Lui Tuck Yew, SMRT, hold your horses

SMRT announced that it is going to spend another $90m or more on a new signaling system so that trains can arrive 20 sec or 30 sec earlier. Before even questioning whether this is money well spent, let me just recount my experience with the train services these few weeks after the resignation of the CEO.

I used to take the early trains and my timing has not changed. The strange thing that is happening now is that the interval of trains arriving in the early hours on the East West and North South lines has improved. But this is not all. The trains are less crowded than before and there is ample breathing space between the commuters. No longer would the commuters be forced to breath in the BOs and stench of unwashed commuters beside them.

This is a great improvement and no need to waste millions on another signaling system if it can be achieved at all hours. Funny how things could improve so drastically within a few weeks of the CEO’s departure.

The after office hour rush and jam have also improved dramatically. But this stretch is still not tolerable as the trains are still quite packed. A little more tweaking with a couple more trains could do the trick. I think it is all about more thorough management or a different management philosophy from one that is profit priority to one that is commuter centric.

I would suggest the SMRT keeps monitoring and review the train flow and tweak wherever necessary to improve the service and hold back on the huge expenditure that may not be necessary. And that expenditure need not be passed down to the commuters with higher fares again.

I hope SMRT, LTA and Lui Tuck Yew are listening.


Anonymous said...

Here you are, telling SMRT to hold the horses. Aren't you one of those spoilt sinkies who poured scorn and critisims whenever system breakdown or trains arrive too crowded?? Systems need investmeents now so that sinkies can be pampered further in future. Improvements take time to execute and implement- it is not a toy system where capacity can be added at will. And without doubt, such improvemenst come at a cost to be borne by who else but the commuter. SO dont complain when SMRT add shops space in mrt station, they are actually helping you stupid sinkies to defray some of the costs.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

You are just another dumb sinkie. The SMRT was running to a halt over the years, more jams, more faults and longer intervals.

What happened the last few weeks was not the result of buying more equipment and spending more money. It was due to a new management and so many improvements immediately.

You are so blind to see and whining about irrelevance.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Incidentally I wrote about increasing revenue through more retail shops in MRTs before they expanded into this area and that the revenue should be used to defray the cost of commuters, not just profit and profit and higher and higher fares.

Anonymous said...

The relief in crowds past weeks could be due to people taking up just opened circle line or by adding more trains. More trains cannot be added without compromising something and saftey is something that cannot be compromnised. SO SMRT need to plan ahead to purchase eqpt in enahnce safety and allow expansion later. Capacity cannot just be added as and well sinkies complain.

Anonymous said...

Higher and highet fares?
Rental revenue has always been used to defray the costs. Without rentals your fares would undoubtedly been much higher. Pampered sinkies have no idea their stupid fare is much cheaper compared to other cities in the world, per km travelled.

Anyway when was the last time smrt raised fares before the recent raise? Many years ago and for a pittance percentage. What has been inflation through the years? And mrt employees are not people too?

And if you think smrt is making SO much money that gahment is milking it for whatever is worth, why dont u plunk all your money in smrt and reap a handsome return ??

Anonymous said...

I think redbean is correct in raising flags of caution.

You can't implement a solution if you don't know what is the problem.

SMRT - So what is or was the problem?

a)a train system that is too small to cope with a population explosion to more than 5 million people?
b)Lousy leadership?
c)Poor usage and management of existing trains and signalling equipment?

d)Inadequate trains?
e)Lousy signalling equipment?

Money is not the solution if the lack of money is NOT the problem.

Anonymous said...

'plunk all your money in smrt & reap a handsome return' ... so u want to make lots of money from sucking your fellow citizens??? This share is not halal ! It benefits Temasek ,the major shareholder & a small group of shareholders who do not care how the company makes money as long as they get 'handsome returns '. This public transport should never have been privatised.

Anonymous said...

Sinkies are half worldly wise. Thats why we elect leaders who are worldly wise.

Which city in the world who has nationalised train syatem and runs efficiently without needing massive govt support ? Govt support that bleeds govt dry, leading to almost banana currency ?

Anonymous said...

Banana currency means your rice, red bean, your travels when you bring your spoilt sinky family overseas for holidays will all become expensive ? And in a nationalised sytem, how much cheaper can your fares be when our fares now are already one of the cheapespest? Cheaper by 10 cents? But compensated by higher food and travel costs of $1, you would be happier ?

Matilah_Singapura said...

Hey fucking whiners,

I just came back from Hotel Singapore. WTF are you talking about? SMRT fares are CHEAP lah! You crazy or what? You fuckers are lucky they keep the cost low.

Also, Holland V now has the awesome, smokin Circle Line which goes directly to other awesome and interesting places like Harbour Front (gateway to Batam, Bintang and Sentosa).

So let them spend the money lah. seems to me they're doinga reasonably good job.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Daft sinkies are difficult to talk to. The cup is so full of shit that they think the shit is the best in the world.

What I am saying is that the system can be improved dramatically without having to go on a spending spree. Put in good management and a right management philosophy that is to serve the commuters with good and efficient service, the system can be better. I am experiencing the big changes every morning and it was only a few weeks back that things were getting intolerable.

It is very easy to spend money and throw money away like buying swim suit for the canals, buy a map that cost $124m, buying a signalling system that cost hundreds of millions when it may not even be necessary in the first place.

Anonymous said...

"...the system can be improved dramatically without having to go on a spending spree..."

Of course who wants to go on spending ? They are changing from a "Block" system to a real time system so that trains can be spaced apart closer than previously, so that more trains can be added to the line. You want the trains to crash to each other ? Such things are not cheap.

