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LTA to look into train frequencies to prevent crowding during COVID-19 circuit breaker period: Khaw

LTA to look into train frequencies to prevent crowding during COVID-19 circuit breaker period: Khaw

A crowded MRT train on Apr 17, 2020, the first day of reduced transport services. (Photo: Facebook/Elvis Ezekiel Yap)

SINGAPORE: The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will make some adjustments to the frequency of train services to prevent crowding during the COVID-19 "circuit breaker" period.

This comes after reports of crowded trains on Friday (Apr 17), the first day that trains were running at longer intervals due to reduced ridership as most people work and study from home.

Acknowledging that this has caused "some crowding" in some stretches of the North-South East-West Line and the Circle Line during the morning peak, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said on Saturday that LTA is studying the matter and will "refine the headways for implementation on Monday".

READ: MRT trains to run less frequently, some bus services will be suspended amid COVID-19 circuit breaker period

“I have told LTA to err on the side of generosity, i.e. to over-provide rather than under-provide,” Mr Khaw said on Facebook.

“During CB (circuit breaker), the priority is safe distancing and ensuring our essential workers can reach their work places safely and punctually. For non-essential workers, please work from home and stay at home.”

Photos posted on social media showed crowding during peak hours on Friday, with many questioning how they could keep to safe distancing measures in such conditions.

In response to CNA's queries earlier on Saturday, LTA said that the adjustments to train frequencies are "part of ongoing efforts to optimise public transport service provision in view of the sharp fall in ridership".

"That notwithstanding, ensuring that commuters can maintain a safe distance from one another when on board our trains and buses remains a priority, especially during the circuit breaker period," said the authority.

"LTA and the respective public transport operators are closely monitoring the situation and will make the necessary adjustments."

It also reminded commuters to wear a mask and comply with instructions from transport ambassadors and public transport workers.

Source: CNA/ga(gs)


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