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Old July 30th, 2005, 01:40 PM   #1161
babystan03
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Business Times - 30 Jul 2005

Security boost will come cheap: SMRT

By RACHEL LIN

TIGHTER security measures in the wake of renewed fears of terrorist attacks will result in only marginal cost increases for SMRT Corporation, according to chief financial officer Patrick Lau.

These new measures include installing more closed-circuit TVs (CCTVs) and recruiting transit police who will patrol the MRT system.

'The costs of the transit police will be absorbed by the authorities,' said Mr Lau. 'There will be no additional costs for us, except maybe for training.'

He was speaking at a teleconference announcing SMRT's results for its first quarter ended June 30.

More problematic, however, will be an increase in oil prices. This hike already has already taken its toll: one of the biggest contributors to SMRT's rise in operating expenses was the jump in diesel costs.

The company expects a $9 million increase in diesel costs for buses over last year. Nevertheless, SMRT's net profit rose 13.9 per cent to $23.9 million year-on-year.

This figure takes into account a $2 million tax write-back which inflated the net profit figure for the first quarter of last year. If this write-back were to be excluded, SMRT's net profit for this quarter would have risen by 25.6 per cent.

Revenue rose 6.4 per cent to $176.1 million, thanks to earnings improvements in all businesses, except buses, which saw a 1.7 per cent fall year-on-year due to the rationalisation of inefficient bus routes.

Earnings per share rose from 1.4 to 1.6 cents.

Ridership is expected to remain stable, though SMRT is planning a promotion later this year to boost custom.

With a current hired-out rate of 90 per cent, the company will also continue to aggressively recruit more taxi hirers.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 04:14 PM   #1162
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Aug 2, 2005
Long-delayed flyover to be ready by 2006

By Christopher Tan
SENIOR CORRESPONDENT

WORK on the long-delayed Pasir Panjang viaduct will resume soon with the Land Transport Authority (LTA) appointing a new contractor yesterday to complete the project by the first quarter of next year.

International construction company Gammon Pte Ltd will take over from the original contractor, L&M Prestressing, which ran into financial difficulties in 2000 soon after starting work on the 5km flyover - Singapore's longest - linking Telok Blangah Road to the West Coast Highway.

After the 2003 completion date looked unlikely, L&M had said that with a fresh injection of cash, it would be able to complete the job by the first half of this year.

When things did not progress as planned, LTA terminated the contract and called a fresh tender.

Gammon will now finish the job for $16.7 million.

According to records, the Pasir Panjang viaduct costs $142 million, and L&M's portion was secured for $58 million.

An LTA spokesman said 'we're still sorting out the amount' due to the previous contractor.

L&M is still involved in another major LTA project: a $72 million viaduct linking Bartley Road to Airport Road - one which it described as another loss-maker.

Meanwhile, the LTA spokesman said another delayed road project will be 'opening soon'.

The $32.5 million underpass at the junction of Queensway and Commonwealth Avenue was supposed to have opened early last year.

Yet another delayed project is a flyover from Keppel Road to the Ayer Rajah Expressway interchange.

Supposed to be ready by the end of last year, it is now expected to be done by early next year.

The delays are symptomatic of a shrinking construction industry, where hungry players make cut-throat bids for jobs - only to face difficulties when, for example, steel prices start escalating.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 05:42 PM   #1163
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drwho
I think it is better to tax the gas usage on cars and that the tax money should go to build MRTS and subvention the MRT-fare.

for instance.
gas price in Sweden is 9 Swedish krona / per L (litre) = 2.08 Singapore Dollar.

Small update: Gas price in Sweden is more than 2,50 SGD at the moment.
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 05:46 PM   #1164
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ouch.. whats the average car commute in swedden?
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Old August 12th, 2005, 01:09 PM   #1165
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Aug 12, 2005
Building along Circle Line stretch to go

By Christopher Tan
SENIOR CORRESPONDENT

THE Land Transport Authority yesterday told stunned owners and tenants of a five-storey building along a stretch of the Circle MRT Line works that their homes will be torn down because of safety concerns.

Occupants of Hock Kee House on Paya Lebar Road, situated no more than two car lengths from the site where excavation has been suspended since April last year, will have one month to move out.

The building has seven shophouses and 28 residential units. Most of the residents are tenants.

Mr Francis Teo, a 52-year-old retiree who owns one of the units, said: 'It is very sudden. They built it halfway and then they told us about it. I have no choice.'

