Allow car owners to offer services during disruptions

Labour chief Chan Chun Sing noted in a Facebook post on Tuesday night how amid the many posts expressing disappointment on social media, there were also "a few refreshing posts with light-heartedness to bring cheer to affected passengers", including offers from car owners to pick up commuters needing rides ("MRT disruption puts strain on buses, taxis"; yesterday).

It would be good to put such a system in place in times of national crisis affecting public transport.

Some things would have to be addressed first; for example, whether car owners can charge for offering rides during public transport disruption. Insurance matters for such pick-ups will also have to be considered.

A way to publicise such services and designated pick-up points will also have to be looked into. The Government could mandate that this system can kick in only during major public transport disruptions.

Tuesday's train breakdown is unlikely to be the last, as our MRT infrastructure gets older. Before the next one happens, we need to put in place a comprehensive contingency plan to supplement bus and taxi services.

Phillip Tan Fong Lip

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 09, 2015, with the headline 'Allow car owners to offer services during disruptions'. Print Edition | Subscribe