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World class public transport
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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Location: singapore

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SMRT Ė Revisiting the thinking of the sick
When SMRT was first introduced, there was the thought that travelling in public transport could be gracious, clean, smooth, convenient, fast and stylish. Then the money making mind set in. We want to be like Tokyo, crammed them in to the fullest, hire pushers to get as many commuters into the train as possible. Make the seats as small and narrow as possible to max the limited space. Good for the revenue. Nevermind the squeeze, discomfort and inconvenience. Nevermind the smell in this humid tropical island, never mind the unwashed foreigners. Who cares about gracious living. Gracious living was just a thought or meant for the rich.
After some crying and kpkb, there was a return to sanity. Instead of squeezing everyone into the train, they realized that there is another option, provide more trains. Silly that they did not think of it and only thinking of squeezing and squeezing. Have more train lines and more trains, higher frequencies, and encourage off peak travelling to create room and space.
But this kind of thinking is only meant to be short lived. They are going back to the old thinking, squeezing more people into the trains. The latest idea, tip up seats, to create room and space. Uncles and aunties, sorry hor. In this money minded island, everything is about making money. You oldies, legs weak, no seat, just too bad. What gracious living? What more trains? There is a maximum capacity, when reached, you cannot squeeze more trains on the lines. And there is a need to prepare for the 6.9m or 10m. How to increase passenger load?
I got a better idea. Shrink the population. I mean shrink the physical bodies. Feed everyone with a shrinking drug to half their size and the capacity will double. Or get our scientist to develop a shrink capsule and put the people in, and out comes all the midgets.
You want 10m? 20m also can. When you make the population smaller in size, everything will fit. Eat less, use less space, productivity sure to go up. Use Science, not dull brains of the past trying to push a square peg into a little round hole.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Self appointed observer of SMRT breakdown contingency plans

With the train breaking down getting to become a daily affair, it is only a matter of time before I get to have a first hand taste of what it was like being caught in such a situation. And it would be a good opportunity to see how the SMRT staff copes with the demands during a breakdown and how the commuters could be quickly transferred to the shuttle bus services to their destinations.

I boarded the train from Buona Vista on Friday evening towards Jurong East. Everything was normal. Changed to the NS train at Jurong East and was offered a seat by a young lady. Said thank you for the kind offer and waited for the train to move on. An announcement came on that an intruder on the track earlier was cleared and the train would resume normal service. Oh, I didnít know that, and good that service was resuming.

When the train reached Bukit Batok another announcement came on apologising that there would be no service between Jurong East and Yew Tee as the intruder incident was still not settled. The train cabin light went off and all disembarked.

An intruder was on the track. Hmmm, if no explosive or fireworks, he would be apprehended in no time. Not to worry. Half an hour or so would be over. Not a technical problem. After 10 minutes the platform was almost empty with only a few hopefuls like me eagerly waiting for the train to resume service. It was 10 pm.

The station control announced that a free shuttle bus was available from Bukit Batok to Yew Tee for commuters. Well, nothing seemed to be moving might as well. Outside the station control room a lady officer was surrounded by angry commuters. She was relieved when I budged in to ask about the shuttle bus, giving her a break. She said no shuttle bus from Batok, only from Jurong East. What the fÖ! Never mind, small error. Went back up to the platform. Another announcement, same as before, of a shuttle bus available. Went down again, asked the same officer who again said no. Told her this was the second announcement, asked her to check with the male officer inside the office. She checked and confirmed that there was indeed a shuttle bus at the bus terminal.

So some commuters went to the bus terminal, but no sign of a shuttle bus, no waiting point sign, no officer there, no one knew what the hell was happening, where to wait, where was the shuttle bus. The interchange office was closed and no one to ask. All trooped back to station control. Told the officer what was going on, that they must have an officer or a sign telling people where to wait for the bus. She went back into the control centre to check her files. Thought she found the SOP and went to another office trying to get the signs and whatever out. She was trying to sort things out for the next 15 minutes without anything happening while the commuters were getting agitated.

The best part, the male officer kept himself locked in the station control room and placed whatever card boards he could find over the counter window to avoid communicating with the commuters who wanted to know what was going on. He was lucky that the commuters did not throw bricks at the control station. There was a big crowd of commuters getting angrier every second.

