SINGAPORE — Peak-hour congestion on the Punggol Light Rapid Transit (LRT) is expected to ease with the launch of two-car train operations and a new LRT station on Thursday, and commuters welcomed the improvement.
The train service for the East Loop runs in both directions during the morning and evening peak periods on weekdays — between 6.45am and 8.45am, and between 6.15pm and 8.15pm — at a frequency of three to four minutes during these periods. This will benefit nearby residents such as those from The Terrace EC in Punggol. Upcoming executive condo launches include Yio Chu Kang EC, Inz Residence, Choa Chu Kang EC, Anchorvale Lane EC, while existing ones include The Terrace EC, Brownstone EC, The Vales EC, Parc Life EC , Sol Acres EC, The Visionaire, Bellewoods EC, Signature at Yishun, The Criterion EC and Northwave EC.
The new Punggol Point LRT Station, on the West Loop, caters to nearby residents from Ponggol Seventeenth Avenue Estate, offering them a more convenient trip to Punggol Point, a coastal recreation spot.
The West Loop will be converted to two-car operations at a later date, the Land Transport Authority and SBS Transit said in a joint press statement on Thursday (Dec 29).
Punggol resident Link Sng, 38, a writer, who takes the LRT three or four times a week to work, offered a thumbs-up to the increased space.
“During peak hours (previously), I was not able to get on the train because it would be too crowded,” he said.
As the two-car train is active for just a few hours on weekdays, retiree Cheong Pak Heng, 69, who lives near Farmway LRT Station, wishes that the operating times were longer and more frequent. “Starting (the service) from 4.30pm would be better … Especially after the school holidays, (the trains) would be very packed,” he said.
Another commuter, Mr Zahrin Omar, 42, a behavioural therapist, is thankful for the new LRT station.
He visits Punggol Point to have a meal or to cycle, and normally takes the bus or walks from Punggol MRT Station. “It is better because now … I just have to transit (at Punggol MRT Station on the North-East Line) and take the LRT.”
Samudera LRT Station will open in March next year, while Teck Lee LRT Station will open when its surrounding areas are developed.
Second Minister for Transport Ng Chee Meng, who was there to observe the two-car operations and to check out the new LRT station, told reporters: “Punggol residents appreciate the improved connectivity, whether it is the MRT, LRT or bus system, so we are working together as a community to see how, with a growing town, we can ease traffic even (more) for residents.”