SINGAPORE: There will be more room for commuters riding the Sengkang-Punggol LRT service following the launch of two-car trains on Tuesday (Jan 5).
There are eight trains in all, with each two-car train carrying 204 passengers - double the 102-person capacity of the single-car trains which plied the route before Tuesday. The new two-car trains run on the Sengkang Loop at a frequency of about three to four minutes during the morning and evening peak hours.
"In the past we have received many feedback from our residents, especially in Sengkang West, that waiting times for the LRT trains are quite long," said Sengkang West MP Lam Pin Min. "I think with the implementation of the dual carriage, this will increase the capacity by double and, hopefully, the waiting times will decreased significantly."
According to transport authorities, more than 61,000 commuters ride the Sengkang LRT route every day.
Senior Minister of State for Transport Ng Chee Meng, who launched the new trains Tuesday morning, said he was "very happy" with the upgrade, and he hoped it would bring more comfort to residents in the area.
"As you know, we live a relatively hectic life: Coming in the morning with the kids, going to school, going to work," he said. "That availability to board the first train is a major convenience to the residents."
The initiative was first announced by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in 2012, and authorities say another 16 new trains will be added to the Sengkang-Punggol LRT fleet by the middle of this year.
According to an LTA news announcement in 2012, the addition of the 16 trains will increase the total fleet size to 57 trains, up 40 per cent.
The Punggol Loop will also be upgraded to a similar two-car system by 2017, it added.