Blaming “lower average fare”, Temasek Holdings-owned SMRT posted a S$26 million profit in 2017, significantly lower than 2016’s S$81 million. SMRT wrote in it’s annual report that it’s profits are affected by “higher maintenance-related expenses for the ageing network”.
Due to the increased number of train breakdowns, the total distance travelled by passengers reduced from 8,322 million kms in 2016 to 8,271 million kms in 2017. However, the CEO of SMRT, Desmond Kuek, claimed that rail reliability has “improved” by up to “115%”:
“Last year, Mean Kilometres Between Failure (MKBF), a reliability indicator used by international metros, improved on the Circle Line to 523,000km, 129% better than in 2016. The North-South Line (NSL) and East-West Line (EWL) achieved 336,000km and 278,000km, improving by 115% and 92% respectively compared with the previous year. Early indications this year show promising results, and we expect to reach even closer to our goal of 1 million in MKBF.”
SMRT also reproduced a fake survey conducted by the Singapore government showing 91.8% satisfaction in train service.
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan has earlier last week promised to increase fares for SMRT and SBS Transit, and blamed the old fare calculation formula for cutting profits. In his earlier statement, the PAP Minister said fares are “too cheap”.