SMRT Continues to Smash 2021 Goals Amidst a Whole New Playing Field

May 24, 2021 | Lifestyle

2020 proved to be the biggest hiatus for the Singapore Mass Rapid Transport (SMRT), and other transit systems across Singapore. The unexpected and unplanned break due to the quarantine protocols put a sudden pause to the bustling activity that used to be commonplace at train stations everywhere. Nevertheless, they continue to operate and improve their services to serve the riding public.

Since the circuit breaker has been lifted, the train stations have seen an increase in the flow of passengers. But the average daily ridership is still quite low, as many remain to work from home.

1.  Picking Up The Pace

Instead of maintaining status quo, SMRT picked up on their reorganisation plans. Alongside the SMRT CEO’s ongoing efforts to improve their workforce structure, the train management rolled out a sustainable and scalable train operation plan that allows the ground to keep current operations efficient, as well as increase the service should it be necessary.

Now that Singapore is starting to get back in the swing of things, SMRT has started to increase the capacity of trains to ensure that the passengers continue to have a reliable transportation option to travel from point-to-point.

To minimise crowding in trains, more cars run on the network during peak hours. The arrival frequency of the cars come in intervals of 3 minutes; the interval was 5 minutes before the pandemic. On top of temperature check kiosks, SMRT ensure they do their part in reducing the risk of transmission by replacing exit buttons with contactless sensors and the use of anti-microbial coating at high touchpoints in both trains and stations.

2.  Safer and Better Service For The People

In line with the Ministry of Health’s directives to prevent the spread of Covid-19, CEO Neo Kian Hong assures the riding public that SMRT remains dedicated to serve the passengers while making sure that everyone is safe.

Aside from the building projects and facilities improvement, the train operator maintains strict Covid-19 guidelines as the Ministry of Health put the country on heightened alert due to new cases of the virus, starting May 15th. But SMRT assures the riding public that safe distancing and health protocols are observed in all touchpoints.

SMRT takes the health and well-being of every passenger and employee seriously. Just a week ago, they immediately took action when they received a report that a passenger boarded the train without wearing a mask. The passenger refused to wear one despite being encouraged by the other riders to do so.

SMRT believes that the safety of one passenger is the safety of everybody, be it about the safe distancing protocols or the availability of safe transportation. They understand that a healthy workforce is key in providing a safe and continuous service to the people.

Management has collaborated with the Health Promotion Board to conduct health screenings for their employees and provide them with updates related to their health situations. It helps the members of the workforce, in the offices and on the ground, with the monitoring of their personal health and safety at work.

In addition to that, the employees have access to the SMRT Care Fund. The funds are there to assist staff with financial emergencies and ensure that they are not alone in times of need.

3.  Renewal and Maitenance Work

SMRT is on a mission to improve the quality of their service and has invested in communications, technology, and their people. Currently, stations are equipped with electronic displays that show train service updates and digital displays that provide answers to common queries. This helps to navigate the train network easier for new riders, regular riders, as well as visitors.

But the renewal and maintenance work wouldn’t have been successful without the talented individuals behind each initiative. SMRT is continuously growing and up-skilling their workforce to equip them with the skills and knowledge to perform the roles to the best of their ability.

As of this writing, there are 540 engineers and 3,300 maintenance workers keeping the system working and in top condition.

4.  Planning For The Future

The plan to expand the MRT network remains an active project despite delays due to Covid-19. There will be an additional 360 km to the network, and they plan to complete this by 2030. While the project completion may seem too far from now, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan explains that the availability of the construction workers has been impacted by Covid-related matters.

The delay is completely understandable as the health of the workers must always come first. Passengers can expect continuous service and more trains to ply the network by the year 2023. This will definitely help de-congest the stations and help the community sustain a safer and faster journey experience.


– a contributed post

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