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MRT reliability has improved as breakdowns happening daily instead of unpredictably

Posted on 12 March 2015

Commuters glad they can look forward to a daily breakdown instead of not knowing when the next one might happen.


Singaporeans from all walks of life who like to take public transport because cars are for rich people said they are happy that MRT reliability has improved.

This after MRT trains in Singapore have been breaking down regularly on a daily basis and Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said on March 11, 2015, that reliability is going up as a result.

One Singaporean, Didi Pai, said having daily breakdowns will prepare commuters mentally so they know they can count on the train to predictably malfunction: “Yes, I agree with Minister Lui as 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.”

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MRT operators, SMRT and SBS Transit, have also said they will look into commuters’ feedback to ensure breakdowns are more regular to continue to improve reliability in the occurrence of disruptions that lead to multi-station malfunctions.

One SMRT spokesperson, 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, which would lead to more news coverage and social media chatter and have a broader impact on public consciousness.”

“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.”

To make breakdowns happen in a more timely predictable fashion, some steps that SMRT and SBS Transit are expected to take include not taking appropriate measures to change train sleepers on schedule, putting off electrical wiring work to another date thinking it is not urgent and generally maintaining a lax system of checks and balances for crucial operating systems.

Both train operators have also said they are aware that while inaction on their part in terms of maintenance is crucial, improving the reliability of daily breakdowns will require working harder at non-transport competencies, such as the redirecting of vital limited resources to other money-making ventures like providing advertising space in train stations and coming up with more ways to increase rental returns from leased properties.


If MRT breakdowns are more predictable, none of these would have happened:

S’poreans shocked there was no MRT train disruption this morning

S’poreans hope ERP CEO can join SMRT to help trains run as smoothly as gantries








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Wang Pei can be considered a new citizen of Singapore. She has been here all her life, just that her environment's changed beyond recognition.

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