“This is ‘not crush load’, where a train is carrying more passengers than the standing load it is designed to carry under normal circumstances” (SMRT: Tighter Security Will Not Mean Higher Fare, Miss Irene Tham).
The report “SMRT: Tighter Security Will Not Mean Higher Fare” (June 27, 2010) by Miss Irene Tham: much has been commented about the recent fiasco surrounding SMRT over the dangerous breach of a train depot, as a result of obvious security lapses. The organisation has apologised – and even though many have pointed to the arrest and rapid persecution as distractions from the glaring oversights and mismanagement – the current momentum of change and improvement provides a clear opportunity for SMRT to work on other equally important aspects.
Beefing up all-round security measures. It was puzzling when it was revealed that SMRT took three years before it decided to review its security procedures. Hereafter, it would be logical for the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to develop a system to mandatorily ensure that the security methodologies are up-to-date and reliable. The uncertainty of the global landscape might make future breaches more threatening and costly, in terms of lives and properties.
Solving the problem of overcrowding, immense human traffic and a plethora of rush-hour inconveniences. While it is true that peak-hour human traffic on train carriages is not “crush load”; nevertheless, the squeeze and jostling contribute to significant inconveniences, contribute to commuter frustration, and raises safety concerns should accidents or unforeseen episodes spring up. Beyond the extension of the train network and providence of more train trips, SMRT must speedily explore alternatives.
Furthering the intentions of the priority seats to make trains and carriages more accessible for the disabled, handicapped and the elderly. It is virtually impossible for such individuals to make a trip on train during the rush-hour traffic. There are possibilities that can be refined for these aforementioned commuters: training service staff to be more adept with dispensing travel destination information, or reserving a designated carriage near the escalator or lift specially for the disabled, handicapped and the elderly.
Conducting more regular public consultations to garner on-the-ground feedback and constructive suggestions. A lot of the previous initiatives that had been rolled out by SMRT had been reactive in nature: safety barriers and closed-circuit technology were introduced because of accidents off train platforms, whilst the current slew of security measures has been the result of the recent infiltration. With tremendous concerns and responsibilities at stake, SMRT has the imperative to reach out more actively to the public to comprehend sentiments and subsequently introduce more initiatives that are more preventative. There is clearly space for further enhancements.