Confidence in govt, rail operators positive despite major incidents: Public Transport Council

An MRT train collided with another train at Joo Koon station on 15 November 2017. PHOTO: Hannah Teoh/Yahoo News Singapore 

Confidence in the government, rail operators and Land Transport Authority (LTA) has remained positive despite two major rail incidents in 2017, said the Public Transport Council (PTC).

In findings released on Thursday (25 January), the PTC said it had conduced a survey involving 11,000 commuters and concluded that commuters’ confidence in public transport operators (PTOs), LTA and the government “was affected after the train collision episode but remained firmly positive”.

Last year, the rail network was hit by two major incidents – the MRT tunnel flood between Bishan and Braddell MRT stations on 7 October and the train collision at Joo Koon MRT on 15 November.

The 7 October disruption affected some 250,000 commuters and led to eight SMRT staff being dismissed over falsification of maintenance records. The collision between two trains at Joo Koon MRT station on 15 November left 38 commuters injured.

Commuter confidence dipped following the train collision incident, said the PTC. On a scale of one to 10 with one as “strongly disagree” and 10 as “strongly agree”, those surveyed indicated a score of 7.89 out of 10 in response to the statement “I believe that PTOs are doing their best to provide me with good service”. This dropped to 6.69 out of 10 after the Joo Koon MRT collision.

Similarly, when commuters were asked to respond to the statement “I believe that PTOs, LTA and the government are doing their best to improve my journey experience”, they indicated a score of 7.75 before the collision and 6.70 after the collision.

Commuters were confident that the government and SMRT “are doing their best to provide a good rail system and service respectively, and that our rail system remained safe for travelling”, said the PTC report.

Commuters’ feedback showed that they were “confident the government was providing a good rail system” and “aware of ongoing rail works to enhance rail alienability, comfort, safety, accessibility and reach”, it added.

PTC chairman Richard Magnus concluded, “Far from being cantankerous, SG Commuters are, by and large, reasonable, responsible, responsive, resilient and appreciative.”

The findings come from the PTC’s second advisory report to improve commuters’ public transport experience.

The report also contained recommendations on making public transport more accessible for the disabled, such as by introducing an app that provides information on disruptions for commuters who are hearing impaired.

The PTC also suggested that more public education on visually impaired commuters could help members of the public be more sensitive to their needs.

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