The year of waiting for the train | Singapore Informer

by Clarabelle Gerard WAITING for the MRT is part and parcel of a commuter’s journey in Singapore. But this year, waiting has been notably long – thanks to an increasing number of train disruptions since last year. The Operating Performance Standards (OPS) determines the severity of service disruptions – defined as delays affecting more than 20,000 persons per incident. There were 58 noted disruptions before the General Election and 25 after… and we’re still counting. Train faults, power and electrical faults, signalling faults, maintenance and upgrading are a few named causes that service operators have blamed for the disruptions. It’s almost becoming a weekly affair to see train service providers tweet of train disruptions this year – there’s been at least four train disruptions every month, with July and October peaking at 12 each; service in May and June was better – just two train disruptions in May and three in June. Service operators SMRT and SBS Transit (SBST) are fined by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) if they fail to comply with OPS for service quality, safety and maintenance. Fines imposed on service operators have been much larger this year compared to last year. This year, LTA imposed a record financial penalty of $5.4 million on SMRT for the system-wide disruption on the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL) which lasted for more than two hours on July 7, affecting more than 250,000 commuters. But, this was significantly smaller than what analysts were expecting, especially after new regulations allowing the G to impose a maximum fine of 10 per cent of a…

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