Because of the short notice, the LTA will offer owners up to $100,000 per unit in ex-gratia payment, in addition to compensation, which has yet to be determined by state valuers.

Property consultants reckon the 999-year leasehold property is worth $225 to $500 per sq ft. If so, the units, would fetch $300,000 to $1.03 million each.

It is the first time the LTA is making such a special payment. It is also the first time private property is being acquired midway through an excavation project. The LTA claims it has nothing to do with the Nicoll Highway collapse.

Hock Kee House was built in the 1960s. Although sitting on marine clay, a soft and unstable soil, it was placed on concrete slabs called footings, rather than on piles.

The LTA discovered this soon after works started on the 900m Paya Lebar stretch of the Circle Line in 2003. Nevertheless, the building was deemed safe and excavation of the tunnel proceeded.

But they had only dug 2.5m down when all Circle Line works were suspended after the Nicoll Highway collapse in April last year.

The Building and Construction Authority said the building is still safe for occupation, but the LTA feels it will be unstable once deep excavation resumes.

They arrived at their conclusion after independent consultants, who spent a year studying the building, completed their report last month.

'We explored other alternatives, including strengthening the building further as well as alternative alignments of the tunnels,' said LTA chief Yam Ah Mee.

But these were deemed not feasible and demolition was left 'as the only option'.

BG Yam said owners will be paid $10,000 first followed by a second tranche when they hand over their keys on Sept 12. The Government will also help owners find alternative premises, he said.

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Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old August 14th, 2005, 04:20 AM   #1166
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Aug 14, 2005
Armed MRT cops from tomorrow
New police unit forms part of measures to step up security at public places

ARMED police officers from the newly set up Police MRT unit will patrol Singapore's MRT stations and trains from tomorrow, said Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng.

'With that and complemented by the existing security guards of the MRT operators, security in the transport system will be enhanced,' said Mr Wong, who was speaking at a National Day observance ceremony for the land transport industry in Toa Payoh.

In his speech on Friday, Mr Wong urged Singaporeans to remain vigilant and play a part in ensuring Singapore's safety. 'We have seen a number of letters in the media in the aftermath of the London blasts, making constructive suggestions on what can be done to better protect the public transport system and its commuters.'

He added that discussion on national security issues will raise the level of public consciousness which is vital in the security protection of Singapore.

First announced in April, the Police MRT unit was set up as part of a brace of measures to step up security at public places.

Immediately after the London bomb blasts, Singapore's Police HQ Command Post stepped up patrols at all MRT stations. MRT operators also increased the number of checks done on commuters.

Last month, Mr Wong launched a briefing programme for taxi operators and drivers to watch out for suspicious behaviour.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old August 14th, 2005, 04:38 AM   #1167
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Aug 14, 2005
Direct route to AYE with new flyovers

By Chua Kong Ho

AFTER class at the Singapore Polytechnic, Mr Timothy Wong takes about 30 minutes to reach his home in Normanton Park.

Much of the time is spent in heavy traffic along Queensway before he reaches the U-turn to get him home. But from tomorrow, his travelling time will be cut by at least 10 minutes.

The opening of the Portsdown and Queensway flyovers yesterday will give him a direct route across the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE).

'It's definitely going to be more convenient for me,' said the 20-year-old, who rides a motorcycle to and from his polytechnic in Dover Road.

The $24.2 million project gives motorists a shorter and more direct route from Queensway to the AYE. They can bypass the junctions at Queensway, Jalan Bukit Merah and Alexandra Road and get onto the AYE directly, cutting the average journey time from more than 12 minutes during the morning rush hour to five minutes.

Work on the project started in December 2002. It was delayed slightly because a popular restaurant, Colbar, had to be demolished to make way for the new extension. The eatery eventually agreed to move to a spot 150m away.

Yesterday, Minister of State for Transport Lim Hwee Hua praised the Land Transport Authority and JTC Corporation for the way they handled the matter. 'I congratulate both LTA and JTC for their efforts in achieving a happy outcome which meets the aspirations of the local community while serving the transportation needs of the wider public.'

The extension is part of the Outer Ring Road System, a network of major roads that forms a ring around the outer areas of the city.

These roads provide an alternative route to using the expressways for motorists travelling east-west and help relieve heavy traffic on roads leading into the city. Once completed, it would be possible to drive without interruption from Bartley Road in the east to the AYE in the west.