By 10.40 pm the lady officer was still struggling to sort herself out with the shuttle bus procedures and another officer arrived to join her, but still getting no where. They simply did not know what to do. The male officer still locked himself in the station control room and looking very busy with his phone. I looked at the TV screen and saw the messages of train arriving/departing and looking normal. Told the lady officer no need to bother, the service should be back to normal soon. And yes it came back a minute later and the gantries were opened for the commuters to resume their journey.

With trains breaking down becoming a normal daily affair, it was unacceptable, and unbelieveable that a SOP was not available, or available but the staff were unfamiliar and did not know what to do. The male officer was happily making his announcements of free bus service but had no clue where and when the shuttle bus would be. And no one thought it was necessary to brief and guide the commuters to the pickup point of the shuttle bus.

Hello Sir, I think a section leader or a platoon sergeant would be able to do a better job managing the commuters and directing them to the shuttle bus pick up point. It does not even need an officer to be present to give orders. But what happened at Bukit Batok was a dismal failure. The intruder incident started at 9.30 pm and luckily the train service could resume by 10.40 pm.

No one took charge and no one knew what was happening and where the hell was the SOP. The officers sure did not know anything about the SOP or what to do. Maybe that was the reason the male officer hid himself barricaded inside the control room from the commuters. The only plus point was the lady officer, keeping her cool despite angry commuters all over her and trying to do what was necessary. But she must be properly briefed of the shuttle bus service procedures if she is to do her job well.

