Lui Tuck Yew: Some disruptions on the heavily-used MRT were ‘unavoidable’
Posted by temasektimes on April 9, 2012
Less than half a year after SMRT suffered two major breakdowns along the North-South line, the Northeast Line run by SBS Transit had a 10 hour breakdown in March this year.
Yesterday, the East-West MRT line was disrupted for 45 minutes due to a ‘stalled’ train which affected some 500 passengers. However, Mr Lui said the figures should be seen in “perspective” as they account for about 0.02 per cent of the 2.7 million trips made daily.
Speaking to queries from Nominated MP Ramasamy Dhinakaran in Parliament today, Mr Lui said the government will try to minimize ‘major disruptions’ of more than 30 minutes, but warned that some disruptions and defects on the heavily-used MRT were ‘unavoidable’.
“We will try and minimise as much as possible the major disruptions and to keep them in check. But I think it is unavoidable that a system that is as heavily utilised as ours is today will not face any disruptions. Every day there are about 2.7 million passenger trips. We are running thousands of train trips for more than 18 hours a day. And I dare say that there is no way you can prevent disruptions from occurring.”
He has also asked the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to work with train operators to monitor defects early on, and prioritise which parts of the tracks or trains need to undergo maintenance first.
Mr Lui’s ‘reassurance’ offers scant consolation to commuters who are affected by the frequent MRT delays and breakdowns which not only affect their work, but lead to an overall decrease in productivity as well.