Said Mr Kannan Vinaitheerthan, 33, an IT manager who lives in Normanton Park and often goes to Queensway for meals: 'It'll benefit not just people in Queensway but all motorists because it removes a lot of the congestion at key junctions.'

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old August 15th, 2005, 11:17 AM   #1168
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15 August 2005

Armed police special unit begins MRT patrols

By Johnson Choo, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : A dedicated team of police officers, set up to handle security incidents on the MRT system, have begun their patrols.

But will they shoot to kill if they come across suspected suicide bombers?

"Yes, they may have to", explained Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng when he replied to a question in Parliament on Monday.

Bags and items being checked onboard trains will soon become a common sight for the 1.2 million commuters using the MRT daily.

While patrols by police officers at MRT stations are not new, these officers from the Police MRT Unit have been specially selected and trained to deal with security incidents.

Unlike troopers from the Special Operations Command (SOC) with their red berets, these officers don blue berets.

They are also equipped with less firepower - the Taurus service-revolver and T-baton.

But in the face of potential threat, will these officers shoot to kill?

Member of Parliament Irene Ng, who raised this question, cited the shooting of an innocent man in London who had been mistaken for being a suicide bomber.

Mr Wong said: "We have to evolve our rules of doctrine according to the circumstances. In our context today, we have not come across a suicide bomber case and we hope we will not come across one.

"But I would not rule this out because suicide bombing is one of the preferred techniques of the terrorists to frighten and intimidate normal citizens.

"In the case of other countries where they have experienced this, they have adopted a shoot-to-kill policy because they cannot live with the chance that this person may turn out to be an innocent person as you have seen in the case of London.

"If an officer is confronted with a situation where there is immediate danger to life, he is authorised to use the necessary force to remove the danger and this may extend to the use of firearms.

"The police officer has to use his judgement. He has to assess at the time when he is confronted with a person, who may appear to be a suicide bomber and who in his opinion, he has to neutralise the threat, he may have to take such an action."

The highly-visible officers will patrol in pairs in and around the MRT stations, and depending on the circumstances, other specialist units may also be activated to deal with the situation.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Bernard Ng, OC of Police MRT Unit, said: "The Police MRT Unit is set up to complement the existing security measures implemented by the MRT operators, which include the surveillance cameras and security guards."

Their deployment at bus interchanges is also under consideration.

Police said for the officers to be effective, there would not be any regular scheduled patrolling.

Instead, they will adopt a flexible schedule where their presence would be both random and unpredictable.

The public is advised not to be alarmed by the enhanced patrols. - CNA/de

Copyright © 2005 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old September 11th, 2005, 05:07 PM   #1169
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New SBS bus

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Old September 12th, 2005, 07:09 AM   #1170
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doesnt look too different or stunning, just smart from the front
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 04:33 AM   #1171
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Picture from Straits times, 23/9/05


SENTOSA EXPRESS: The first of four newly-built trains for the Sentosa Express light rail is being lifted to a new depot on Thursday. -- JOYCE FANG
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 08:09 AM   #1172
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omggggg it looks cheap and ugly
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 08:25 AM   #1173
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Yucks, it looks so tacky. I actually now rather see the old monorail.
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 08:41 AM   #1174
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heirloom
omggggg it looks cheap and ugly
better than the old one
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 08:43 AM   #1175
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The stupid thing is that there are only 4 stops!

And they run the distance from the bridge to the beach!!!
Stupid!!!
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 08:46 AM   #1176
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redstone
The stupid thing is that there are only 4 stops!

And they run the distance from the bridge to the beach!!!
Stupid!!!
4 stop only ??
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 08:48 AM   #1177
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Quote:
Originally Posted by encon
4 stop only ??
Ya!!!

Old monorail goes 1 direction, looping the island.

New monorail should be better than old!
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 08:55 AM   #1178
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redstone
Ya!!!

Old monorail goes 1 direction, looping the island.

New monorail should be better than old!

easy easy don't take hard
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 09:17 AM   #1179
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an ugly monorail thats old is forgiveable, but a tacky, cheap-looking AND ugly NEW monorail is punishable by death
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 09:21 AM   #1180
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heirloom
an ugly monorail thats old is forgiveable, but a tacky, cheap-looking AND ugly NEW monorail is punishable by death

i don't know if Singapore got laws for Monorail too
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