When trains on the North-East Line (NEL) broke down last month, I said that I suspected that the subway lines in Singapore are facing a systemic problem and that more breakdowns are coming in the future. It seems that unfortunately for all of us; I was right!
When the breakdowns first happened in Dec, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said that the breakdowns were “unacceptable”. Yesterday in Parliament, Mr. Lui said that the government is now working on minimizing disruptions as some disruptions on the MRT are “unavoidable”.
Man, talk about waving a white flag.
The timing of Mr. Lui’s speech in Parliament comes just after train operator SMRT handed in a 200-page report on the December breakdowns. Whatever the SMRT found, it was so serious that even Singapore’s famously stubborn government had to admit defeat.
You would think that with enough preventive measures and maintenance engineers in place, the government should be able to stop these breakdowns. However the fact that even the bullish Mr. Lui has admitted defeat in solving the problems of the train breakdown…well, that does not bode well for the health of our subway lines.