What is happening, Desmond? No SOP? Or got SOP but officers not briefed or did not know what was in the SOP? Train stoppages are now a routine and the procedures must be have honed to perfection by now given so much real life practised sessions. It was fortunate that many of the commuters took their own initiatives to switch to public buses and paid extra for the journey. Some commuters were also angry for the fares being deducted and wanting to know when they could get their money back.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SMRT breakdowns are becoming routine
5 breakdowns in 9 days! This is going to be better than in 3rd World countries man. And because of the regularity of train breakdowns, everyone is getting use to this new normal and life goes on. No one seems to be feeling the heat anymore. If this is going to be the trend, in 90 days there will be 50 breakdowns, in 365 days there will be 203 breakdowns. Of course this is only statistically speaking or straight line extrapolation. But it would be useful for people who like to use statistics to attack people, in this case SMRT.
It will not be the case. 5 breakdowns in 9 days is just one of those once in 50 year incident. The pain is that it must happen at a time when we are trying to celebrate our 50 years of Independence and being a world class city that prides itself that everything works here, with the flip of a switch. This train thing is going to be a little bit embarrassing, and the bad part, it cannot be swept under the carpet. Every time there is a breakdown thousands of commuters will be affected, businesses will be affected, the economy will be affected.
I think they are going to appoint a COI to investigate why breakdowns is a daily affair. Or would they be hunting for a foreign talents around the world to take over the train management? Our local talents are looking like not up to it. Maybe they should bring in a team from Mumbai. They have the experience to do the job. They also go MRT, I think.
What is the point of writing this? I think we should not blame the SMRT management. This is what you will get when the system is overloaded, over used. The important point which I think people must learn from these breakdowns is that it is a warning sign, it is telling us what to expect when the population hit 6.9m. This is only the tip of the problem. When the population is 6.9m, imagine what would happen to the train services, the public transport system and other supporting services? Can this island take the stress and strains and demands of a 6.9m population when we are starting to break down with 5.4m?
What, 10m also can? Everything will be fine with our superb planning skills and our super talents at work. I just have one comment. Please make sure the system will not fall apart like the SMRT now. If this is going to be the new normal, 6.9m would be a daily nightmare.
Believe me, trust me. Or you want to believe the super talents? The breakdowns are a peek into the future on how things would be. Be grateful for the early warning signs. Would the govt take heed.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donít leave home without it
The senior citizens may be thinking of their pioneer generation cards as the most precious item to be carried along wherever they go. The young may be thinking of their credit cards or their latest mobile phones. This phrase of Ďdonít leave home without ití has taken on a new meaning.
Last night we witnessed the most serious MRT breakdown when the two main lines, North South and East West went down at the same time at evening peak hours. The frustration and anger and the increasing perception of an unreliable public transport system are getting to the nerves of the commuters. Despite so many assurance and compliments of how well the SMRT has done, how much money has been invested to improve the system, the breakdowns are not going to stop and are getting more serious. The image that comes to many peopleís mind is the 6.9m or 10m population that the people have been daily prepared for.
Now with this crippling failure of a public transport system that commuters had taken for granted for the last 3 decades and now seeing breakdowns as a new normal, would there be a rethink about our ability to live with a population more than the present 5.4m? Are we up to it or just trying to psyche ourselves that we can do it when the incidents of breakdown are saying otherwise?
Lui Tuck Yew must have run out of expletives to apologise to the people on every breakdown. He might as well have a pre recorded speech to broadcast inside the train whenever a breakdown occurs. And he should also set up a permanent Committee of Inquiry to investigate on train breakdowns with such frequencies.
As for the commuters, they must be prepared for it as well. Forget about the free bus services when a break down occurs. They are not prepared for it, badly organized and too little to cope with the huge numbers of commuters needing to be dispersed as quickly as they could. How many buses would be needed to move the commuters? And how many commuters know how the free bus service system works? The MRT staff is just as good as blur about the bus service and they have great problems handling the crowd.
What is the best solution? It may be a good idea for every commuter to carry a folding bike with them. This is going to be the most effective and reliable tool to cope with the train breakdowns. They can simply unfold the bikes and zip away quickly. And with the Singapore Made Aleoca bikes at very affordable prices, it should not be too much of a strain on the pockets. For the richer Singaporeans, they can flaunt their Brompton bikes in the train to show that they are of a different commuter class, carrying the Rolls Royce of folding bikes in the train.
Yes, donít leave home without it. You will need it more frequently than you think. And it will help the MRT to manage the crowding problems in the stations. And no need to be so blur and lost on which free bus to take. We need to help ourselves and help the MRT. It is our responsibility and our problem to take care of ourselves than to add to the mess and jams at the stations.
