Public transport too vital to be left to profit-driven corporations

The public transport service in Singapore is critical to the survival of our nation as it serves the people that drive our economy, security and psychological defence.

Hence, chaos ensues whenever there is a train disruption.

In the wake of recent terrorist attacks in Europe, it is not difficult to imagine how vulnerable such disruptions will make us. These chaotic moments are perfect opportunities for potential attackers to strike, with deadly consequences.

We should not let our daily commute be another security risk for Singapore.

Currently, our transport assets are privatised and in the hands of profit-driven corporations.

With this comes the risk that cost-cutting measures may be implemented to maximise profits. This would compromise the maintenance of a reliable and safe transportation experience.

The Government should take full ownership of our train system and its trains, and undertake maintenance to ensure they run smoothly.

Service providers could be appointed to run the daily operations of the stations and train schedules, under strict regulatory governance of the Transport Ministry.

These service providers should not be involved in maintaining the infrastructure as it is something that is too vital to be left in the hands of profit-driven corporations.

Baby steps have to be taken to overcome frequent train disruptions.

Gan Rui Zheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 16, 2016, with the headline 'Public transport too vital to be left to profit-driven corporations'. Print Edition | Subscribe