LTA, SBS Transit, SMRT test management of major MRT breakdowns

Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan looks at the pull charts that will be in place to guide commuters to the buses they can take.
Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan looks at the pull charts that will be in place to guide commuters to the buses they can take.ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
SMRT staff at Tiong Bahru station putting up signs to inform the public of the exercise.
SMRT staff at Tiong Bahru station putting up signs to inform the public of the exercise. ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
The new beacon that is on trial at some bus stops. This beacon will light up when free bus services are running to fetch affected passengers to their destinations.
The new beacon that is on trial at some bus stops. This beacon will light up when free bus services are running to fetch affected passengers to their destinations. ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan taking the train from Tiong Bahru station to Outram station. With him is Senior Minister of State for Transport Ng Chee Meng (right in white).
Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan taking the train from Tiong Bahru station to Outram station. With him is Senior Minister of State for Transport Ng Chee Meng (right in white). ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan at Redhill station as he takes the train from Outram station to Bouna Vista station.
Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan at Redhill station as he takes the train from Outram station to Bouna Vista station. ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan at Redhill station as he takes the train from Outram station to Bouna Vista station.
Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan at Redhill station as he takes the train from Outram station to Bouna Vista station. ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

SINGAPORE - The Land Transport Authority (LTA), SMRT and SBS Transit conducted a ground deployment exercise on Wednesday morning (Oct 14) to test their enhanced incident management plans for large-scale train service disruptions.

The exercise simulated multiple power trips on the East-West Line (EWL) during the morning peak hours, which resulted in the suspension of train operations along the entire line. Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan attended the exercise which started at 9.30am.

The emergency drill, codenamed "Exercise Greyhound", is part of a series of regular exercises conducted.

The exercise was conducted while regular train services operated as normal and commuters were unaffected.

The operators also tested additional measures to improve the capacity of alternative transport options and information dissemination. This included regular trunk services that ply the rail corridor and special shuttle bus services.

These special services are activated in the event of multiple line-wide service disruptions, and will bring commuters from the major towns in the northern, western and eastern parts of Singapore to the key interchange stations and vice versa.

During the exercise, the LTA also trialled the newly installed beacon lights at Tiong Bahru station. When activated, these lights signal to bus captains and commuters that free bus services were activated.

LTA also said it used "Exercise Greyhound" to review operators' preparedness in the four areas: activation of free boarding on regular bus services; activation of special shuttle buses from key MRT interchanges to the heartlands; activation of the operators' staff as Crisis Support Team (by SMRT) or Goodwill Ambassadors (by SBS Transit) to manage the surge in commuters; and availability of leaflets at SMRT stations to guide commuters.

The "breakdown" was enacted at Buona Vista, Outram Park and Tiong Bahru, operators were also tested on their public communications efforts to inform the public at unaffected rail lines - Circle Line, Downtown Line and North East Line.

LTA's chief executive Chew Men Leong said: "Today's exercise has been very productive in showing us what is working well and where we will continue to strengthen our incident management processes. For example, we have identified more ways to get information out faster at stations and this will be a main action item."