But before you go and grab that folding bike, check with MRT which models are acceptable. I know the Brompton model is definitely ok, but not all folding bikes can be lugged into the train. You will be stopped by the MRT staff if the bike does not meet their criteria. Maybe Lui Tuck Yew may want to offer some vouchers to the commuters to buy the folding bikes. Or maybe some kind of subsidies as the commuters are trying to help MRT with the breakdown and crowding problems. Or MRT may want to go into selling folding bikes business as this is an important tool needed by commuters now.
What do you think?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donít leave home without it (part 2) Ė Free Shuttle Service
Tuesday nightís epic train breakdown involving two main lines is something to ponder. 250,000 commuters stranded, frustrated, angry and got their evening messed up, late appointments, late dinner, late for everything, some missing them altogether.
In my first article on the same subject, I recommended that every commuter should lug a folding bike in case of a train breakdown. What about Free Shuttle Service? Isnít that meant to ease the problem and congestion when a train breakdown occurs? This Free Shuttle Service sounds so pleasing and the cure all for such a situation. I have one experience of it and knew how effective it is on paper, or how ineffective it will be in a real situation. All I can say is that the effectiveness of this service is as good as not having it. Let me explain.
The logistics of this Free Shuttle Service just does not work. The meticulous planning of this service will not improve much as there are so many variables going against it. For a start, a simple play with the numbers will throw this emergency service haywire. 250,000 commuters at one go, how many buses will be needed? Would there be enough roads to allow the buses to pick up the passengers? What if there is an island wide power failure and all the lines went kaput at the same time?
The other problem is the people, the MRT staff, the bus drivers and the commuters caught in a breakdown and wanting to go home. The easy part is the station staff. They can be trained and briefed on exactly what to do, where to direct the commuters to the pick up points. This is as easy as ABC if the staff gets their regular briefings and not once in 6 months or a year.
Next the bus drivers. This is tricky. The standby drivers are not always the same and the stations they will be sent to will not always be the same station. They could be called to Woodlands or Tampines or Redhill. How are they going to familiarize with the routes to take when every incident is unlikely to be the same, and the standby driver will also not to be the same? What will happen is that you will have different driver going to different places to pick commuters using different routes. The only solution is to go robotics where everything can be programmed. Without robotic drivers, no standby drivers would be familiar with the location and the routes.
The commuters will also be a big problem. Everyone is new and would not know where to go to take the correct bus to the next destination. They will be unfamiliar with the pick up points and which bus to take. They would not know which route would the bus take and where to drop. How to brief 250,000 lost and unorganized crowd to direct and control them to the right pick up points and to take the right bus is mission impossible given the limitation of time, space and equipment. And the space around the pickup point would not only be too small for the crowd but also for the buses to wait for them.
A one station breakdown may still be manageable. But more than that or in a situation like Tuesday or worst scenario, the Free Bus Shuttle Service is completely ineffective.
Donít leave home without it. Have folding bike will travel. This may be a realistic solution if only the bike can be put in the pocket or backpack. Free Shuttle Service anyone?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SMRT lessons: Look at the positive side
It is not good to be negative. Look at the bright side of things. The recent and past breakdowns of the MRT should not be cause for alarm and depression. We need to look at things positively then we can put on a brave and cheerful front and go about life feeling good.
Just look at those countries that donít have MRT, count yourself lucky to have MRT to move around.
Look at those countries that have people hanging on the trains from the outside, or sitting on the roof of the trains, arenít you grateful?
Look at Japan, they have to hire pushers to push you into the trains. Here you wait for the second or third train and sure you will be able to get in without being pushed into it.
And where on earth can you find the best talents, paid in the millions, to manage the trains and run it so efficiently?
Be reasonable. It could be worst if you donít have the best talents like ours running it, or donít even have trains to take you around.
Donít listen to people saying that only poor people take trains and you need to bath the moment you get home to rid yourself of the smell of poor people. Our trains are used by rich local people also. They donít smell so bad like the snobs said.
Count your blessings. This is as good as you can get. Stop complaining. Wait till you get a rogue govt and mismanagement then you will know how good things are today.
See, positive thinking, I already feel better. Hope you people reading are also feeling better. And with the GE around the corner, things can only get betterer. Even the supply of COEs is more than before. And they have found out that Singaporeans are better for banking jobs also and the banks have started to recruit Singaporeans. Everything is so promising.
And there is a good chance that you may get a whole new train system to replace this ageing system. Now that must be something to look forward to. If we can scrap cars after using them for 10 years, we should consider scraping the train after 30 years and get a new and gleaming one with no problems to run again.
Smile, the sun is smiling.
Lin peh kong swee swee.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SMRT disruption Ė Commuters are so lucky
After the biggest train disruption in the history of SMRT, the original suspicion on the root cause of the problem was an ageing train system. And there were recommendations that it was time to replace the train system with a new system and have a fresh new start. A brand new system would likely to be free from breakdowns for the first 20 years. The present system is starting to breakdown after 30 years.
