Rail operators face hefty fines
Train service disruptions
A Bill was passed in Parliament yesterday ensuring train operators face heftier fines for service disruptions or regulatory breaches.
Under the amended Rapid Transit Systems Bill, train operators SMRT and SBS Transit can be fined up to 10 per cent of their annual fare revenue.
This could be higher than the current cap of $1 million for each incident, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said yesterday.
The new guidelines will act as a stronger deterrent as "any incident involving multiple breaches and service disruption will warrant a higher overall financial penalty than today", Mr Lui said.
The authorities will continue to channel penalties paid by the train operators into the Public Transport Fund, which will benefit needy households.
The Bill grants the Land Transport Authority (LTA) power to ask the public transport operators to beef up their board of directors, a move to ensure they are made up of directors with the "appropriate and relevant range of expertise and experience, including engineering background, needed to fulfil their primary role as public rail transport operators".
It allows the LTA to further develop MRT stations with facilities such as bicycle racks, ramps and lifts even if the State land is not adjoining road reserves, said Mr Lui. Private land owners who refuse to surrender their land for rail construction works after a two-month notice period can now be fined up to $1,000.
Earlier, the Transport Minister said Singapore's two train operators will adopt a "predict and prevent" approach to their maintenance regimes.
This approach, he added, will see both operators actively monitoring their rail operations to prevent breakdowns and delays.
Mr Lui was responding to questions from Members of Parliament on the reliability of train services, in the wake of recent disruptions.