Singapore "World Class" MRT disrupted service

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Singapore "World Class" MRT disrupted service

Postby Dennis Ng » Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:33 am

Singapore Transport Minister keep boasting about our World Class Transport System, including the MRT system.

We paid the Highest Salary in the whole world to our Transport Minister, as we need to pay the best to get the BEST talent.

Well, last few years, anyhow issue COE until next few years need to reduce supply of COE to reduce Traffic Congestion.

MRT system NOT prepared for the huge increase in population in last few years (about half a million more people coming and living in Singapore), resulting in over-crowding MRT trains.

Bus system NOT prepared for the huge increase in population in n last few years (about half a million more people coming and living in Singapore), resulting in over-crowding Buses.

Insufficient bus drivers until they hire in BULK bus drivers from China which have resulted in increase in accidents involving buses and also "bizarre" and embarrassing situation of Bus Driver losing his way and driving the bus round and round... (sounds unreal but happened in Singapore which boasts World Class Public Transport System).

SBS bus driver takes passengers on 2-hour ride

http://sglinks.com/pages/2187100-sbs-bu ... -hour-ride

So much for paying the HIGHEST Salary to get the Best Talent in Parliament.

Well, today, many people find out just how World Class our system and the MRT staff service are.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/todaydigit ... 429878931/

And out of the Blue, the 2 BIGGEST Taxi Operators announced increase in taxi fare by about 30% (that's my experience).

I wonder is this a Cartel fixing prices? I think the Competition Commission of Singapore should look into whether there is a possibility of price fixing by Major Market Players.

http://app.ccs.gov.sg/


North-South MRT Line breakdown hits thousands
By Imelda Saad | Posted: 15 December 2011 1958 hrs

SINGAPORE: A second MRT disruption in two days affected thousands of evening peak-hour commuters.

Train services on both directions of the North-South Line from Marina Bay to Braddell stations were disrupted on Thursday evening.

Emergency services were spotted outside MRT stations, and peak-hour traffic on the roads was also affected.

Traffic congestion was reported on Orchard Road between Dhoby Ghaut and City Hall MRT stations, as many who were out of the stations opted for taxis.

Services on southbound trains resumed at around 9pm.

An SMRT statement says north-bound train services between Marina Bay and Bishan stations will be closed and will not be up for the rest of the night.

However, north-bound services from Ang Mo Kio to Jurong East stations, as well as all south-bound train services are still running. The East-West and Circle Line train services are continuing as normal.

SMRT says a dedicated one-way bus bridging service will run from Bishan to Ang Mo Kio stations. Circle Line passengers alighting at Bishan and travelling north towards Woodlands are advised to take this bus bridging service or other modes of transport.

A two-way bus bridging service is available between Marina Bay and Ang Mo Kio stations. Commuters are advised to take alternative modes of transport even though bus bridging services are provided.

An SMRT spokesperson told Channel NewsAsia that the breakdown was due to a "power rail problem".

According to an SMRT statement, preliminary investigation shows that around 40 metres of the power rail has been damaged between City Hall and Dhoby Ghaut stations.

"SMRT staff are now on site attending to the fault. We will work round the clock to repair the damage and hope to get the north-bound train service for this stretch up by tomorrow morning," says SMRT.

Passengers affected by the breakdown described scenes of confusion, as they tried to make sense of the situation.

Commuters reportedly banged on train doors and some even used a fire extinguisher to break the windows of a train stuck underground due to lack of ventilation.

One commuter, Adam, said he and hundreds of passengers were stuck on the train travelling from Somerset to Orchard. He said the electricity appeared to have been cut off, as the train was in total darkness. Neither did the air-conditioner seem to be working.

Adam said: "We have been stranded there for one hour, and it is very hot and stuffy. The train doors are all closed. The light also suddenly (switched off), so it's total darkness. The train doors (are) also not open, and it is terrible.

"A lot of people are angry, banging on the windows to break the windows...so that the air can come in. It's very stuffy, it's like a sauna."

Adam later told Channel NewsAsia that the train appeared to have been towed to Orchard MRT station. Someone in one of the carriages then forced the train doors open, freeing the trapped passengers.

Channel NewsAsia viewers also sent in pictures of commuters being evacuated and walking along the track in the train tunnel. One viewer, Nizam Rahim, sent in a picture of his wife walking on the track in the tunnel at the Dhoby Ghaut station.

