The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has announced that it will be buying over both Sengkang and Punggol LRT lines from SBS Transit.
In addition, it will also be obtaining operating assets on the North-East line.
This is part of a move to shift all train lines under LTA’s New Rail Financing Framework (NRFF).
Under the NRFF, all SMRT lines were sold back to the government in September 2016, while the SBS-operated downtown line was the first to come under the framework in 2011.
What this means
SBS will continue operating the NE line, LRT lines and Downtown lines, and SMRT all the other MRT lines.
Both transport operators are known to have to pay the government an undisclosed sum to continue operating the lines.
LTA will also be getting a cut in transport revenue, though will absorb some of the costs as well.
The rationale for the move, put forward by LTA, is to better implement new service level and reliability standards that are standardised across all public transport rails.
The move also relieves transport operators SBS and SMRT from the capital expenditure and revenue risks of asset renewal and upgrades.
This should allow the operators, SBS and SMRT, to focus more on day-to-day maintenance of the lines, while the LTA looks at the big picture and future planning.
Alongside a $500 million injection to Japanese firms to improve our rail management system, it looks like the government is making big moves to try to improve our public transport.
Read more about MRT being upgraded by the Japanese firm here: