Photo of Chinatown crowd from Twitter

According to a propaganda release by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), Singapore’s MRT trains are reaching “Gold Standards” reliability:

“The latest results bring Singapore’s rail reliability standards closer to what gold standard bearers Hong Kong and Taipei achieved. Last year, Hong Kong’s MTR clocked 650,000km between delays, while the Taipei Metro achieved 883,000km.”

The Transport Ministry published a rosy report claiming that rail reliability has improved in the first six months of 2018, by using rearranged statistics to mislead the public. Unlike Hong Kong and Taipei that took account of their entire train line network, the Singapore government broke up the rail statistics by train lines to make lopsided comparisons:

“The rail system has continued to improve. For the first six months of the year, the MRT network averaged 574,000km between delays – up from 555,000km in the first quarter – and 181,000km for full-year 2017. The star performer was the Circle Line, which averaged 1.2 million km between delays.”

The Singapore government also came out with its own rail reliability measurement, that does not meet international standards. According to the government’s “Mean Kms Between Failures” (MKBF) measurement, a breakdown exceeding 30 minutes is treated as an equal to a breakdown lasting 2 hours or 8 hours. This significantly improved Singapore’s rail reliability measurement as compared to a formula measuring operation downtime. The LTA wrote in their report:

“In terms of major delays – those lasting more than 30 minutes – the system showed a more dramatic improvement. There was only one such incident in the second quarter of 2018, compared with three in the first quarter. If this continues, the MRT network will have the lowest number of major disruptions since 2010, although the number seems to be creeping up in the current (third) quarter, notably on the East-West Line. The MRT system experienced 16 such breakdowns for the whole of last year.”