MRT trains to run less frequently, some bus services will be suspended amid COVID-19 circuit breaker period
SINGAPORE: With a “significant drop” in the number of people taking public buses and trains during the COVID-19 circuit breaker period, train frequencies will be reduced and selected bus services will be suspended, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a news release on Tuesday (Apr 14).
“Compared to the pre-COVID-19 period, daily bus and rail ridership has fallen by more than 71 per cent and 75 per cent respectively,” LTA said.
“These adjustments will help to mitigate the significant financial impact caused by the reduced riderships, and help keep public transport operations financially sustainable.”
The changes for bus services will take effect from Wednesday, and adjustments to MRT services will kick in on Friday.
Selected bus services serving the Central Business District or recreational places will be suspended as trips to these destinations have decreased the most, LTA said.
These are the affected services:
The frequencies for trains operating on the North-South, East-West, North East, Circle and Downtown Lines will be reduced to no more than five minutes during peak periods and around 10 minutes during off-peak periods.
They currently operate at frequencies of no more than three minutes during peak hours and around five minutes during off-peak periods.
Operating hours will also be shortened, ending about 30 minutes earlier.
The Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) will see its hours further shortened to operate between 6.30am and 8pm. It currently operates on shorter hours to facilitate system integration works for TEL Phase 2.
It will continue to operate at frequencies of around seven minutes during peak periods, and 12 minutes during off-peak hours.
The Sengkang-Punggol LRT will operate a single loop service during off-peak periods and end train service about 30 minutes earlier, given reduced ridership, LTA added.
There are no changes to the Bukit Panjang LRT service, which is already operating a single loop service during off-peak periods.
With these changes in place, LTA said operators will also ensure that there is sufficient space for commuters to maintain safe distancing from one another.