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

Despite setting a 400,000 train-km target for the train system, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan lamented that SMRT and SBS Transit could not even achieve half of the target he set. At the end of 2016, the two train duopoly companies could only get a Mean Kilometre Between Failure (MKBF) of 192,000 train-km, meaning that there is one train-breakdown incident every 192,000 km travelled (or about one break down every two weeks on average).

Delivering the government monologue in parliament on Wednesday (Mar 8), Minister Khaw Boon Wan expressed empty optimism despite having no plan at his Transport Ministry:

“Although we are not yet where we want to be, we will get there.”

The Transport Ministry also announced that a new data analytic system, Fusion Analytics, will be deployed to collect data and alleged to be able to “improve” passenger flow.

“The Fusion system will also be able to predict the impact of the incident in terms of the extent of the travel delay, the number of commuters affected, and recommend mitigating measures such as deploying additional trains and buses.”

It is unknown how many millions were spent on the data collection system but as the root cause of the public transport woes remains overpopulation and lack of rail engineering capabilities, having a data analytic system is only purely numbers.

Second Minister for Transport Ng Chee Meng said the new Global Navigation Satellite System – the new GPS-version of the Electronic Road Pricing that will commence operations in 2020 – will assist in the data collection of private vehicles which he claimed is to help divert traffic.

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan then defended his incapability to handle the Transport Ministry, saying it takes “years” to achieve rail reliability:

“It’s not multi-week or multi-month because replacement of ageing assets takes years.”