TL;DR – Don’t know what SMRT is good at…
There was a news report earlier this year that said that MRT has gotten more reliable. I’m sure you remember that baffling headline:
LTA: Rise in major breakdowns, but MRT gets more reliable.
Indeed it has. One can rely on MRT to break down. Which it has. Not once. But twice. On the same day. Once in the morning. And once in the evening. That, I think is a new achievement unlocked!
The Circle Line broke down in the morning. This was the result:
LTA and SMRT later released a statement saying that preliminary investigations indicate the possibility of an interfering signal that could have disrupted communications. This was cited as the reason that caused the disruption on the Circle Line this morning. Such signal interference was also cited to be responsible to be similar to those which caused the week-long series of mysterious delays on the same line in September.
Yes. How mysterious… This Facebook comment provided a suggestion of what could have caused the mysterious breakdowns:
Indeed. Perhaps the best thing for us to do is to expect that there will be “more coming up…”. At least when that happens, we won’t feel so frustrated.
Another Facebook user was so frustrated that he left this snide comment:
Given that this train disruption took more than two hours to rectify, it’s understandable why commuters are so frustrated. This latest spate of breakdowns is part of an entire series of bad news that has been plaguing SMRT.
And it’s not just disruptions of their service. They have had problems with their trains, having found to be returning 26 out of 35 trains to fix defects. SMRT got those trains in 2011.
Then there was the tragic accident caused by safety lapses where two SMRT staff were killed. As if that accident isn’t tragic enough, SMRT had to shoot themselves in their own foot again by sacking two of their staff as punishment for their role in the accident. But investigations by LTA, MOM, and the police are still ongoing. Even the families of the victims questioned the sacking.
With so many things going wrong, one can really wonder what can SMRT get right? Or as my friend puts it:
“Kindda makes you wonder what SMRT is good at… not good at running train operations… not good at maintenance of trains… not good at making train purchases… also not good at managing people… then???”
I guess it’s just as well that SMRT is to be on board the National Rail Financing Framework (NRFF) and delisted and taken private. Hopefully, these two acts together will mean that SMRT will be in a better position to focus on providing quality service to its bus and train riders.