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Old May 25th, 2012, 02:17 PM   #5001
Mith252
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Conclusion of the COI.

Quote:
Court hearing into SMRT's train disruptions concludes
By Hetty Musfirah | Posted: 25 May 2012 1218 hrs



(L-R)Chief District Judge Tan Siong Thye, Director of Prison Soh Wai Wah and NTU Professor Lim Mong King were appointed by Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew to look into MRT breakdowns.

SINGAPORE: The Committee of Inquiry (COI) hearing into SMRT's two major train disruptions last December, has wrapped up after six weeks.

In his closing remarks on behalf of the Committee, COI Chairman Judge Tan Siong Thye said the COI has been "probing, critical and relentless" in scrutinising the evidence.

Though the disruptions could have been better managed, he said the way commuters and staff had reacted, averted "a potentially dangerous disaster."

He said the COI will suggest practical improvements in its upcoming final report.

It took 116 witnesses over 29 days for the COI as it tries to establish the cause of the two disruptions and how they were managed.

Most of the witnesses were SMRT staff - from those working on the ground to top management. The relevant top management of Land Transport Authority (LTA) also testified.

Despite the close scrutiny, the COI felt the witnesses were mostly "candid and forthcoming" in assisting the inquiry.

COI Chairman Judge Tan Siong Thye said the Committee recognised the complexity of the two disruptions.

Crowds were swelling at stations while multiple trains were stalled with trapped commuters.

In one case, commuters even had to evacuate from train to track.

So the COI said it's gratified that despite such potentially perilous situations, safety was not compromised.

Commuters were also generally cooperative and did not panic - averting a potential stampede with serious and if not, fatal consequences.

Of the 200,000 commuters, there were no serious casualties though two commuters had fainted in stalled trains.

The COI also praised the action of SMRT staff - some of whom had voluntarily come back to assist, while others had gone the extra mile to help commuters.

But the COI noted that staff did not know their roles in a crisis situation and left much to be desired in this area.

Judge Tan noted that the two unprecedented disruptions - in his own words, had "brought SMRT to her knees" and that "people have to understand that even the best system in the world may falter."

He said what's important is the willingness to learn and a positive attitude to acknowledge shortcomings and put things right quickly. And these are attributes that he has seen in both SMRT and the Land Transport Authority. So he felt that there is a silver lining in the two incidents.

The COI also commended SMRT and the LTA on being proactive to improve current processes, even as the inquiry was underway. It is hopeful that public confidence in the train transport system will be restored quickly.

The counsels have two weeks to hand in their written submissions.

SMRT's Counsel Cavinder Bull thanked the committee for the balanced set of comments as his client has come under great scrutiny in the course of the inquiry and that the public deserves to have a balanced picture.

Judge Tan said the COI will give careful consideration to all reports and recommendations, before presenting its report to the Transport Minister.

In the course of the inquiry, LTA, SMRT and technical experts have presented their findings to the committee. And Judge Tan said the reports examine the likely causes of the breakdown. The report also identified many areas of improvement and gaps in existing procedures. He said the SMRT Internal Investigation Report was self-critical and objective and this was indeed very encouraging.

The disruptions were due to rail claws that had dislodged from the power rail.

So SMRT's maintenance regime was under intense scrutiny during the inquiry.

SMRT is now shifting the emphasis of the regime to go beyond just repairing and maintaining, but to replace assets as well.

Talks are already ongoing to replace the third rail claws with the latest version that comes with a positive locking mechanism.

The move will be part of the S$900 million plan to upgrade the ageing MRT lines.

SMRT's Rail Incident Management Plan has also been re-aligned to the LTA's alert levels, to make it more responsive.

On its part, LTA is considering ways to impose a stricter regulatory framework on operators.

This may include revising penalties for different breaches and introducing new Operating Performance Standards.

- CNA/ck
source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stori...203481/1/.html
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Old May 28th, 2012, 08:46 AM   #5002
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Went through Yishun last week. Seems that the structures for the HVLS are in place and are now installing the fans.

