Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Transport Woes #2

Update 16 Jan 2014

Public Transport Council announces fare increase of whopping 3.2%!


The Public Transport Council (PTC) has approved a fare increase of 3.2 per cent on train and bus fares from April 6 this year. Adult card fares for buses and trains will go up by 4 to 6 cents per journey. Senior citizens will pay 2 to 3 cents more per journey, while students pay 2 cents more. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

The Public Transport Council (PTC) has approved a fare increase of 3.2 per cent on train and bus fares from April 6 this year.

Adult card fares for buses and trains will go up by 4 to 6 cents per journey. Senior citizens will pay 2 to 3 cents more per journey, while students pay 2 cents more.

Cash fares for train and adult bus rides will go up by 20 cents per trip, while senior citizen and student concessionary cash fares for bus rides will increase by 10 cents per trip.

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Josephine Teo takes issue with Workers' Party's comments on public transport fares



The Workers' Party (WP) statement on the public transport fare hike drew a swift response from Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo on Friday.

The Workers' Party never misses an opportunity to pander and its response to the fare review exercise was, to a large extent, predictable.
First, they claimed credit for the concessions. That's always easy. Except someone else did the real work of sorting out the math and getting the balance right. 
Then, it criticises the Government, for directly funding programmes like the Bus Services Enhancement Programme. 
It also opposes operators getting more fares through the adjustment
related:
WP urges govt to delay fare hikes; Josephine Teo replies
Bus and train fares up 4-6 cents from April 6New transport fare concession schemes receive positive responseTransport Minister Lui says PTC has struck good balance

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FIRST 2014 TRAIN BREAKDOWN, 11 DAYS INTO THE YEAR



Our trusty train service couldn't even make it through 2 weeks of the new year before another breakdown.
Services on the North South line between Yew Tee and Woodlands were delayed at 12:30 and then stopped all together in both directions.
SMRT updated the public saying that they were alerted of a 'loss of traction power' between Kranji and Yew Tee. They said that they deployed engineers there to investigate and free bus services were deployed.
related: Transport Woes - A Picture Story

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First SMRT breakdown in 2014


Less than 2 weeks into the new year and the first breakdown of Singapore’s train service has occurred.

Indeed SMRT may be called “Singapore Mesti Rosak Transport” (Singapore Sure Spoil Transport in Malay).

A reader informed TRE that a major SMRT service disruption occurred between Kranji and Yew Tee stations at about 1pm today (11 Jan)

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New Downtown Line MRT service hit by second breakdown within a week
Downtown Line 1 train commuters forced to detrain following a service disruption caused by a power fault. (Facebook photo by Cheekie Chan)
Yahoo Newsroom - Downtown Line 1 train commuters forced to detrain following a service disruption caused by a power fault. (Facebook photo by Cheekie Chan)

A loosened cover on a Downtown Line (DTL) train's detrainment switch was what caused Singapore's newest MRT line's second disruption in less than a week.

Downtown Line operator SBS Transit reportedly said to a press conference on Saturday that the switch was believed to be triggered by a young girl who moved the metal cover that conceals it, triggering a cut in the power supply, an in-built safety feature, and the deployment of a ramp for emergency evacuation.

Friday night's disruption lasted about 40 minutes, from around 9.34pm to 10.14pm, according to SBS Transit, but resulted in a halt in service for more than an hour, according to other local media reports.

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MRT Breakdown record book 2013

Now that I have finish compiling the breakdowns/delays for year 2013. Perhaps everyone can have a look for themselves the breakdowns/delays to date.

Many did not know how often breakdowns/delays occur until this record appears. Either it did not affect you, or it did not get broadcast. Either way, this is for documentation and awareness.

To be fair, most records were taken off the tweets, so perhaps some delays were smaller in terms of severity and did not affect us much, but still tweeted to keep everyone update.

