In their latest Q3-2016 financial report, private public transport operator SMRT posted a S$36.9 million profit. Compared to the previous year, this profit registered a 63.5% increase. From taxi rental collection and other non-fare business, SMRT made S$33.7 million, or 20.3%, in the quarter. Compared to a year ago, SMRT also registered a five-fold profit of S$11.6 million from public transport fares in MRT trains, LRTs and buses, despite the increase in breakdowns incidence.
Despite the increase in breakdowns, SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek actually said that train reliability has improved using a new “reliability indicator”. However, the indicator Desmond Kuek used, does not indicate the length of delay, which usually stretched to hours, but simply indicating the number of delays longer than 5 mins per 100,000 km travelled:
“While there is more to be done in reducing major train disruptions, we are encouraged that our consistent efforts in enhancing the reliability of the network have seen results. As a key reliability indicator, service delays longer than 5 minutes for every 100,000 kilometres improved from 1.80 in 2011 to 0.71 in 2015, the best performance achieved on the North-South and East-West lines in the past decade.”
As SMRT was formerly nationalised by the government, all non-fare businesses in SMRT hence stemmed from the “seed fund” made from fare businesses. Desmond Kuek was formerly the Chief of Defence Force, and was appointed the CEO position for SMRT despite having no experience working in the private sector and having no knowledge about Singapore’s public transport system. Desmond Kuek is also amongst the most well-paid CEO in Singapore taking home S$2.25 million in 2014.