Stricter Measures for Disruption of Rail Services
LTA (Land Transport Authority) is committed to make the lives of every commuter safe, comfortable and convenient. In fact, the Committee of Inquiry recommended LTA to increase its oversight of train operators especially when it comes to handling incidents and maintenance. LTA is now looking for ways to strengthen the penalty framework. The revision of penalty framework will be announced any time this month.
The revision of the framework spurred because of the service interruptions in December 2011 and January 2014. On December 15, 2011, there was a five hour delay that distressed thousands of commuters. On December 17, 2011 there was a seven hour disruption that angered many. On January 11, 2014, there was a one hour and thirty minute disruption of services; it was serious that there were commuters who walked on tracks along Yew Tee and Kranji MRT stations just to reach their destinations.
The revisions are good news for commuters. Commuters will be assured that their riding experience will be smooth and trouble-free. Train operators should be posted of the new changes or revision of the penalty framework. Here’s a peek of the changes expected to be implemented by LTA:
Train operators know that LTA is serious because of the penalties. The penalties will reflect badly on their company. The revision will include adjusting and increasing penalties. This is to encourage train operators to improve their operations. SMRT paid S$2 million for the two disruptions last December 2011. In 2013, SBS Transit paid S$250,000 for the North-East Line disruption while SMRT paid S$850,000. LTA now is thinking about pinning a maximum fine for every disruption. The maximum fine will depend on the percentage designated by LTA from the annual revenue of the operators.
To increase efficiency and reliability, LTA is also recommending operators to expand their trains and services. Singaporean commuters will see more trains arriving and leaving every day. This is a good thing especially for people who are looking into saving more travelling time. As train services are anticipated to arrive more often, the revision is timely to certify the reliability of the trains.
Apart from that, LTA is looking into strengthening the maintenance regime of the operators. Safety of the commuters is the priority. It should be considered heavily. Engineering works are only performed after service hours. The manpower with the help of their equipment should be swift for the beginning of the services next day. If things are taken care of, there will be no disruptions and it will not affect their everyday operations.