Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Empower PTC to look into MRT fatalities

Something is either rotten in the state of our Mass Rapid Transit System or in the state of our people!

Imagine two accidents at MRT stations on a single day! One person died; another was seriously injured on 31 August 2004. In a little over a month, two people have been killed and two others injured.

What has been done to check such mishaps?

In the 2000 Singapore Census of Population, the Department of Statistics stated: "The MRT has become a popular mode of transport... The proportion commuting to work by MRT only or MRT with transfer from/to public bus increased from 12% in 1990 to 23% in 2000."

This was well before the North-East line was opened. With this new line, it can be said that MRT has perhaps become even more popular as a mode of transport.

In this context, such fatalities are unfortunate. It is even more unfortunate that a key institution, the Public Transport Council, seems to be toothless when it comes to regulating MRT service standards. The PTC's authorised scope of work merely includes:
- approving bus services that charge fares;
- regulating bus service standards; and
- approving bus and train fares.

Why not empower PTC to ensure minimum safety standards from our MRT service providers to prevent such accidents? The sooner this is done, the better.

Dharmendra Yadav

Please consider the environment - do you really need to print this?

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