Thursday, December 29, 2011

Is MRT still a safe mode of transport?

Each and everyday ever since the major MRT hiccup on 16 Dec 2011, we heard different scenarios of train delay / unforeseen issues.  The NEL line went short circuit just on boxing day and "loud bang" was heard, or rather to some of the commuters, an "explosive bang" was heard.  Friends who are travelling extensively on MRT are now having phobia, not knowing when the train will have another unexpected breakdown.

I vaguely recalled our Transport Minister, Lui Tuck Yew, said that it's not necessary to conduct thorough health checks on Circle Line and NEL when thorough health checks are to be conduct on East-West and North-South bound line trains on 18 Dec 2011, does he still stand firm on this? I still remember raising my concern on this statement by our Transport Minister in my previous post. In fact just before the incident, the circle line also had a severe train delay, so is it really not necessary to conduct a through check?

I seriously hope that the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will look into this as MRT transport so many commuters each day, the danger that they are now posing to us, should anything major hiccup happen; is in no way less than terrorism. 

We, the commuters are made to pay and pay for increasing fare for the so claimed "improved service / trains", but in the end, we only see the increasing fares contribute to the shareholder's bonus dividends payout and yet we do not get the deserved "improved service / trains".  So is it fair to just keep on increasing the public transport fares and taxing the low / middle working class when cars are unaffordable with the high COE cost, and high taxi fares, and yet the most affordable mode of transport - MRT is keep giving us unforeseen circumstances that may attribute to our increasing risk of high blood pressure and heart attacks.

To my understanding, every now and then, the MRTs undergo regular checks, so I really do not buy the excuse that this series of "train faults" is due to the rainy season.  I now question how these regular checks are being conducted and how professionally done?  I think both SMRT and SBS Transit are answerable to us the public commuters, and not only to the shareholders.

I do not want "one day free ride" on MRT, which some of the public suggested in lieu of imposing heavy fine to the MRT operators, I would rather, freezing of fare hikes for the next 3~5 years since they are not even able to provide the basic service level.

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