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Old January 28th, 2005, 08:47 PM   #861
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Old January 29th, 2005, 10:55 AM   #862
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Jan 29, 2005
Quick News

FREE SHUTTLE TO CHINATOWN

SMRT launched a free shuttle service to Chinatown yesterday.

The service, which will operate until Feb 8, runs at 15-minute intervals along South Bridge Road, Maxwell Road (Tanjong Pagar MRT station), Robinson Road, D'Almeida Street (Raffles Place MRT), Malacca Street, Chulia Street, South Canal Road and North Canal Road.

It will run between 7pm and 11.30pm until Feb 3; between 7pm and 12.30am from Feb 4 to Feb 7; and between 7pm and 1.30am on Feb 8.

SMRT will also extend its seven NightRider services to ply South Bridge Road/Eu Tong Sen Street via Cantonment Road from Feb 4 to 7.

Trains and selected bus services will run later during the festive period. Revellers can catch the last trains from Outram Park and Dhoby Ghaut MRT stations at 1.12am from Feb 4 to 7 and at 2.12am on Feb 8.
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Old January 29th, 2005, 04:59 PM   #863
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Old January 30th, 2005, 09:17 PM   #864
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Jan 27, 2005
Bus slams into MRT pillar

By Tracy Sua and Jermyn Chow


A CRUMPLED mass of metal and glass is all that remains of the front of a bus that careered over a divider and slammed into an MRT pillar in Upper Changi Road East yesterday morning.

Several seats were ripped from the floor, sending passengers flying. All 33 passengers and the driver survived.

As the 7am crash slowed traffic to a crawl, passing motorists, bystanders and Civil Defence Force rescuers forced the emergency door and pulled everyone out.

The injured, aged 23 to 74, were ferried to Changi General Hospital in four ambulances.

By yesterday evening, 27 had been discharged after treatment for cuts, bruises and sore limbs. Six were warded for head, back, chest and leg injuries.

'I am still so frightened by the whole incident that I could not eat. When I took the taxi home I kept asking the driver to slow down,' said 47-year-old cleaner Lachime Allagan, who escaped with a swollen kneecap.

At 6.55am she had boarded the bus, a private operation run by Hock Sin Coach Service, ferrying workers to the offices and factories in Changi Business Park.

After a stop at Tanah Merah MRT station, passengers said the 45-seater Mercedes-Benz sped up at the junction of Upper Changi Road East and Bedok Road.

'We were travelling fast and I thought something was not right when the driver started swerving here and there,' said Madam Lachime.

About 30m from the junction, it mounted the kerb, clipped a tree, then crashed into the MRT column.

Cleaner Yeo Ah Ba, 53, said: 'I tried to grab the rail of the chair in front but it all happened so quickly and I found myself flung forward to the middle of the bus.'

Many people were crushed into each other. Some were trapped under seats, while others were bleeding profusely.

Anxious relatives, friends and colleagues packed the hospital's accident and emergency unit for news of the injured.

Insurance adviser Angeline Ng, 40, whose sister was warded for a cracked chest bone and possible injuries to her spine and kidney, said: 'It was very frightening. The whole bus just smashed into the MRT pillar. Fortunately it ended up not as bad in terms of casualties.'

Ms Ng said doctors are also monitoring her sister, 42-year-old cleaner Ng Moi Hua, to see if her lung was punctured.

Police are investigating and have asked witnesses to call 1800-547-1818.
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Old January 30th, 2005, 10:05 PM   #865
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Crashed bus was overhauled recently

Vehicle had passed an inspection just last month: owner
By Jermyn Chow and Tracy Sua


THE owner of the company which operates the bus that crashed into an MRT support pillar yesterday said that the bus had recently undergone an overhaul and had passed an inspection last month.

Mr Tan Lee Hock, 55, who runs the Hock Sin Excursion Coach Service, said he thinks a steering problem might have caused the crash, which left 33 people injured, but quickly added that he did not want to speculate while a police investigation is in progress.

