Photo of arranged photoshoot of Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan on crowded train on Oct 19 by ASS

In his parliament speech yesterday, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan made a promise that Singapore train system will be better than Hongkong’s by 2018.

According to the latest rail reliability report, Singapore’s train reliability is measured at one breakdown for every 158,000 train-km travelled. This pales in comparison to Hongkong’s one breakdown per 360,000 train-km travelled, and Taipei’s 800,000 train-km.

However, Minister Khaw Boon Wan then boasted that Singapore’s train reliability will reach 400,000 train-km by 2018, and double the performance to 800,000 train-km by 2020. Meaning to say, Singapore will exceed Hongkong by 2018 and reach Taipei’s standard by 2020.

Minister Khaw Boon Wan’s bold claim are however not backed with new proposals, as he remained silent on the slew of train breakdowns including the “mysterious” interference signal that brought down the signalling system along the East-West Line. There was a total of 18 train breakdowns lasting more than 30 minutes in the first 6 months in Singapore’s train system – an average of 3 breakdowns in a month.

Despite having 3 breakdowns in a month on average, the Transport Minister still believe the train system is reliable and affordable.

The Minister recently introduced a new public transport financing model that makes Singapore taxpayers pay for expensive maintenance and purchase of railway assets, while private transport companies are given lucrative labour contracts that ensures their profit margins.