The more sinkies complain about service standards, the more costs are going to increase. Thats for sure.

Anonymous said...

PUBLIC transport is to take care of the masses who can't afford private transport.Who says its wrong for a govt to subsidize public transport?Who says subsidizing will bleed the govt dry & lead to banana currency.There is such a thing a proper budgetting.Billions are taxed from the citizens from COE, ERP,foreign workers levy, etc.Why allocate so much to defence? A small % reduced from the humongous budget of some ministeries will be more than enough to subsidize public transport, education ..There are many countries which care more about their citizens & subsidize their public transport ;their currencies are nowhere near babana currencies, A lot of brainwashed people around.

Anonymous said...

The defence ministery budget is a huge pit - u just keep throwing billions into it; no revenue. Young citizens required to defend singapore - now 40 % of population are foreigners ! even VVIPs don't want their sons to do real active NS service !

Anonymous said...

So long as the Public Transport Operators are making tons of money(profit), the fares need to be fair(reasonably cheap) to the commuting public.
Students, senior citizens, handicaps and full time housewives should be given concession travel on public transports.


Matilah_Singapura said...

Staedy lah redbean and all the other big mouth motherfuckers.

Like business consultants with no business handing out "advice" telling a well run organisation how to spend or not to spend their money.

SMRT runs well. Fares are cheap. Cheap and good, and reliable.

What else you want?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Matilah, you are just one of the idiots. I am complimenting the SMRT for being able to improve their services dramatically and you are complaining that I am running them down.

Under the present leadership, major improvements have been seen over such a short period of time and incurring very little capital or equipment cost.

What I am saying is that they can do a much better job and provide a much better service with the right people now in charge.

And before they splurge more millions on equipment and system they may not need in the first place, they shall take a closer look at how things are working.

And mind you, the splurging will end up the commuters paying.

Mrt commuter said...

Yes,the service of MRT has improved and so much better after new management took over. I suspect that the previous management has a very strict instruction for control of train run frequency so as to maximize the train load per run to maximize profit.

Anonymous said...

Better to some folks means better bottomline.
Business minded folks know only profit, quality of service and good are secondary.
Matilah Orang Singapura, with public services run by business minded people.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Mrt commuter, welcome to the blog.

It is good that we have more confirmation that the service has improved with the new management in charge. It tells a story that you don't need more money to buy good services.

MRT commuter said...

Question is how Profit is enough?

Mrt commuter said...

Sorry , question is how much profit is enough?

Anonymous said...

If smrt is making so much profits, then its shares must be worth investing. Did you buy any recently?
And the public is uncomfortable that smrt is making so much money. Actually its quite easy to tone down. Just ask the property division to be less aggressive in marketing its space, or to take less money than it could fetch.

Anonymous said...

First they should meet the need of the people and fare should be reasonable before talking of profit.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The property division must aggressively market its space and earn more profits. The shit is that the profit is not plough back to serve the commuters better.

The non transport related income is good to subsidise the main operating cost of running the train. Many clubs used their jackpot rooms to subsidise the operations of other depts.

What could be happening is that all the profits are kept and distributed to share holders and big bonuses for the top management. Why can't more profits be share with the lower employees/maintenance instead of raising fares and passing the buck to the commuters?

Anonymous said...

This statement is oft said of Smrt :"...Serve the needs of people and fares should be reasonable.."

Now, with mrt, one can commute easily from east to west, north to south at less than half the time, in air con with no exhaust smoke, compared to years ago with SBS buses. Point A to Point B, sheltered, no less. Hasn't it served the "needs of people" ?

Fares shd be reasosnle. SMRt fares is already one of the lowest in the world per km travelled, what else you want ? 10% cheaper, 20% cheaper, 30% or 50% cheaper, or FREE ?

People's NEEDS can NEVER be satisfied. Thats a fact.

Anonymous said...

One(fare) of the lowest means fair when profits are in the tens of millions?
And why the need to compare with others?
Why did You not compare better Healthcare provision in other countries? Selectively picking points for the argument is not just unreasonable, it is unconscionable too.

Anonymous said...

You should care about your fares being reasonable, and it is reasonable when compared with other train cities. Why should you be jealous of the company making millions ? It is exactly company is making reasonable profits (not excessive) that it being able to offer u reasonable fares and spanking new trains. Your mind is unreasonable and reasoning is warped, like so many opposition sinkies here. I cant believe it.

Anonymous said...

And what about Healthcare provision ?

You want to compare Singapore with other countries offering you free or almost free heathcare right ? Either these countries are RICH in natural resources or these countries are already BANKRUPT. Good role models? Hardly.

What about Singapore? Is heathcare expensive ? Yes, it is if you choose A class, and/or no medical insurance. NO, if you stay in C class, you are subsidised up to 70, 80%, and with insurance, you need only pay little.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Did other countries foot the infrastructure cost of building the SMRT lines? Did other countries used public fund to start SMRT as a company?

Anonymous said...

Heard of mean testing?

Anonymous said...

So you are more irritated by Smrt making little money than your fares being unreasonable, right? So now, the new normal and admired companies are companies bleeding RED ink? The road to the abyss by the Opposition of Singapore!

Mean testing ? I think it is FAIR. NO ??

A person staying in a Bungalow choose to stay in C depriving a true poor of a bed is Fair? I think everybody should pay what they can afford, choose what they can afford, and not rely on the STATE to pay for their expense, ELSE everybody has to PAY for that person. Get it ?

Anonymous said...

The rich are not allow to live frugally buying public housing, stay in c class ward, eating at hawker centres and using public transport? Oh! Sorry! My bad, no more public hospital and public transport; they are all 'privatized'! Sic.

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