Transport Minister: DTL open house disruption 'bad luck'
The Downtown Line (DTL) disruption on Sunday that dampened the mood of the DTL3 open house was "bad luck", Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said yesterday.
Responding to media questions during a press briefing on the tunnel flooding on Oct 7, he said he hoped commuters realise that "delays happen".
"Sometimes things will happen, but then it happens on when we were having our open house, then that is bad luck," he said.
A train fault near Hillview station affected services from about 12.40pm on Sunday.
Service was suspended between Bukit Panjang and Beauty World stations on DTL2. Service on DTL3, due to open this Saturday, was also affected.
The Downtown Line is operated by SBS Transit.
The trains resumed normal service at around 1.20pm.
Mr Khaw said he was pleased with the recovery effort, which was comparatively "quite speedy".
SMRT Corporation group chief executive Desmond Kuek touched on the issue of train disruptions, noting that human error or failure caused many of its breakdowns.
He said that while nine in 10 of SMRT's staff members are "incredibly committed, professional and commuter-focused", "deep-seated cultural issues" within the company were partly to be blamed for the train disruptions.
Responding to questions on the flooding incident, Mr Kuek said the level of accountability of its supervisors needs to be strengthened.
This includes "the level of ownership and responsibility over what is not working well... The openness in which some issues are reported".
Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport chairman Sitoh Yih Pin, who was at the briefing, told reporters on the sidelines he hopes that internal controls in SMRT would be bolstered.
"For any company, there must be checks and balances," he said.
"It cannot be that because one department or group of people did not check the water pump that the whole system fails."