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MRT Breakdowns and a Quick Thought on National Productivity

I was more than an hour late for work today, because the MRT train broke down. I boarded the train at Bishan, it was supposed to take me to Raffles Place, but instead it stopped at Toa Payoh and an announcement was made and all the passengers had to get off. This was right during the morning rush hour too.

Apparently, there had been a fire at the Newton MRT station, so they stopped the train services along the red line. Fire seems to be a new reason for train breakdown - I don't quite recall that they specifically had fires before, but they do regularly come up with new sorts of reasons for trains to break down. So the experience is not that new. It's certainly not the first time I've experienced an MRT breakdown in the past three years or so.

Catching a taxi at Toa Payoh right then was impossible. There were hundreds of stranded train passengers milling out from underground, getting to the main road, and all of them were trying to queue and call for a cab at the same time.

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MRT Breakdown


Most commuters gave SMRT train services here a B, mirroring chief executive Mr Desmond Kuek’s (above) self assessment on Thursday.

The New Paper went to SMRT train stations around the island to get commuters to grade the transport operator's service.

In the poll of 106 commuters, taken before the train service disruption along the East West Line yesterday, most gave it a B or C.

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SMRT chief exec: Man on a mission to change things 

SINCE taking what is arguably one of the hottest seats in the corporate world last October, SMRT Corp chief executive Desmond Kuek has gone deep to find out what ails the Temasek-owned transport operator ' a company that has been besieged by security breaches, massive train breakdowns and a bus driver strike. 

In his first weeks after taking over the helm from Ms Saw Phaik Hwa, he sent out a company-wide e-mail asking for feedback. 

Now with the help of more than 300 responses from staff, the former chief of army thinks he has figured it out. And he is setting out to change things.

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Singaporean expansion of MRT leads to disruption



Singapore has a population of around 5 million, which is important when placing the MRT in context, it has a daily ridership of 2 million, giving it a commuter penetration of at least 40%, which does not take into account the fact that not all 5 million Singaporeans commute on a daily basis or use public transport.

This is all part of the LTA’s plans to make the Singapore railway network the predominant form of transport in the country. The railway is already the backbone of the public transport system and is made up of four lines which span 130 kilometers and service 79 stations. In addition to the MRT, there is also the Light Rail Transit System (LRT), which link the MRT network to Singapore’s public housing estates.

The four current lines in operation are due to be complemented by three additional lines (Downtown, Thomson and Eastern Region Line), which will add 140 kilometers of track to the system, and will see 64 existing and newly built stations serviced. These expansions plans have gathered speed in recent years, but were already in the planning and proposed stages as far back as the 1990s 

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Eastbound MRT service delayed due to faulty train

A crowd of commuters wait at Paya Lebar MRT station during a delay in eastbound train service. (Photo: Dawn Teo)
A crowd of commuters wait at Paya Lebar MRT station during a delay in eastbound train service. (Photo: Dawn Teo)

Eastbound train service on the East-West Line was delayed due to a faulty train at Raffles Place station on Friday evening.

Rail operator SMRT said passengers were asked to alight, and the train was taken out of service.

To maintain service on the unaffected stretches of the East-West Line, some trains were turned around at Queenstown and Outram Park stations (eastbound), and Bugis (westbound).


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Train fault delays evening MRT service on EWL

http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/straitstimes.com/files/smrtewldelay15e.jpg
Morning passengers on the East-West line platform at Outram MRT station on Feb 6, 2013. A train fault at Raffles Place station delayed eastbound train services on the East-West Line on Friday evening, Feb 15, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: JOYCE FANG 

A train fault at Raffles Place station delayed eastbound train services on the East-West Line on Friday evening.

In a tweet at around 7.30pm, SMRT said: "Due to an earlier train fault, estimate 20 minutes additional travelling time from Bugis towards Pasir Ris."

Train faults delayed services further down the line. Commuters reported huge crowds at train plaforms at several stations

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Newton MRT station tunnel fire caused by short circuit of power cable

Commuters exit as thick smoke engulfs the Newton MRT station
Commuters exit as thick smoke engulfs the Newton MRT station on Wednesday morning during peak hour.