His son, Mr Tan Chor Seng, 32, was behind the wheel of the bus when it crashed yesterday morning.

The younger Mr Tan did not want to talk about the incident, except to say he suffered only minor cuts to his arms and legs, and that he was treated as an outpatient at Changi General Hospital.

The Straits Times understands that he has been driving buses for about six years now.

The bus, service 18, plies between Bedok MRT station and Changi South. The elder Mr Tan said the service will continue today, but that his son will be resting.

Service 18 is popular with those who work in Changi South because it drops them off right in front of their workplaces.

One of them, 58-year-old Madam Zahara Sudin, a cleaner, said: 'My company is deep in Changi South. This bus drops us off right in front of the building.'

Madam Zahara, who lives in Tampines and works at global printing solutions company Printronix's office at Changi Business Park, said she has been using the service for about a year now.

She said she did not remember much about the incident beyond hearing a cracking sound just before impact.

Madam Zahara, who suffered a fracture in her left arm and a back injury, said: 'I saw the driver losing control of the steering wheel. The bus swerved, then I heard a loud 'bang'... I was so shocked that I couldn't remember anything after that.'

She was one of five employees of local cleaning services company Evershine Services.

The company's human resource manager, Mr Chew Gek Cheng, was at Changi General Hospital yesterday to look out for his workers and assure them that their medical costs would be taken care of.

Meanwhile, the pillar that was hit by the bus is unlikely to be severely damaged.

Pillars supporting viaducts and MRT tracks are among the toughest civil engineering works in existence.

The Land Transport Authority told The Straits Times that the pillars are constructed to withstand much higher loads than what they were meant for.

For instance, they have to support the load of the track itself and the fully loaded trains running on it.

The solidity of these columns was proven beyond doubt when a military truck crashed into an MRT column in Commonwealth about 10 years ago.

The truck sustained extensive damage, but the column was unscathed.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 09:08 AM   #866
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Mystery middle-track at Punggol LRT Platform

When i stepped on the Punggol LRT Platform on first day of operation. I saw the reserve track at the middle of the platform. I did not know what is use for the future.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 03:42 PM   #867
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31 January 2005

Singapore's four main taxi operators fail safety standards again
By Hasnita A. Majid, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : Singapore's four main taxi operators have failed in safety yet again.

Even the new taxi companies are performing below expectations for the third quarter of last year, from July to September.

This was revealed in the Land Transport Authority's third report card on taxis' service standards.

Accidents affect the standard ratings for the taxi companies..

And it seems the accident rate is getting worse for all of Singapore's big players.

While the allowed accident rate allowed is two accidents per 10 million kilometres, it was 2.69 accidents from June to September last year - up from 2.45 in the previous quarter!

The new kids on the block fared a little better, though not by much.

Trans-Cab services and Premier Taxis got an 'F' for safety for one out of three months, and Smart Automobile, two out of the three months.

The grace period that the Land transport Authority gave was till the end of August last year to reduce the accident rate, but it did not seem to work.

Six out of the seven taxi companies failed to meet the accident rate standard in September. Only Trans-Cab met the requirements.

The LTA has promised to get tough - and should any of the six companies fail to meet the accident rate requirement in October 2004, it will proceed to impose penalties of up to $100,000.

The new cab companies also did not meet other service standards set for them.

Premier Taxis did not meet the first inspection passing rate for July, while Transcab and Premier taxis were unable to comply with the offence rate for the same month. - CNA

Copyright © 2005 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old January 31st, 2005, 04:31 PM   #868
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Quote:
Originally Posted by playboy
When i stepped on the Punggol LRT Platform on first day of operation. I saw the reserve track at the middle of the platform. I did not know what is use for the future.
For the future Punggol (North) Line? I thought it will branch from PW2. :
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Old February 1st, 2005, 12:53 PM   #869
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Muahaah....as if they will ever pass. Afterall, people take cabs because they are in a rush!
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Old February 1st, 2005, 04:23 PM   #870
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Anyway....anyone figure why the need a track running between STC and PTC?
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"My Settlement of Singapore continues to thrive most wonderfully - it is all and everything I could wish and, if no untimely fate awaits it, promises to become the Emporium and the pride of the East" - Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, 10th September 1820
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Old February 1st, 2005, 07:12 PM   #871
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SMRT retail plan delayed but still in the works

By Christopher Tan
SENIOR CORRESPONDENT


THE glitzy new retail concept that transport operator SMRT Corp was banking on to boost rents by $3 million this financial year is behind schedule but remains on the cards.

