As we step into the second half of 2017, Land Transport Guru reviews the happenings in the public transport industry in April – June 2017.
- Launch of Tuas West Extension
- New Signalling System Trials
- 3-Door Single Decker Bus Trial
- Launch of New Generation C151B Trains
- City Direct Services transferred to SBS Transit and SMRT
- Downtown Line Stage 3 to open in October
- New Enviro500 and MAN Lion’s City DD Buses
- Stroller-friendly Public Buses
- MAN A95 bus models launched by Knackstop
1. Launch of Tuas West Extension
4 new train stations were opened on the East West Line on 18 June 2017. The Tuas West Extension, comprising EW30 Gul Circle, EW31 Tuas Crescent, EW32 Tuas West Road and EW33 Tuas Link stations, offers enhanced connectivity and reduced travelling time in the Tuas Industrial Area. The stations were showcased to the public on 16 June 2017 in a half-day open house.
To complement the four new stations, 2 new bus services were introduced, while 5 other bus services were amended. New Bus services 247 and 248 provide new connections to Tuas Bay Link and Tuas South Ave 14. Existing bus services 192, 193 and 254 were amended.
- Tuas West Extension Open House on 16 Jun 2017
- Bus Service Enhancements for Tuas West Extension opening
- Tuas West Extension Opening on 18 June 2017
2. New Signalling System Trials
Full-scale weekday testing of the new Communications-based Train Control (CBTC) system along the North South Line commenced on 28 May 2017.
The North-South and East-West lines are being upgraded from a speed-signalled Fixed Block signalling system to a new CBTC signalling system, expected to be commissioned in Year 2017 and 2018 for both lines respectively.
Unlike new lines where engineers are able to test systems prior to opening, SMRT had to progressively test and implement the new signalling system without disrupting normal train services. However, this was met with teething problems which plagued commuters’ rides with unforeseen delays, lengthy waiting times, and short door-opening times.
In addition, the East West Line operates on the CBTC signalling along the new Tuas West Extension. In daily operations, trains switch from the legacy Westinghouse fixed-block system to the Thales CBTC system at Pioneer Station.
3. 3-Door Single Decker Bus Trial
On 19 June, SMRT launched the trial of a 3-door MAN Lion’s City SD Concept Bus on Bus Service 190. LTA is evaluating the feasibility of buses with an additional exit door, allowing an easier exit for commuters at the rear of the bus. Registered as SG4002G, the bus also features seats with headrests, USB charging ports, Passenger Information Display Systems, and low-height windows to give seating passengers a better view of the surroundings.
The bus is on a six-month trial last till January 2018. Running alongside is a 3-door MAN Lion’s City DD L Concept Bus, which started its six month trial earlier in March 2017 under Tower Transit.