The fire at Newton MRT station on Wednesday morning has been extinguished. There were no casualties. [See video here. More photos here]

SMRT said in Facebook update that the fire started around 905am. It involved electrical wirings just north of the Newton station, about five metres away from the station platform. The fire, which caused smoke to get inside the MRT, was put out in an hour.

At the time, north-bound trains along the North-South line were affected and free bus services were activated between Newton and Toa Payoh to ferry affected commuters. Free bus bridging services were also provided for commuters between Marina Bay and Toa Payoh.

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Fire at Newton MRT station during morning rush hour

Fire at Newton MRT station during morning rush hour
Smoke entering the Newton MRT station from a small fire near the tracks (Photo: Singapore Civil Defence Force Facebook page / Victor Tan)

A fire broke out at Newton MRT station during morning peak hours today.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) was alerted at around 9am and sent two fire engines and other support vehicles to the scene.

On its Facebook page, it said the fire was linked to some electrical wirings about 5m away from the platform near the tracks.

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MRT Breakdowns and a Quick Thought on National Productivity 

I was more than an hour late for work today, because the MRT train broke down. I boarded the train at Bishan, it was supposed to take me to Raffles Place, but instead it stopped at Toa Payoh and an announcement was made and all the passengers had to get off. This was right during the morning rush hour too.

 Apparently, there had been a fire at the Newton MRT station, so they stopped the train services along the red line. Fire seems to be a new reason for train breakdown - I don't quite recall that they specifically had fires before, but they do regularly come up with new sorts of reasons for trains to break down. So the experience is not that new. It's certainly not the first time I've experienced an MRT breakdown in the past three years or so.

 Catching a taxi at Toa Payoh right then was impossible. There were hundreds of stranded train passengers milling out from underground, getting to the main road, and all of them were trying to queue and call for a cab at the same time.

read more

Corrosion in bolts, wires caused MRT disruptions

CORRODED stainless steel wires and bolts were to blame for three major disruptions on the North- East MRT line (NEL) during the last 12 months, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said yesterday. 

In each incident, the damaged parts broke, causing the line's overhead power supply to fail and disrupt the journeys of tens of thousands of commuters.

These were the findings of a joint team set up last October to look into the breakdowns and devise measures to improve the reliability of the NEL in the long run.

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Important to determine root cause of Newton MRT fire: Lui Tuck Yew
Important to determine root cause of Newton MRT fire: Lui Tuck Yew
Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said it's important to get to the root cause of the fire that took place in the tunnel of Newton MRT station on Wednesday.

He said, although the fire was small, the incident is "very serious" as any fire can be "potentially catastrophic".

Rail operator SMRT has said that an electrical short circuit caused a cable to burn.

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SMRT CEO aiming for "zero defect" attitude

SMRT CEO aiming for "zero defect" attitude

SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek wants to achieve a "zero defect" attitude to regain public trust in the company.

He gave the public transport operator a B grade in reliability and availability and wants to bring this to an A grade as soon as possible.

Compared with other international transport operators, he gave SMRT a B+ in carrying capacity.

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Plans underway to make North East Line more resilient

A joint team of experts from the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and operator SBS Transit will look at more ways to strengthen the overall North East Line (NEL), following recent disruptions.

The cause of the two major breakdowns on the North East Line in August last year and this January were due to corrosion of the bolts supporting the power line.

A joint team of experts from LTA and SBS Transit revealed the findings on Friday during a visit by Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew to the Sengkang depot.


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Desmond Kuek: SMRT gets a B-rating for reliability and availability


SMRT's chief executive Desmond Kuek gave his company a B-rating for reliability and availability compared to other rail operators, adding that his goal was to hit a A or A* rating. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI


SMRT's chief executive Desmond Kuek gave his company a B-rating for reliability and availability compared to other rail operators, adding that his goal was to hit a A or A* rating.

He said this Thursday afternoon during his first sit-down with members of the media where he spoke about the the company's strategic aims.