Also, according to the other side, Tampines is done and operational.
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Old May 30th, 2012, 03:46 AM   #5003
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Passed by Yishun yesterday. 4 HVLS fans have been installed with one more ongoing.
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Old May 30th, 2012, 06:30 AM   #5004
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For anyone who is interested, JUR fans were in place since nearly three weeks ago I believe. Not operational yet. If I am not wrong Commonwealth is done as well.
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Old May 31st, 2012, 04:38 PM   #5005
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IN other news
At AMK
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Old May 31st, 2012, 06:57 PM   #5006
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nice one Lee480!!
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Old June 1st, 2012, 12:24 AM   #5007
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Thanks for the the update, Lee480. As for Yishun, it seems that they are still installing the 5th fan.
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Old June 1st, 2012, 03:05 AM   #5008
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Today's ST headlines feature an interview with Lui, where he covered upcoming measures related to public transport.

- New lines will be announced March next year during Budget debate. Hinted they may be orbital like CCL, bypassing CBD (T7?)

- Look into use of tourist buses before they start their tourist trips as supplement to peak hour buses in the short term

- Encourage taxi operators to hire out taxis for two shifts instead of one to increase cab presence

- New subsidies framework for buses to make it more attractive as competitve tendering comes in. Bus operating licenses will expire by 2016 and they are mulling over owning all operating assets and leasing them to operators (like trains) to level the playing field

- Rehashed plans for sharing bus stop advertising revenue and state ownership of bus depots

- COE is here to stay, but there are plans to even out supply by spreading out the COE spike from increased deregistrations between 2014 to 2018 to the entire decade so as to prevent the next cyclical dry spell from coming around again.

- Distance based ERP will not be the focus in the short term
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Old June 1st, 2012, 03:48 AM   #5009
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Hmm, interesting. With regards to the bus model, I guess it would be similar to London's system. Also, interesting hint on the orbital line.

Anyway, thanks for the update!!
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Old June 1st, 2012, 04:31 AM   #5010
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ddes, you missed out that he hinted that there will be another "NorthSouth" Line (TSL) and a varying form of "EastWest" Line (OCL).

Both kinda sound like vague hints to TSL and ERL.

Quote:
The new lines will be much like the existing Circle Line, in not only connecting new towns but also linking commuters from one area to another without having to go through the city centre.

It could be, say, from the eastern or north-eastern end to the south-western end, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said in an interview this week.
Other hint, North West Line?
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Old June 1st, 2012, 04:37 AM   #5011
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Nice, thanks for the additional info!

Also, its deskoh91, not ddes that posted the news.
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Old June 1st, 2012, 04:46 AM   #5012
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Yes I missed that nugget out, thanks Selo for the text and Mith for clarifying
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Old June 1st, 2012, 05:59 AM   #5013
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I think the transport minister is picking up at straws, really. At this moment of time, when you're envisioning the opening of lines in 2030, you're more or less only establishing corridors that need to be served. With the rise of more suburban or secondary city centres such as Jurong Lake Region, Changi Business Park and many more in the pipeline, there'll be an increased need to connect these areas. Because of Singapore's unique planning, it is most certain that these lines will be orbital in one way or another.

Mith's right. The bus model is very similar to London's, as well as the rail, really. However, I've got to question its effectiveness. Technically, SMRT should've been given the boot, because in every way you look at it, they clearly failed their primary function. On a more macro scale, it exposed how unprepared Singapore actually was for accidents. Imagine, a terrorist attack. Yet, they remain, probably because of their anciliary revenue, which obviously will be put to good use co-funding the improvements to the NS and EW lines. To be honest, all the COI did was blame nobody. If the authorities can't even be trusted to regulate the rail operators to not only provide a service, why should it work on the bus network?
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Old June 1st, 2012, 06:30 AM   #5014
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At least the plans will outline which corridors are going to be served and how they will be connected. It will also be an indication of new regions to be developed two decades down the road. Preliminary alignments of DTL, TSL and ERL were announced in the concept plans and a more detailed listing of corridors served by every line was released about a decade before they were due to be built. The actual stations were only be announced very near to the beginning of civil works after detailed studies. If lines to be ready by the next decade is announced now, it fits into the flow of how future lines have been introduced in recent years.

I agree that the government is taking on very heavy responsibilitiy over the public transport network. The whole tendering should work out fine, especially on the bus aspect, if they are capable enough. The calibre of the authorities in managing the system can probably be seen in the recommendations when the various reports relating to the breakdowns go public. To me LTA nearly has absolute power over the systems right now anyway that any changes made will not make a great difference to how much influence they wield over the network. SMRT and SBST only really makes operational decisions, nothing too strategic.
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Old June 1st, 2012, 09:08 AM   #5015
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It will be interesting to see how much LTA can use competitive tendering to push for improvements in efficiency and service quality. It would seem that shorter leases of buses and routes (say 3-5 years?) would allow for a credible deterrent for poor management like that which led to the big failures last dec.

