SINGAPORE: From Jun 5 to Dec 18 this year, train services at 13 stations along the North-South and East-West Lines will start an hour later on all Sundays except public holidays, transport operator SMRT said.
In a statement on Friday (Apr 15), SMRT said the affected stations would be from Joo Koon to Queenstown on the East-West Line and from Bukit Gombak to Jurong East on the North-South Line.
The new operating hours mean that the train services at these stations will start by 7am, instead of by 6am.
The later starting times will enable project, track patrol and maintenance teams to gain the equivalent of 29 additional maintenance nights over the 6-month period, SMRT said.
Currently, they have about three to four hours each night to carry out works to renew and upgrade the system, in addition to carrying out regular maintenance needed for daily train operations.
Managing Director of SMRT Trains Lee Ling Wee said the company's priority was to ensure rail renewal works were carried out "safely and in the shortest time possible to improve rail reliability".
"Extending our limited engineering hours by an additional hour once a week allows our engineers to gain additional track access to work on their respective projects and carry out maintenance work," he said.
"We seek the understanding and patience of commuters and the general public as we do our very best to complete the various renewal programmes with minimal impact to our train services.”
SMRT encouraged commuters to plan their travel to start after 7am on Sunday mornings where possible. For those that have to travel before 7am, it recommended that they use existing bus services to get to other train stations, or use the Circle Line and Downtown Line to get to the city.
The company added that it had arranged for a new parallel bus service to ply the route from Joo Koon to Bukit Gombak in both directions, and would release more information on the new service and its fares within the next few weeks.