The Temasek-owned company said in its third-quarter results announcement yesterday that 'delays in approval' mean the incremental rental revenue will not be realised this year.

However, SMRT is 'confident of achieving annualised projected rental of $10 million' - once approval for new retail space at eight stations is given and the shops are built.

Nevertheless, it posted a 25.2 per cent rise in net profit to $23.9 million for the third quarter ended Dec 31 last year. This was on the back of a 1 per cent rise in revenue to $170.2 million, lower operating expenses and lighter tax expenses.

Revenue was boosted by an expanded taxi fleet, which offset a dip in fare revenue. SMRT now has 2,500 cabs, with a further 500 to join the fleet by the end of March.

Earnings per share rose from 1.3 cents to 1.6 cents for the three months, while net tangible assets per share stood at 32.5 cents, from 25 cents previously.

Directors expect fare revenue to remain stable this quarter, while the expanded taxi fleet will lift non-fare revenue.

Asked when approval for renovating the stations would be granted, the executive vice-president of finance, Mr Patrick Lau, said: 'We are not sure, because the decision lies with the authorities.'

The retail revamp is the brainchild of chief executive Saw Phaik Hwa, who was a retailer before joining the transport company in December 2002.

The operator had expected income from rental of retail space to rise by 50 per cent or $10 million in the next financial year. For the nine months ended last December, rental dipped from $14.9 million to $14 million.
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"My Settlement of Singapore continues to thrive most wonderfully - it is all and everything I could wish and, if no untimely fate awaits it, promises to become the Emporium and the pride of the East" - Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, 10th September 1820
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Old February 2nd, 2005, 03:22 PM   #872
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huaiwei
Anyway....anyone figure why the need a track running between STC and PTC?
Because there is only one depot.
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Old February 2nd, 2005, 11:48 PM   #873
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02 February 2005

Comfort Taxis sets new record of 10.1 million bookings for 2004
By Jessie Kok, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : Comfort Taxis celebrates the 9th Anniversary of its customer contact centre on Wednesday with an announcement that it has set a new record of 10.1 million bookings for 2004.

This beats its own previous record of 8.7 million set in 2002.

It says the 10 millionth booking job was registered on 27 December 2004, making it the first taxi company in Singapore to ever fulfil that many booking jobs in one year.

Comfort attributed this to its customers' strong support and trust, the drivers' active participation in taking booking jobs and staff's commitment to providing a reliable taxi booking service.

As a token of its appreciation, Comfort presented taxi vouchers to some customers as well as awards to cab drivers with exemplary performance. - CNA

Copyright © 2005 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old February 2nd, 2005, 11:52 PM   #874
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02 February 2005

Singapore companies can help grow transport, logistics sector
By Mike Lim, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : The government is hoping to nurture more home-grown services providers in sectors where Singapore can provide a strong value proposition.

And one possible area is in transportation and logistics.

Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang also identified three major challenges for Singapore to overcome, if it wants to compete more vigorously in overseas markets.

Those are: expanding Singapore's export of services, coping with cultural diversities in different markets, and managing global talents.

Mr Lim was speaking at the opening of the International Entreprise Forum 2005.

The financial sector is one area where the government has been developing for years.

But for Singapore to compete better, the focus has to move beyond the financial industry.

The government has identified two new sectors where Singapore can provide a strong value proposition.

Like transport and logistics; as well as construction services.

"We have a deep pool of companies that can provide world-class logistics networks and services. Trans-Link Express, for example, was appointed as the official service provider for all the Olympic Villages at the Athens Olympics last year." said Mr Lim.