We might have to get used to bus routes alternating between beige and purple buses.

If the govt owns the buses and sets the routes too, the regulatory regime will also have to be carefully devised to minimise moral hazard of the operators blaming the capital asset owners for failures - or even vice versa.
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Old June 1st, 2012, 04:11 PM   #5016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deskoh91 View Post
At least the plans will outline which corridors are going to be served and how they will be connected. It will also be an indication of new regions to be developed two decades down the road. Preliminary alignments of DTL, TSL and ERL were announced in the concept plans and a more detailed listing of corridors served by every line was released about a decade before they were due to be built. The actual stations were only be announced very near to the beginning of civil works after detailed studies. If lines to be ready by the next decade is announced now, it fits into the flow of how future lines have been introduced in recent years.

I agree that the government is taking on very heavy responsibilitiy over the public transport network. The whole tendering should work out fine, especially on the bus aspect, if they are capable enough. The calibre of the authorities in managing the system can probably be seen in the recommendations when the various reports relating to the breakdowns go public. To me LTA nearly has absolute power over the systems right now anyway that any changes made will not make a great difference to how much influence they wield over the network. SMRT and SBST only really makes operational decisions, nothing too strategic.
also like to add that in response to this news, DTL, TSL and ERL has become top pirority, likely a major rush again at LTA to get these lines up and running before 2020 to 2022?
Also means concurrently, they'll be planning on newer lines, maybe the Seletar line, HLL, etc.

an old outdated info that selo gave( refer to CCL thread page 302) might give rise to a possiabilty, if assuming that BSS(bishan south )might be used for seletar line? and maybe Lorong chuan still retain as interchange, however the location might be shifted a bit further west to the blk 150+ area wheres theres an empty ground there.
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Old June 2nd, 2012, 02:41 AM   #5017
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Actually which part of the article did they say they are focusing on the existing lines again? All I noticed was them pointing out they will be completed in the next 10 years (I.e. 2022). On the other hand its more focused on hinting on some upcoming ideas they have.
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Old June 2nd, 2012, 05:31 AM   #5018
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actually it's based on a number of factors

mainyly due LTA always give themselves a margin time for error should somethig crops up, so by giving themselves 10 years time deadline, to them it means that by jan or dec 2022, these 3 lines must be up and operational, after all they have to ensure that they keep up with the transport minister announced deadline, anything completed earlier is a bonus.


that also means that the DTL, TSL and ERL would start to ramp up their speed in doing things, since DTL is to be up in 2017, therefore DTL would have the most pirority first, next in line would be TSL and after that ERL, likely the additional lines after ERL would start commencing planning, survey phase maybe at the very latest after DTL 3 or TSL is operational.

so while they are doing DTL, TSL and maybe ERL now, but somewhere in 2015 to 2020, they may start thrashing out the lines after ERL,and also maybe considering merger of SLL with HLL?? etc..
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Old June 2nd, 2012, 08:25 AM   #5019
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2022 is no acceleration, but a continuation at their current pace. We are already largely looking at a 2019 TSL completion. I won't be surprised if the effects snowball onto the ERL. I believe the original CCL/DTL team is working on ERL right now while the TSL/Existing Lines team have their hands full at the moment. Signs of preliminary works along the ERL route are only beginning to appear and chances are its a 2021 opening at the earliest.

As the existing lines team free themselves a little by 2016, we can start looking forward to the preliminary investigations of lines due for the next decade which we will know about next year. My personal opinion is that the pace of roughly 2 years per opening of a major rail segment that we are witnessing this decade will be sustained until the late 2020s (2027 maybe) with another three lines.
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Old June 2nd, 2012, 08:40 AM   #5020
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Just to add, the three lines should be along corridors with ready demand and not too far into the future. Perhaps that would be the Holland Line, a east to west line as hinted in the article and the equivalent of a western ERL, as the many 40 storey BTOs along the existing EWL looks set to overload it together with NSL transferees from JUR. T7 looks likely as well based on what was seen in TSL docs and the talk about orbital lines. We may also be looking at some sort of modified coastal line that runs from the east to southwest, perhaps an extended North Shore Line. Seletar Line looks a little early at the moment with many of its suburban areas being undeveloped and its southern alignment has been adopted by TSL.
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