Mr Kuek, who took over the reins of the company in October from interim CEO Tan Ek Kia, said the operator's six values are service excellence, mastery, responsibility and respect, teamwork, nurture and integrity, or "SMRT N I". Mr Tan was filling in after former CEO Saw Phaik Hwa resigned in January last year.

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NEL breakdowns caused by corrosion cracking of steel wires and bolts


Commuters at Dhoby Ghaut MRT station during the disruption of the North-East Line's (NEL) train service on March 15, 2012. The major breakdowns on the NEL in January this year and, March and August last year were caused by stress corrosion cracking of steel wires and bolts in the tunnel, a joint team by the Land Transport Authority and SBS Transit has found. - ST FILE PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

The major breakdowns on the North-East Line in January this year and, March and August last year were caused by stress corrosion cracking of steel wires and bolts in the tunnel, a joint team by the Land Transport Authority and SBS Transit has found.

In a statement Friday morning, the joint team said chloride from tunnel water seepage had corroded the balance weight anchor wires that broke in the March breakdown last year that affected 90,000 commuters.

Separately, chloramimes were the corrosive agent that caused the u-bolts to break in both last August's and January's breakdown. The bolts breaking caused the line's power supply to fail

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While Minister Lui is preoccupied with fares revision, thousands of commuters were affected by Eastbound MRT service delayed due to faulty train


SINGAPORE: Eastbound train service on the East—West Line was delayed due to a faulty train at Raffles Place station on Friday evening. 


Rail operator SMRT said passengers were asked to alight, and the train was taken out of service.

To maintain service on the unaffected stretches of the East—West Line, some trains were turned around at Queenstown and Outram Park stations (eastbound), and Bugis (westbound). Full story  

Related: More time for review of fare mechanism: Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew - XIN MSN News

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Fare review committee to submit report by end-May

Fare review committee to submit report by end-May

The committee tasked to review the fare mechanism for public transport has been given more time to come up with its recommendations.

The Fare Review Mechanism Committee (FRMC) was supposed to submit its report early this year but Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said it'll now do so by end-May.

Mr Lui said he wants the committee to study the issue of affordable fares further - particularly concessions for certain groups of commuters, including the low income, disabled and polytechnic students.

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NEL disruptions in Aug 2012, Jan 2013 due to "stress corrosion cracking" NEL disruptions in Aug 2012, Jan 2013 due to "stress corrosion cracking"
The disruptions on the North East Line in August and then later in January, were due to the corrosion of the material in U-bolts, due to what's described as "stress corrosion cracking".

The bolts help to hold the power line in position.

The cause was revealed on Friday, following investigations by a joint team of experts from the Land Transport Authority and transport operator, SBS Transit.

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MRT breakdowns, like floods, are now part of Singapore life

Clench your teeth and bear with it -- floods and MRT breakdowns are here to stay.

While #SGFloods is so 2011, #MRTbreakdown is what’s in now.

Wednesday morning’s breakdown on the Circle Line was the third MRT disruption since last Friday and, by all accounts, it won’t be the last.

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MRT breakdown COI: Release of Report

LAPSES in the way SMRT maintained its rail system were key contributory factors behind last December's MRT breakdowns, a high-level inquiry has concluded.

The Committee of Inquiry's report made clear the Dec 15 and Dec 17 incidents were related and could have been prevented had there been adequate maintenance.

It had harsh words for SMRT at various points in the 358-page report made public yesterday.

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related:
Rise in major breakdowns but MRT gets more reliable
Two SMRTstaff killed by an oncoming train
Train disruptions under new Minister of Transport
Train service disrupted on N-S, E-W Lines
Recap of recent Train service disruptions
Recent Train Disruptions
Transport Woes #2
Transport Woes #1
Transport Woes - A Picture Story
Mixed Reactions To Announcement Of Free MRT Rides
Strange & inappropriate behaviour on public transport
Burned by mystery liquid in trains and bus stop
SMRT subway trains recalled after defects found