Another commuter, who wanted to be known as Mr Tan, spoke to Channel NewsAsia from Raffles Place MRT station.

He said he was on his way to work, and heard several announcements asking passengers to avoid the North-South Line and to take the East-West Line instead.

Mr Tan said: "A lot of us....all have problems. There are so many people coming downstairs and people telling them the train is not moving anymore. I think the crowd is getting very big.

"The only thing I know is that I'm late for work, so I have to take an alternative route. So I quickly ran upstairs to get a taxi, hopefully, I can get a taxi. I'm still trying to get a taxi, actually."

Another spoke to Channel NewsAsia from Toa Payoh station and said there were long queues of people. They seemed to be requesting refunds, he said.

Writing in his Facebook, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said: "I have been following the incident of the MRT breakdown from Cambodia. I am especially concerned over the well-being of the people who were reported to be trapped in the trains for an extended period of time before they made their way to safety.

"There have been a number of train disruptions in recent days. I do not know if these are isolated incidents or whether there are systemic and more serious underlying issues causing these breakdowns.

"We will therefore conduct a thorough health check on our train systems, determine how the faults happened and also whether the maintenance, communication and recovery processes were adhered to and can be further improved.

"I have asked LTA to assemble a team of relevant experts, including possibly relevant overseas experts to help us in this review."

- CNA/ck/ir
Cheers!

Dennis Ng - When You Master Your Finances, You Master Your Destiny

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Postby Dennis Ng » Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:05 pm

Can you imagine that SMRT actually sent out Mass SMS to taxi drivers during last night MRT disruption with the message:

Dear Partners,
Income Opportunity...

It is what they call trying to profit from others' misfortune. They can send out SMS to taxi drivers, but no need to say Income Opportunity, instead just say that our trains are disrupted from Bishan to Marina, commuters need taxis, please go there instead.

But putting it as Income Opportunity shows how incosiderate they are about people's frustrations...

P.S. I was NOT affected by any of the MRT disruption at all, just voicing out for those who were affected.

Cheers!

Dennis Ng

Profit from MRT breakdown?
Outrage over 'income opportunity' message to cabbies

A message told SMRT cabbies that there was an 'income opportunity' during the MRT breakdown last evening (Dec 15). SMRT has apologised and explained that it was a 'template message'.

The SMRT spokesperson said:

“We are sorry for the oversight. Our staff were using a template message, and we have since corrected it.”

Many STOMPers have, however, expressed anger at the message.

STOMPer choon hong wrote:
“Instead of empathizing with the public, SMRT sent out an 'income opportunity' alert to their taxi drivers to pick up passengers in affected area. I got upset at the way the message is phrased --- it's like making a mockery out of this situation.”

STOMPer Gary wrote:
“SMRT sent out this message to all their taxi drivers that the mrt breakdown is a great income earning opportunity.
"Coupled with the fact that the trains have broken down 2 days in a row, this is definitely unacceptable!“

STOMPer stomping wrote:
“Look at this good 'lobang' sent by SMRT to their cab driver.
"So much for a world class transport system!“

STOMPer romperstomper wrote:
"A picture paints a thousand words."

STOMPer KPO_investigator wrote:
“SMRT Taxi company flashed this to all their drivers when the trains broke down.
"Maybe its normal for them but to most people this may be sarcastic."

STOMPer OnePocketToAnother wrote:
“Despite the "word class" transportation system failure, the person in charge still had the cheek to sent a notification to cabbies regarding a "business oppurtunity". no subsidies but plain mockery. “

STOMPer jackie wrote:
“I was on a SMRT cab yesterday (Dec 15) when the driver recieved this message from the head office saying this is the time for the cab to earn more money.
Cheers!

Dennis Ng - When You Master Your Finances, You Master Your Destiny

Note: I'm just sharing my personal comments, not giving you investment advice nor stock investment tips.
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Postby ctsan1 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:20 pm

it give the impression to public that SMRT intentionally let the train broke down and create the income opportunity for SMRT taxi
:evil:

SBS transist who is the operator for North-East line demonstrate the same problem? Recently, few SMRT cases happened, i think people will start to compare both company service and performance
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Postby nishkam » Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:34 am

This morning again Newton - marina bay train breakdown.....
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Postby ilovecck » Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:12 am

I think SG population getting more and more dense. The train has to come every few minutes just to cater to the morning crowd and evening off work crowd, it may be too much on the rail and the system as a whole.
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Postby Dennis Ng » Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:41 am

ilovecck wrote:I think SG population getting more and more dense. The train has to come every few minutes just to cater to the morning crowd and evening off work crowd, it may be too much on the rail and the system as a whole.