Thankfully or not thankfully, the team of experts have found the root cause of the disruption. I quote from Business Times,
ĎLTA, SMRT and five overseas experts carried out comprehensive system-wide checks across more than 200 km of train track and components such as the third rail, power cables and the signalling system to identify the root cause of the disruption. They also checked all 141 trains and analysed train logs from the day of the incident.
Their conclusion: a confluence of factors triggered the incident.
In the tunnel between Tanjong Pagar and Raffles Place, water was found dripping onto the third-rail cover near an insulator. Tests on a sample on the cover and on water collected from the tunnel leak found mineral deposits with a high chloride content. The presence of chloride on the insulator, coupled with a wet environment, would have significantly reduced the effectiveness of the insulator.í
Let me put it simply, rain water dripped on the third rail cover near an insulator, or was it over an insulator, and the water contained high level of chloride that caused a power leakage, reducing the effectiveness of the insulator. And the solution,
ĎTo minimise the possibility of a similar recurrence, it has started replacing third-rail insulators, starting with those showing signs of electrical resistance weakness. The remaining insulators will be changed under a planned renewal of the third-rail system, to be completed by the first quarter of 2017.í
I confess that I am not an engineer and find it difficult to rationalise the solution to the cause of the problem. There was water seepage, which means either the cover was not covering properly or there was a hole somewhere for water to seep through. If this was an isolated incident, not all the covers were affected, and there was no other seepage of water elsewhere, would it be sufficient to just replace the cover or ensure that the cover is covering the insulator properly to prevent a seepage, or to make sure rain water did not leak into the insulator. Also, how come rain water contained so much chloride or salt equivalent? Normal, natural?
What I donít understand is that why were there so much salt in the rain water just after a rain? Could it be someone or animal urinated on it? How many pieces were affected? Why not replace the cover at fault? Why the need to change all the insulators if it was the cover that was giving problem? Wasnít the root cause due to water that contained too much chloride, and if no chloride, even the water would not affect the insulators? Why was it necessary to change all the insulators if the insulators were functioning well without chloride? I heard some comments about weak resistance of the insulators. Are these insulators meant for heavy duty works? A little water or chloride can cause severe system breakdowns?
What is the problem, cover not covering properly, water or chloride and where did the chloride came from? Or was it the insulator that was giving problem? Would it be effective if the source of water is removed or the source of chloride is removed or prevented from contacting the insulators?
Why the need to change all the insulators? I am just asking layman questions. When a switch in the house does not work, you donít have to change all the switches. If someone spilled water on the switch, you donít have to change all the switches. I think like a layman and using a laymanís logic. If I want to use power logic or the logic of having a lot of OPM, I can change all the trains too because of some water found with high content of chloride that seeped through a bad cover.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More bright and crazy ideas for cyclists
The ST forum pages have received more suggestions on how to regulate cyclists and make cycling more convenient. One suggested licensing all cyclists and making them to sit for safe cycling courses, something like driving licence for cars and highway codes. I am not going to comment on this as it would make me even more stupid to do so.
Another suggestion is to provide conveyor belts so that cyclists can travel on it with their bikes. So convenient. How many conveyor belts will be needed and how much will it cost? How many technicians will be needed to maintain and service these belts? Donít ask me, ask the one who suggested it.
And SMRT is restricting folding bikes into the trains to off peak hours. A 20 inch folding bike would take up less space than a pram or baby strollers or even a large travelling suitcase. Why is SMRT so kiasu when a folding bike is very necessary and compliments the commuters going to office. The distance to the stations, from home and office, can be quite taxing on the seniors.
Shouldnít the SMRT also relax a bit on this ruling, to allow folding bikes that are 20 inch or less to be allowed in the trains to promote cycling and taking public transport?
Maybe got to wait for a minister to suggest it before they think it is a good change, a right thing to do. Go green, taking public transport, but no bikes in the trains except off peak hours? Holy shit.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uber and Grab taxis and Khaw Boon Wan
Gintai wrote an article about the new Ďpah ong chiaí or private taxis in the more sophisticated form of Uber and Grab taxis and why they are providing unfair competition to the rejected PMEs now driving govt licenced and control taxis that required them to take a Taxi Vocational Licence(TVL) test. To qualify for a TVL one must be a Singaporean and to take a crash course plus security vetting for criminal records.
The Ďpah ong chiaí drivers need not require to go through all the stringent processes and could simply drive their taxis under whatever rules or checks of these operators. No need to be citizens. Of course they claimed to check their track records too.
And no one could see anything wrong with these Ďpah ong chiaí drivers. It must be the right thing to do. It started in the West, so much be good. The West are doing it, so should be no problem. And this is another form of free enterprise, deregulation, free trade and all the jest. Finally we have someone who has a little commonsense to question this silly thing.
