Dismayed with poor performance result from the old calculation, Singapore’s Land Transport Authority introduced a new methodology to measure train reliability and the result showed a great improvement.

Firstly, train delays not resulted from the control of the operators, authorities and equipment failure will be excluded. Incidents like the recent cases of passengers’ legs getting stuck between the gap will be excluded. This is a standard practice that Hongkong MTR adopts too since 2012. Effectively, this exclusion resulted in 15% increase in train reliability for the first nine months this year.

Secondly, average distance travelled by trains during delays will be used instead of the old measurement number of delays per 100,000km. This will however increase the complicity and difficulty of calculations, and giving a higher margin of error when calculating the number of delays and making no difference in the measurement of train reliability. For example, 2 delays per 100,000km is no different from an average of 50,000km travelled per delay. Also to note, this method does not indicate the length and scale of the delays since Singapore’s public transport delays are mostly serious paralyzing delays that took hours to resume services.

Based on the new methodology, the Downtown Line saw a 61.2% improvement in train reliability from 2014 to 2015. The LRT system saw only a 11.36% poorer performance despite having more incidents of passengers having to walk on LRT tracks due to train delays.

Like the manpower statistics, the transport ministry is changing statistic calculations to better manage perceptions of the public without actual improvement to the real situation.

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