Hong Kong mrt comes every 3 minutes. Singapore always pride ourselves to be best. : )
Cheers!

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Postby Dennis Ng » Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:53 pm

The Wall Street Journal December 16, 2011, 7:31 PM SGT

Singapore Subway Breakdowns Raise Ire
By Shibani Mahtani and Chun Han Wong

Singapore’s reputation as a well-oiled city-state, replete with a peerless transport system that’s envied world-wide, has failed to live up to its reputation of late.

Singapore’s subway system—known as the Mass Rapid Transit—suffered one of the worst breakdowns in the network’s 24-year history Thursday when four trains stalled on one of the network’s lines during evening, peak-hour traffic, trapping thousands of passengers and affecting some 127,000.

Full service was restored more than four hours later; trapped passengers were freed after more than an hour, but not before several commuters fainted and two were sent to the hospital, according to local news reports. This was the second MRT disruption in two days, following a Wednesday service failure during morning peak hours.

While subway operator SMRT Corp. said the two incidents were unrelated, they have nonetheless riled commuters into unusual rambunctiousness. Public dissent is muted in this tightly controlled city-state, but many citizens are voicing strident criticism against SMRT and the transport ministry, as the rail disruptions and recent taxi-fare increases have stirred discontentment and widened distrust of public-transport providers.

The incidents also come as Singapore’s transport infrastructure, increasingly stretched by the weight of immigration-fueled population growth, comes under heavier public scrutiny. Already the issue has contributed to voters punishing the People’s Action Party government with a historically low winning margin at May’s general election, as citizens lament overcrowded trains and buses, inefficient taxi services and rising costs.

Following Thursday’s disruption, disgruntled commuters took to the web to accuse SMRT of complacency and prioritizing profits over service quality. Sociopolitical blog the Online Citizen plans to take to the country’s Speakers Corner–the only area where protests are allowed–to address what it calls SMRT’s failings.

“The latest disruption…shows that these incidents are not isolated, but point to systemic flaws in the way our train system has been designed and built,” said blogger Ng E-Jay. “Singaporeans should demand full accountability for this incredible spate of public transport lapses and if accountability is not forthcoming, Singaporeans should demand resignation letters from those responsible.”

Underscoring the severity of the incidents, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew pledged Thursday a government inquiry into the matter.

“I do not know if these are isolated incidents or whether there are systemic and more serious underlying issues causing these breakdowns,” Mr. Lui wrote on his Facebook page. “We will therefore conduct a thorough health check on our train systems, determine how the faults happened and also whether the maintenance, communication and recovery processes were adhered to and can be further improved.”

SMRT officials held a news conference Friday, where Chief Executive Saw Phaik Hwa repeatedly apologized and said the company would take broad measures to address the technical and human failures that contributed to this week’s disruptions. She added that she would consider resigning her post to take responsibility.

Critics have also jumped upon SMRT’s garbled public relations, noting a number of faux pas that further fueled public anger such as delays in issuing public travel advisories and a message broadcast Thursday to the SMRT’s taxi fleet alerting it of the “income opportunity” that had arisen due to the rail disruption, which quickly went viral.

SMRT apologized Friday for the message, saying an incorrect template was used in the broadcast.

“There is room for discussion about this communication thing,” said Lui Wai Meng, SMRT’s vice president of rail operations. Company officials also pledged to increase real-time updates for passengers, including the use of Twitter.

Some observers, however, sense more deep-seated problems with public-transport operators.

“The disruptions are not just isolated events; they constitute a pattern of behavior or a trend,” said Donald Low, a former senior civil servant. “Question then is what underlying systems and structures caused this, and then what mental models or deep assumptions underpinned those systems and structures.”
Cheers!

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Postby ilovecck » Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:45 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aqxz4cdvhk&sns=fb

Hitler is informed that the NSL broke down again: 17 Dec 2011. :)
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Postby Dennis Ng » Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:27 pm

Comments from Yip Khiong:

He should not have done so but considering the situation, he will not be penalized, SMRT officials said.

The above was the poor remarks coming from SMRT.