I only have one question. How many of you would put your parents, wives and children in a car driven by a total stranger, maybe not even Singaporean, whose track record or criminal record is not questioned? Or how many of you think it safe enough even for yourself to be driven around by an unknown element where the authority has very little knowledge or control over them?
Are we so innocent and naÔve to take personal safety so carelessly? The Singapore today is not the same Singapore of the past. We are in an open space for all and sundry to be here.
PS. If the drivers of Uber and Grab are subject to the same security regiment, and Singaporeans, then the issue is different.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Safety concerns in India over app taxis
India has taken tough stands on app taxis and is introducing new regulations to control the proliferation of unlicensed app taxis after rape cases appeared in the news. The Indian govt is concerned for the safety of their female passengers.
China too has revised taxi regulations but for different reasons, to regulate the app taxis to protect the traditional taxi trade. Singapore is also sounding out more changes in the pipeline to regulate app taxis to bring them in line to the licenced taxi drivers, in a way to protect the highly regulated but less than satisfactory taxi service.
The advent of app taxis is a natural development and a need for a more efficient service to favour the commuters. More app taxi operators will mean more competition and should also lead to better services, and maybe cheaper as well.
The safety of female passengers is something that is not being raised. Maybe this is the culture of crime free Singapore where passengers being raped by rogue taxi drivers is a rarity. Maybe all the foreigners landed here, and now can also drive app taxis will be more like the decent Singaporeans after drinking our newater. So rape of female passengers or other crimes would be rare and if happened, acceptable and nothing to worry about.
Just wondering whether this kind of attitude is bravery, daft or cavalier, or I am just being too conservative, paranoid and not up to date with the new mindset, that taking taxis and being raped is part and parcel of life and the female victims must live with it.
Letís see if the govt will introduce some measures in this line. The need for checks on criminal records and the registering of all taxi drivers could be the ways the govt is keeping tap and keeping crimes by taxi drivers in control. By allowing so much freedom for app taxi drivers to operate, would crimes by these new drivers be an issue or be too small to be significant enough to warrant any measures or concern by the govt?
What do you think?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Khaw Boon Wan Ė Like it or not, this man works
Boon Wan only took over the Transport Ministry a month ago after the GE. It is amazing at the things he is doing and at the rate he is doing them. It would take a new person some time to understand the new job and the problems and work on the solutions. Here it seems that he already has a full grasp of not only the problems facing the train system but also have solutions in his hand. And he is nothing only looking at the problems of the trains but also implementing contingency plans for both the aviation and rail sectors. On top of these he appointed PUB Chairman Tan Gee Paw as his adviser on rail transformation.
Boon Wan has in a way taken over the running of the train operation and looking at all the angles he could look at and all the problems the system may face. He not just the Minister of Transport but also the executive officer of the train operations. Things are changing very fast and today he has decided on the decoupling of the power system between the NS and EW lines. And the transport experts agreed that this is the right thing to do and should have been done long ago. KNN why no one thought of it before.
So lucky to have Boon Wan taking over. In his hands every problem becomes so simple. He is indeed a miracle worker.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How should Boon Wan be paid?
The role of Boon Wan in the SMRT is getting recognition for the intensity and furiousity he is going about it. And many rightly questioned whether Boon Wan is indeed the CEO of the SMRT, not even the Minister of Transport. He is fully involved and ensnarled in the nitty gritty of getting the SMRT back on its feet and running. If solving the SMRT problem is indeed a major part of his portfolio, then should Boon Wan be redesignated as the CEO of the SMRT instead of being a minister? And should not he also be paid like the CEO of the SMRT or at least SMRT must foot a big part of his ministerial pay for spending so much time to run the SMRT?
The other question people have been asking is the role of Desmond Kuek, the CEO that was roped in to do exactly what Boon Wan and his specially appointed team are doing? It is still fresh in the minds of the public that Desmond Kuek was head hunted to undo the mess in the SMRT caused by his predecessor. With Boon Wanís involvement in such a high profile role, who is doing what? Are they sharing the job or has Boon Wan taken over Desmondís job?
What was not said, after Desmond brought in his army buddies, is that things were not working or improving as he and his team would want them to. And that must be the reason why Boon Wan has to roll up his sleeves to dirty his hands in the SMRT.
The challenges of the SMRT is revealing itself as more than what Desmond Kuek and his team could handle, more than even what Boon Wan could handle. Heard that a section of the train is down again this morning. The intrinsic problems that Desmond and Boon Wan have inherited are deeper and more complex than what they anticipated.
Perhaps Boon Wan should take leave from the Transport Ministry and dig in full time to tackle the SMRT problem, and SMRT be made to pay for his salary. It is just not fair for the public to be paying Boon Wanís salary as a minister if he is working for the SMRT, a public listed company that is a profit making business.
What do you think?
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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Location: singapore

