Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan informed commuters on Saturday (10 Mar) that tests on the new train signalling system could be extended to normal operating hours.

He added that passengers can “expect glitches and delays” as testing on the East-West Line extends to revenue hours: “We plan to extend testing to revenue hours, i.e. with passengers on board. Expect glitches and delays. I urge commuters to bear with us and thank them for their patience.”

Explaining the move, Khaw said on Facebook: “Extra engineering hours provides us with longer blocks of time on the train tracks. With ECLO (early closures and late openings) for the entire EWL, we are also able now to test the new system for the entire line, and not just partial stretches.”

He added that testing allows engineers to “calibrate and tune the signalling equipment” on each train and that this “is why re-signalling is so complicated and time-consuming.”

With the stabilisation of the new signalling system on the #NSL, we are now focusing on the re-signalling of the #EWL….

Posted by Khaw Boon Wan on Saturday, 10 March 2018


Khaw’s announcement drew the ire of commuters who demanded fare discounts to travel during hours when services may be affected due to testing:

Other commuters pointed out how Khaw tells commuters to expect more glitches and delays on the heels of his proclamation in parliament last week that the public transport fare formula is “inadequate”. The Minister had said, “We must be careful that (fares) are not priced too cheaply, as maintaining a high-quality transport system requires resources. Cheap fares are popular, but they are not sustainable.”

Still other commuters asked the Minister whether he can ensure that students or employees who are delayed to school or work during the testing period will not be penalised for being tardy:

Netizens flame Khaw Boon Wan for saying “Cheap fares are popular, but they are not sustainable.”

PAP MP Cheng Li Hui echoes Khaw, criticises PTC for lowering public transport fares


  1. Test all you want Minister Kaw. Why don’t you shut down the whole MRT system and take a year or two or three? Then take another year or two or three to test the test! All the tests ain’t gonna solve a problem that was left too late!

  2. Shame on Singapore ! A big shame ! I lost face overseas when my foreign friends say : What happened to your subway system ? Is this the efficient and competent government that founding father LKY had hoped. That is why I said some of the current new ministers have lost that passion, etc of the first generation leaders. They are almost clinical, as like any office workers.

  3. I read somewhere the signalling systems was supposed to be upgraded in 2002. They are doing the upgrading now? Has someone been sleeping on the job? I learned that many Ministers were against the construction of the MRT. Fucking Licking Good TT (ex president was against the construction for reason it will fail. Ong Teng Cheong then Minister of Transport was the only one fighting for the construction of the MRT he thought was good for Singaporeans. He is right. Unfortunately the currently leadership are too useless to even maintain the MRT.

  4. “Someone must have been sleeping on the job ….”. I would like to be a position too to tell the public anything for sub standard work and expect it to be acceptable when I am drawing a million dollar pay check without accountability.