SMRT to add over 300 more train trips for YOG opening, closing ceremonies
Posted: 12 August 2010 1315 hrs
SINGAPORE: SMRT says it will add over 300 more train trips on August 14 and 26 - the opening and closing ceremonies of the Youth Olympic Games - to bring spectators and participants home after the events.
For the Opening Ceremony on Saturday, close to 200 train trips will be added along the North-South, East-West and Circle Lines after 10pm to shorten waiting time.
Train services will also be extended that day, with the last northbound, eastbound and westbound trains leaving City Hall MRT Station at 1.30am.
The last trains towards Dhoby Ghaut and Marymount on the Circle Line will be adjusted accordingly, to allow commuters to make their transfers at Bishan interchange station.
Likewise, the last Bukit Panjang LRT trains will be adjusted to allow commuters to make their transfers from Choa Chu Kang MRT Station.
For the Closing Ceremony on August 26, more than 100 train trips will be added on the North-South, East-West and Circle Lines after 9.30pm.
Why is it that SMRT can bend over backwards to add 300 additional train trips during the Youth Olympic Games, and yet during normal off-peak periods the train stations are over crowded and over packed? (see for example this report on Jurong East, where the trains were coming about every 5-7 minutes - or 12 trains per hour)
That SMRT can afford to add 200 train trips within a 3.5 hour period suggests that there is significant spare capacity during "off peak" operating periods. 200/3.5 is about 57 per hour. Divided by 3 lines, that is about 19 additional train trips per line per hour.
A look at the pictures of the overcrowding suggests that this overcrowding can be easily solved if SMRT were to display the same kind of commitment to its commuters during "off peak" periods of high commuter traffic, as it is displaying towards the YOG. A mere addition of 5 train trips per line per hour during would significantly ease the congestion situation.
This behaviour by SMRT suggests that the transport of its commuters on normal days, are a second-class priority compared to ensuring that there is no transport system cockup during the YOG, so that Vivian Balakrishnan and Teo Ser Luck will not look bad.
In other words, ordinary citizens are being treated as second class compared to ministers.
Yes or no?