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2015 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The most frightening thing happened yesterday morning
The NEL MRT broke down in the morning just as the train started to run. And this was the morning of the start of the O and A level examinations, the biggest examinations of our highly stressed school system. The poor students who were caught in the breakdown, after mugging nights and weeks for this day, had another stressful encounter to face, how to get to the exam halls on time. Many were already feeling the stress of the examinations, now to fight for time to get to the exam hall must be very frightening.
How could the train fail on such a crucial day and put added pressure on our students? Sure it can. When a train system wants to fail, it will fail. But this kind of things never happened in the past leh. In the past our trains were simply reliable and could be expected to run and not to break down. Taking the train was a no event. Today taking the train is so dramatic with all kinds of things waiting to happen.
Never mind if this is the new normal, the new standard of efficient Singapore where everything is supposed to work with the push of a button. Ooops. Today, the new normal is to expect failures and breakdowns when you pray that it would not happen, and not on such an important and stressful day when the O and A level examinations were in full swing. Be prepared for the worst and more to come. Be always prepared and donít take things for granted ok? Students taking examinations must plan for alternative route or means of transport just in case. This is another burden, another thing to prepare in addition to preparing for the examinations.
Sorry kids. Donít expect everything to work. This is Singapore. You can bet if the results for those taking their exams yesterday would be affected. Poor kids! The mental stress must be heavy on them. Having to slog and struggle for the examinations were stressful enough, and now this. How many students were late for the examinations? They must be trembling in fear, yes fear and worried sick. Thank God, todayís newspaper reported that only less than 20 students were late. Is this supposed to be another miracle? Or is it that the students were smart enough to find their ways to the exam hall on time?
The magic wan is running out of tricks. Is this the beginning of things falling apart? The saga of hepatitis C and the number of deaths and people infected is still unfolding like a 3rd World country.
Shall we call for Harry, Harry Potter?
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is the problem with SMRT?
I think I know the problem why so many train breakdown problems. The service quality is going down. And if the commuters want better quality train services they must be prepared to pay more. Did not the commuters know that for so many years the fare has been going up and the quality improving all the time, better and betterer. Everytime there is a fare hike, the quality improved or at least the commuters believed so. Paying for quality is the way to go.
Now suddenly got fare decrease, 1.9% some more. Lower fare price means lower quality lah. Tiok boh? Pay less how to expect better quality? When good quality means must pay more, now can pay less, please accept quality must come down lah, at least a bit.
Just look at the universities, every year hike and hike tuition fees. Now the fees so high, and the quality of university education also go up. Now our universities are among the best in the world. Thanks to the high tuition fees. Another few fee hikes they will be better than Harvard and Cambridge and be the best of the best.
SMRT must learn to hike fares to improve the service quality. Want good quality must pay good price lah. How can cheap be good?
So, you want train service quality to improve or not? So simple!
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kishore: Letís nationalise public transport
Wow, Kishore, what are you saying? Donít you remember all the clever reasonings to privatise public transport into privatized public transport? Shit what am I saying? Isnít the private public transport a private company listed in the stock exchange? Or is it a public company owned by the govt and that is why a minister is running the show now?
I can still remember vividly that the main reason to privatise the public transport system is that civil servants are duds, inefficient, and only privatization would make public transport efficient. In other words, the talented people are in the private sector. Even a sales girl is good enough to run a public transport system and made good profit. Now a general also can do. If not a minister should do. Wait a minute, arenít a general or a minister a public servant, a kind of civil servants that were originally assumed to be less efficient or inefficient?
The call to return public transport to the hands of civil servants must be horrifying. The govt took so much effort to privatise the public transport, how to justify publicise the public transport system? Have the talents to run private public transport gone back to the civil servants, so civil servants are now efficient enough to run publicise public transport system?
If this is the case, then there is good ground to nationalize the private public transport system to make it public public transport system. In the same reasoning, private public hospitals must also be nationalized to be public public hospitals, to be more efficient and not be run to the ground like the private public transport system.
After writing the above, I am thoroughly confused. What is the difference between a private public transport system and a public public transport system in terms of operational efficiency and not breaking down daily?
Perhaps Kishore could explain and share his wisdom on this call.
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