Facts of the case:

1. automated stand-by ventilation did not function. automated stand-by ventilation was supposed to be start function during such an emergency but in the instance, it did not function

2. so there was a lack of ventilation and soon passengers started to fill breathless

3. someone took d initiative to break a glass panel to let in some air

4. indeed passengers can breathe better after that glass panel was broken.



SMRT should have praised the act of breaking the glass panel instead of giving a veiled admonishment to that act.

See the full article below that gave a critique of SMRT’s response to this glass-breaking action:



---------------------------------------



In an article published in the Wall Street Journal about the MRT breakdown on Thursday, former civil servant Donald Low was quoted as saying, “The disruptions are not just isolated events; they constitute a pattern of behavior or a trend. Question then is what underlying systems and structures caused this, and then what mental models or deep assumptions underpinned those systems and structures.”

An article published in the Straits Times today (“MRT breakdown: Don’t break the windows, says SMRT”) appeared to confirm Mr Low’s point. In response to the incident of a commuter using a fire extinguisher to smash the glass on the door of the train that stopped in the tunnel, MRT officials advised commuters ‘never to smash the windows or force the doors open’ if they were stuck in a train. Senior vice-president for communications and services, Mr Goh Chee Kong further added that “in the event of a power failure, there is a back-up system that will activate emergency lights within the carriages and provide ventilation.”

In a perfect emergency-response scenario, SMRT’s advice is reasonable. If there was adequate ventilation, the commuter’s actions might in fact endanger the safety of his fellow commuters. But according an account from one of the passengers stuck in the train (“MRT breakdown: Man who smashed window ‘a hero’ “), there wasn’t:

Recalling the incident on Thursday, Ms Chan said she was terrified when the train jerked and stopped in the tunnel between City Hall and Dhoby Ghaut stations.

She had finished work at Raffles Place and was going to meet her husband to attend an Isetan sale in Orchard Road.

‘The train wasn’t moving smoothly so I was worried something was going to happen,’ she said.

The train stopped, the lights went out and, after 20 minutes, she heard the driver talking to a passenger on the intercom.

‘The passenger asked the driver to open the door, but he said he wasn’t allowed to, for safety reasons. He kept reassuring us, and there was still ventilation, so it was okay,’ she said.

It was not – the ventilation soon stopped and power was cut off.

In the darkness, and with no more news from the driver, Ms Chan started to panic. It was getting hotter and she could feel herself growing breathless and needing to use the toilet.

She heard a little boy beside her crying in fear.

‘Everybody was panting and I thought we would run out of air,’ she said.



The action of the window-smasher brought instant relief to the rest.

‘When the window shattered, there was glass everywhere and we were frightened. But some air came in and people started breathing more easily. He told us all to stay away from the glass as it was dangerous and if the train moved suddenly, someone might fall on it,’ she recalled.



It would not be too far-fetched to assume that SMRT might have been in more trouble than it already is had the commuter not smashed the train door window and perhaps prevented a few more cases of fainting due to poor ventilation.

But what was SMRT’s response?

He should not have done so but considering the situation, he will not be penalized, SMRT officials said.



And in doing so, SMRT has squandered an opportunity to look good in the PR department. It could have commended the unconventional actions of the commuter and rewarded him for his public-spiritedness, but instead, while it is smart enough not to penalize him, its statement nonetheless comes across as a mild admonishment, as if he has broken some ‘protocol’.

In fact, this stickler for protocol is probably SMRT’s greatest failings. How else can one explain its apparent readiness in cases of terrorist attacks, while being caught with its pants down in a situation of much lesser severity, except than there are procedures in place for the former and none for the latter?

No doubt, after Thursday’s incident, SMRT would do a thorough investigation and come up with a proper emergency protocol for future breakdowns; however, I believe the solution is not merely coming up with more contingency plans; after all, you can’t possibly prepare for everything. SMRT’s biggest failure is in what Mr Low had called the ‘deep assumptions’ the management holds.

It is worth noting that the commuter only smashed the window after the train driver had refused to open the door for safety reasons, and even him assured that there was ventilation despite evidence to the contrary. The driver however should not be faulted – he definitely has a lot more to lose for ‘breaking the rules’ than the commuter. (It is worth noting also that the SBS driver who got lost for two hours two weeks ago also picked deference to protocol and authority over listening to his passengers who are likely to know the way.)

So what might these ‘deep assumptions’ be?

