Compensate commuters every time there is a serious delay

Wednesday's collision was yet another shocking MRT incident except that this time, it was more serious as 34 commuters were injured and sent to hospitals.

Over the years, there has been apology after apology by SMRT and even the Transport Minister.

But has the situation improved? No.

Commuters continue to suffer considerable inconveniences and anxiety over the years.

I say enough is enough.

I would like to propose a somewhat radical idea - that SMRT compensate all commuters in cash or kind equivalent to about $10 per incident per affected commuter for delays of 30 to 60 minutes, and more, if the delays and inconveniences are considerable.

Injuries that are caused by SMRT should attract a higher cash compensation.

Providing free bus bridging services is simply not enough.

It may seem a drastic idea but for years, airlines have been making considerable compensation to affected passengers who suffer relatively long delays or offloading or cancellation of their flights.

My proposal is not to inflict financial hardship on SMRT. Principally, it is intended to challenge its board and management to put their money where their mouth is.

It is to say sorry in a genuine and effective way.

Michael Tan Jiak Ngee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 17, 2017, with the headline 'Compensate commuters every time there is a serious delay'. Subscribe