on Friday evenings.

Vincent Tan, Vice President, Rail Operations, SMRT Trains, said: "We have added train trips where possible so that the average trainload is not more than 1,200 passengers.

"The added services will also mean that the trains will arrive within five minutes or less if the passenger loads are within 1,000 and 1,200 passengers."

SMRT said they are already operating at the best intervals of two minutes at the peak within peak and cannot improve this any further, for now.

However, a few commuters were concerned that fares would go up with the increased trips.

In a month’s time, SMRT plans to increase frequency on weekends, for those travelling to and from town and the suburban areas.

SMRT promises that there will be a train arriving every five minutes when trains are packed.

The additional train trips have been rolled out at the most congested stations during lunchtime – between the Ang Mo Kio and Marina Bay stations on the North-South line, and the Outram Park and Aljunied stations on the East-West line.

The additional train trips are expected to cost SMRT an additional S$5 million yearly.

– CNA/vm

Article obtained from channelnewsasia.com on 21st May 2008



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