Rail reliability misses target, earns praise

Jan 13, 2017 08.30AM |

SINGAPORE’S trains travelled 30 per cent further before breaking down in 2016 compared to 2015, but still fell short of the interim target, set by LTA, of an average of 200,000 km before a delay.

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan had called for trains to operate for an average of 400,000 km before a delay, by 2018.

ST’s page nine report was nearly all praise for the 30 per cent increase, and made no mention that the interim target had been missed. Its online story also neglected to mention that major breakdowns of more than 30 minutes rose again to 16 in 2016, even as minor breakdowns decreased.

TODAY had a better report on the issue, highlighting the mixed bag of results and getting analysts to weigh in on issues like ageing infrastructure.

“It gives me a small measure of confidence that if we are able to inject more consistency and sustainability into our efforts, the target of 400,000 train-km by 2018 is well within reach,” said Mr Pang Kin Keong, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Transport, when delivering the report.

Erm, yes, we suppose rail reliability will improve when efforts are more consistent. The question is: How to get efforts more consistent?

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The front page story on ST was about eight Indonesians who had been deported because one of them had photos of a shoe bomb and ISIS fighters on his phone. They were turned back trying to come in from the Woodlands Checkpoint, and were questioned by Malaysian authorities before being sent back to Indonesia, where they are being investigated by the Indonesian counter-terrorist unit Densus 88.

The fellow with the photos, one Ridce Elfi Hendra (TODAY has the name, but not ST), said that he got them from a WhatsApp group which he has since left, but he had neglected to delete the photos.

Preliminary investigations by Malaysian authorities found that the group, who were on a Muslim preaching itinerary through Thailand and Malaysia, held largely moderate views that rejected ISIS ideology.

It wasn’t clear why authorities decided to inspect the group’s mobile phones.


Featured image from TMG file.

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