Singaporeans worried lack of breakdowns has ushered in a period of abnormality.
This after there were two train breakdowns on April 18 along the North-South and East-West Lines, showing that the MRT system is finally going back to normal after having no or infrequent breakdowns in the last few weeks.
One Singaporean, Didi Pai, said having daily breakdowns will prepare commuters mentally so they know they can count on the train to predictably malfunction: “I can definitely feel MRT reliability improving. I can now expect the MRT system to break down every day instead of second-guessing when it will happen next.”
“However, more has to be done to ensure that the breakdown happens regularly enough because there are still some rare days where the MRT system goes on without a hitch and everything works fine.”
“That’s not ideal.”
MRT operators, SMRT and SBS Transit, have also said they will look into commuters’ feedback to ensure breakdowns are more regular.
This is to continue to improve reliability in the occurrence of disruptions that lead to multi-station malfunctions.
One train operator, Gong Jiao Wei, said: “At the present moment, it is hard for us to schedule breakdowns on a timely basis, such as ensuring that it happens every day without fail during a specific time, like during peak hour at 8am in the morning when everyone is rushing to work, for example.”
“But what we can do is to make sure breakdowns can occur within a certain period, for example, between 8am and 10am or between 7pm and 8pm, when it is most packed and more people can be inconvenienced at the same time.”
“If we can keep this up, reliability will definitely improve as Singaporeans will know ahead of time when to avoid taking the trains and make plans for other transport arrangements.”