In my opinion, it is a deep faith and hence rigid adherence to a system, put in place by presumably the best minds in the field of expertise, and a requirement for all its staff to follow the hierarchal chain of command. In most cases, such a system works fine. However, this becomes a problem in situations where one doesn’t have the luxury of time to wait for approvals from higher authorities, when snap judgement is called for. Not only that, but at the management level, it breeds a habit of trying to fit reality to the system first, rather than trying to fit the system to reality.

SMRT’s response to the window-smashing incident, is but an example of this denial-first mentality, which is never more evident as when CEO Saw Phaik Hwa made that infamous remark that passengers can ‘board the train, it’s whether they choose to.” I did not think she was being mean when she said that. Rather, she was simply betraying her preference for trusting the statistics – that the trains have not reached maximum capacity – to the actual experiences of the passengers.

Of course, this kind of mentality is not just limited to SMRT, or for that matter, organizations in Singapore alone.

An example could be found in Malcolm Gladwell’s book ‘Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking‘. Chapter Four of his book starts of with a true account of a war games conducted by the US military in preparation for the Second Gulf War: Two teams, Red and Blue were pitted against each other. The commander of Red Team was Paul Van Riper a seasoned Vietnam War veteran. The commanders of the much bigger Blue Team were made up of officers trained in some of the best military schools, and were able to utilize the latest technology available to fight a war then. Against the ‘shock and awe’ tactics used by the Blue Team, Van Riper chose to employ tactics learnt during Vietnam War; when Blue Team knocked out Red Team’s microwave towers and cut off its fiber optics lines, Red Team simply switched to using couriers on motorcycles and messages hidden in prayers. When Blue Team sent aircraft carriers, Red Team engaged them with a fleet of small vessels.

In the end Red Team won. But that wasn’t the end of the story. After a few days of analysis, the conclusion was not that Blue Team’s system, overburdened by statistics, information, and protocols failed, but that Red Team had broken the rules. A second exercise was carried out in which Red Team had to conform to the conventional rules of engagement. It lost. Pleased with the results, the hawks behind Blue Team’s strategy went to war with Iraq – and we knew how that turned out, at least in the initial years.

SMRT’s management might want to ponder this little anecdote when it does its soul-searching in the coming weeks.

Article written by by Joshua Chiang

article source: http://theonlinecitizen.com/2011/12/tha ... or-window/
Cheers!

Dennis Ng - When You Master Your Finances, You Master Your Destiny

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Postby Dennis Ng » Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:24 am

Hitler is informed that the NSL broke down again: 17 Dec 2011.(Widescreen HD): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aqxz4cd ... ce=message
Cheers!

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Postby Dennis Ng » Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:29 pm

Our taxi fare system is so complicated that hardly any consumers know how to calculate:

Can you calculate the taxi fare hike?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8bE7pc-PiA
Cheers!

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Postby Dennis Ng » Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:41 pm

Rising property prices? Insufficient hospital beds? Traffic congestion on the road? MRT over-crowding and now breakdown? All happened becos Singapore government let population increased by 800,000 in 5 years without the corresponding increase in infrastructure...

Cheers!

Dennis Ng

some info to chew about: from year 2006 to 2011, Singapore population increased by 800,000 to year 2011's 5.18 million. Assuming average family size of 4, means additional 200,000 households...so this spike in demand for Property was not met by increase in supply.

HDB only built 5,000 flats in year 2007 and only started increasing supply since year 2008. So Singapore went through a period where Demand more than Supply of Properties.

On the other hand, as at 30 Sep 2011, currently there is 39,111 condos launched and remained unsold, this is the highest level since URA started collating data from year 1999. Assuming yearly demand of 15,000, that works out to Inventory enough to last 2.6 years.

What if demand is not 15,000 units but lower due to impact of Global Financial Crisis (likely to hit us in year 2012)?

HDB announced building 25,000 HDB flats in year 2011 and another 25,000 in year 2012, these flats likely to complete in year 2013 and 2014.

By year 2013, situation likely reverse to Supply more than Demand for Properties. Will Property prices go up or down in year 2013? I leave it to you to draw your own conclusion.

Cheers!

Dennis Ng


Saturday December 24, 2011

Transport system starts to malfunction

The latest crisis in Singapore is public transport, which has been getting intolerably overcrowded in recent years. It has joined a few other over-burdened services like
public housing and healthcare facilities.



SINGAPORE’S public transport system has become the latest thing to feel the weight of rapid population expansion.