Mr Lim also noted that several construction services providers like SembCorp Engineers & Constructors and DP Architects have also fared well abroad.

"Prospects for us to develop our environment engineering and services sector are good. We aim to win 3-5% of the global water business by 2015." he added.

Demand for services accounts for some $4.4 trillion US dollars of global inward foreign direct investments.

Mr Lim believes Singapore companies should try and get a share of the growing pie.

But while they grow overseas, Mr Lim says Singapore companies will need to learn to copy with the cultural differences in markets they operate it - and adapt to meet local needs.

Another challenge is managing global talent that will generate innovation and opportunities for the company. - CNA

Copyright © 2005 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old February 4th, 2005, 02:03 PM   #875
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04 February 2005

Nicoll Highway Circle Line MRT to be located at Republic Avenue
By Wong Siew Ying/Ng Lian Cheong, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : Republic Avenue will be home to the new Nicoll Highway Circle Line MRT station.

The Land Transport Authority and contractors have decided to relocate the station and tunnels, following the collapse of the Nicoll Highway last April.

Mangled steel, obstructions and soil disturbance at the collapse site will pose many difficulties during tunneling work.

So, after six months of study, the builders have decided to relocate the Nicoll Highway Circle Line MRT station and tunnels, which were over 60 percent completed when tragedy struck.

The reconstruction project will include a new alignment of 1.8 kilometres of tunnels.

And the new station will be shifted a hundred metres south of the original location.

The LTA says costs are expected to rise due to additional recovery works.

It is also taking a top-down approach to construction, starting with the roof before working its way to the platform area.

Lim Bok Ngam, Director, Engineering, LTA, said, "The new station caters for one single line and is shallower. So top-down is more suitable. Because of the revised design, we find that it's more prudent to carry out a top-down construction; in a way we will limit the extent of excavation, the depth of excavation to about 7 metres maximum, whereas in the previous construction method, the depth of excavation could be as deep as 30 metres."

The new Nicoll Highway Circle Line Station will have two entrances - one, linking it to the Concourse, and the other serving a nearby park.

Besides changes to construction methods, there are also new provisions for risk management and personnel movements.

LTA says 95 percent of the project team will comprise new faces to inject fresh inputs into the process and avoid possible psychological impact on the workers.

More checks will also be done to better monitor ground movements and work progress.

Rajan Krishnan, Director of Projects, LTA, said, "When we move from one level of excavation to the next level of excavation, we have to ensure that not only 1 or 2 staff clear it, but professional engineers, the qualified person in charge of supervising the work, the project manager, a number of people from LTA's side and the contractor's side...verify that things are okay."

Traffic along Republic Avenue will be diverted when work begins in June, and the reconstruction project is expected to be completed by 2010. - CNA

Copyright © 2005 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old February 5th, 2005, 02:49 AM   #876
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Feb 5, 2005
Slower but safer way to rebuild collapsed MRT sector
Rebuilding of Nicoll Highway section to start this year; be finished in 2010

By Christopher Tan
SENIOR CORRESPONDENT

THE new MRT track to replace the collapsed Circle Line section along Nicoll Highway will be built using a different, safer approach.

First, twin tunnels will be created with boring machines, which are proven to be the least disruptive to the earth and surrounding structures. They will run a straighter, and therefore slightly shorter, course than the previous tunnel.

Next, the new Nicoll Highway station, to be sited 100m south of the original location, will be built using a top-down method. This requires putting up the station roof first, and using it as a super structure to support the retaining walls. Excavation will then continue through openings in the roof. The method, which is less commonly used here, is slower.

Land Transport Authority director of projects Rajan Krishnan, however, emphasised that the previous cut-and-cover bottom-up method is still a safe one, and has been used extensively in past MRT projects. The collapsed tunnel was built using the cut-and-cover bottom-up method.

