Frequent MRT disruptions a concern: experts
Transport experts have raised concerns over the frequent delays caused by faults in the rail network, with nine occurring this month alone.
National University of Singapore transport researcher Lee Der Horng noted that SMRT was in the midst of testing its new signalling system, which allows trains to run more frequently and without human interference, on the North-South Line.
It is also reconfiguring its power supply system from a decentralised source to a centralised one, he said, but added that the faults could have been caused by other factors such as human oversight.
"To a certain extent, there would be teething issues caused by the upgrading.
"But it is also unfortunate there are other faults, which seem unrelated, happening at the same time," Dr Lee said.
"All in all, a well-maintained system would not have all these kinds of problems."
Dr Zhou Yi, deputy chairman of The Institution of Engineers' rail and transportation technical committee, said train disruptions could also be attributed to an increase in ridership as well as an ageing infrastructure.
He said the opening of new lines should help disperse and distribute train loads so commuters can look forward to a more reliable transport system.
Dr Andrew Ng, an assistant professor at the Singapore Institute of Technology, said: "Like many other commuters, I am worried such faults are becoming an almost daily occurrence.
"But I believe that our railway system would be more reliable and efficient after this transition period from the legacy (system) to the new signalling system, along with proper condition monitoring and intervention."
Yesterday's breakdown in services was the ninth this month.
Here are the others, with two on July 20:
A door obstruction at Newton station causes delays on the North-South Line during evening peak hours.
Temporary clamps that came loose near Choa Chu Kang station on the North-South Line cause delays of about 10 minutes at 5.30pm. A signalling fault later causes trains to stop in between stations for more than 15 minutes on the Circle Line around 10pm.
A train fault near Newton station affects service on the North-South Line.
A train fault and a track circuit fault cause delays of about two hours in the morning on the east-bound stretch from Joo Koon to Clementi stations.
A signalling fault causes delays between Queenstown and Bugis stations from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.
A train fault causes a 30-minute morning delay between Woodlands and Jurong East stations.
A train fault causes a 30 minute evening delay on the East-West Line.