For years debate has raged without conclusion whether Singapore can accommodate six-and-a-half million people or even more.

Well, with the population reaching 5.18 million many Singaporeans are now convinced they have the answer, and it’s not what the government likes to hear.

The people explosion in the past decade has strained public services on the island – one of the most densest-populated in the world – to breaking point.

Singapore’s infrastructure – painstakingly built and maintained – is still in fairly working order compared to many countries, but it has lost much of its previous lustre.

The latest crisis is public transport, which has been getting intolerably overcrowded in recent years. It has joined a few other over-burdened services like public housing and healthcare facilities.

Last year, there were more shortage cases of make-do hospital beds along corridors, and fresh graduates unable to buy public houses and delaying marriages.

A new one now has emerged – trains and buses.


Built 24 years ago when the population was half the size, Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) broke down last week on a daily basis, stranding more than 200,000 passengers.

For the first time Singaporeans were finding out that their “world-class” transport system was starting to malfunction.

The MRT breakdown was “extremely serious”, exclaimed Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew.

Many Singaporeans are demanding that SMRT CEO Saw Phaik Hwa resign to take responsibility. A petition attracted 1,400 signatures.

After saying she might do just that, Saw later changed her mind and now says she will stay.

The failures caused widespread public misery. Stories abound of businessmen missing deals and appointments and workers having part of their wages docked for coming late.

A government backbencher said she had received numerous appeals for help from affected commuters.

“Some workers made it home around midnight,” she said.

The rail dilemma recalled Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong from a two-week leave to announce he was ordering a national inquiry.

The demand for public transport spilled into jammed buses, where fleet expansion had already resulted in the hiring of poorly-trained foreign drivers unfamiliar with the roads.

Like a comedy of errors, several drivers found themselves driving around in circles before reporting being lost.

In one case travellers were kept in the vehicle for hours as the driver, probably from China, drove around trying to find the right way.

The train inquiry will throw up some questions. Minister Liu noted that train frequencies over the years to cater to a growing population had resulted in less time to carry out inspections and maintenance.

“We are getting away lightly. Things could have been much worse. It is lucky we have avoided a train crash,” said a commuter.

Many critics blame the government for running public services (including transport and public housing) like a business where keeping costs down and profits up is top priority.

The transport fiasco will continue to have an impact on politics in the years ahead until the next election. It will affect all Singaporeans, but one group above all – senior citizens.

The Straits Times published a survey last week which said Singaporeans were most dissatisfied with the public transport system and disliked the poor punctuality.

The survey, done before the recent breakdowns, said four out of 10 in this group were seniors above 60 years old, of which 41% were very dissatisfied.

The feelings are understandable. They already live in one of Asia’s most expensive retirement cities, and the government policy is to make it costly to operate a car.

I have often heard people talk of Singapore being a small island.

Well, it may be to the young and mobile – but for a 71-year-old like me whose health had known better days, Singapore is definitely not small.

And moving around becomes harder. Last week particularly was a nightmare.

Two years ago when I downgraded to a smaller home I was guided by one thought – how to avoid being squeezed by the government’s future transport strategy.

It looked obvious to me the policy was to make car ownership impossibly expensive to contemplate. So I searched everywhere for a home that was within 10 minutes walk from a train station.

That was easier said than done. It seemed everyone had the same idea and costs were going up.

To me, depending on public transport was not an option but a necessity.

I was preparing for the inevitable day when I would have to surrender my old four-wheeler to the junkyard because of rising operating costs.

At the moment, the Singaporean’s love affair with the car remains strong, but I believe the authorities will invent tougher fiscal measures to pry the car away from him.

Some will, of course, rather kiss Singapore goodbye than their vehicle.

One devilish way on the card is the replacement of the Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system, where cars passing through certain gantry points are automatically charged a fee.

In its place, the authorities will introduce the Global Positioning System (GPS) to satellite-track vehicles on Singapore roads for tax purposes.

When that day arrives, the moment you drive your car out of your front gate, the government taxman takes over – unseen and efficient.

That will probably happen within the next two years. By then few Singaporeans can afford to keep their cars or abandon the train or bus.

This is why the Transport Minister has the good wishes of every commuter in Singapore to repair public transport on time.
Cheers!

Dennis Ng - When You Master Your Finances, You Master Your Destiny

Note: I'm just sharing my personal comments, not giving you investment advice nor stock investment tips.
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