This time, the retaining walls of the new station will be 1.5m thick, about 50 per cent thicker than the ones that gave way on April 20 last year, killing four men. These walls will go 60m down, twice as deep as before.

Mr Rajan said re-excavating along the collapsed site was too risky because of the uncertainties posed.

'There are generators, an excavator, gas tanks and steel structures buried. Also, to predict how natural soil will behave is tough enough. But to do so in an area that has been disturbed, where the soil is mixed with foam concrete and grout, would be doubly challenging.'

The task would be 'like a treasure hunt'.

All these uncertainties could also make it more costly to re-excavate the first site, he reckoned. Besides the debris, rebuilding along the same alignment would pose other engineering challenges, he said.

Huge T-shaped retaining walls up to 5m thick would have to built outside the existing walls, and these would have to go as deep as 70m before re-excavating can start. The steel supporting beams for the new walls would also have to puncture the old walls first.

He was not able to offer the reconstruction cost, but 'we would keep to the $273 million' of the original contract.

The damage caused by the collapse is still being worked out by the various parties, including insurers, he added.

The former tunnel and station have been filled with sand and stabilised, and Nicoll Highway will be returned to its original course by the end of the year.

Construction of the new section will start in the middle of this year and is scheduled to be completed in 2010. But by the middle of next year, stretches like Bras Basah Road, Beach Road, Raffles Boulevard, Temasek Avenue and Rochor Road that were diverted for the Circle Line construction will be reinstated to their previous positions.

The rebuilding project will be handled by a new team from Japanese contractor Nishimatsu Construction. Its director of international operations Tadashi Sugiyama said yesterday the company will mobilise all the necessary resources to ensure the project is completed in a safe and timely manner.

The LTA will also put in more stringent safety measures for that section. It will appoint its own specialist instrumentation contractor and an independent checker for the temporary works.

The extra layer of control, which was introduced on the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway project soon after the Nicoll Highway collapse, is expected to become a regular feature of major infrastructural projects from now on.

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.

Feb 5, 2005
Line linked to Circle Line may be realigned

A PLANNED MRT line meant to join the Circle Line at the original Nicoll Highway station may have to be realigned, the Land Transport Authority has indicated.

It did not say which this would be. Future lines include one linking the Bukit Timah area to downtown, and another looping the east coast area.

One of these was supposed to hook up with the Circle Line at the former Nicoll Highway station, which had provisions for such a link.

The station replacing it will not have such a provision, the LTA revealed yesterday.

Nevertheless, the LTA assured, future lines can still connect with the Circle Line, although it may require 'a bit more work' when no structural provisions are made.

Meanwhile, director of projects Rajan Krishnan said discussions are underway with listed transport group SMRT Corp, the appointed operator of the Circle Line, on the feasibility of opening other stages of the line before the Nicoll Highway section (part of Stage 1) is completed in 2010.

Opening other sections first might not yield enough commuter traffic for the line to be commercially viable, but no decision has yet been made.

The Circle Line connects mature population centres such as Bishan, Serangoon and Telok Blangah, but the bulk of ridership traffic is expected to be to and from the city centre, with intra-town commute forming a smaller portion of traffic.

SMRT had expected the Circle Line to cater to about 300,000 rides a day.

Stock analysts have not forecast how the delay of Stage 1 of the Circle Line would affect SMRT's future profits. The line was supposed to be up and running by 2008, although earlier indications were for a 2007 opening.

Researcher Teo Hiang Boon of broking house G K Goh said: 'I haven't changed my recommendation for SMRT since November. It's still Hold.'

A Hold call on a stock is understood to be less than favourable.
-- CHRISTOPHER TAN

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old February 5th, 2005, 09:53 AM   #877
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..

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Old February 6th, 2005, 08:57 AM   #878
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Expo Station:

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Old February 6th, 2005, 08:58 AM   #879
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New skytrain rendering(6/2/05):


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Old February 6th, 2005, 02:59 PM   #880
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If only other cities around the world would learn from investment into public transport like the Singaporean example. We'd have a much greener (and cleaner) world!
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