Minister for Transport, Mr Khaw Boon Wan signing the plaque to officiate the completion of the sleeper replacement project on Jan 20, 2017. PHOTO: ST FILE
SINGAPORE - The MRT system's reliability has improved by three times since Mr Khaw Boon Wan moved to the Transport Ministry in 2015, but the minister wants to raise the bar much higher.
Speaking at the fourth joint forum on infrastructure maintenance organised by SMRT on Thursday (July 27), the Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport said that in 2015 - the year he replaced Mr Lui Tuck Yew at the ministry, Singapore's MRT trains travelled an average of 133,000km between delays of more than five minutes.
This is known as mean km between failure (MKBF).
In the first half of this year (2017), "it has happily gone up to nearly 400,000 (393,000) train-km". Mr Khaw said this was based on preliminary data, and had also excluded delays arising from the testing of a new signalling system on the North-South line.
The minister noted that all five lines had improved, with the star performer being the North-East line, which clocked nearly 1 million (978,000) train-km between failures.
The Downtown Line and the Circle Line have both exceeded 500,000 (518,000) train-km, while the North-South and East-West lines - the oldest here - achieved 345,000 and 282,000 train-km, respectively.
"This is a satisfactory outcome, against our targets of 300,000 MKBF this year, 400,000 MKBF next year and 800,000 train-km by 2020," Mr Khaw said, adding that he set these targets last year against the best-in-class Taipei Metro, which clocked 800,000 MKBF.
But since then, he noted, Taipei Metro has improved further by achieving 1 million MKBF.
"So I am upping our 2020 target from 800,000 to 1,000,000 train-km," he declared. "LTA (Land Transport Authority) and the operators are working closely towards this target."