Forum: Review need for staff on board driverless trains

Commuters on the MRT train travelling on the North-South line.
Commuters on the MRT train travelling on the North-South line.PHOTO: ST FILE

While I understand the need to increase public transport fares to keep up with rising costs and expectations of public transport operations, more can be done to manage costs.

A couple of years ago, I hardly saw any MRT staff on board driverless trains. In recent years, however, it has become common to see staff on board these trains. I understand that this was an initiative to boost train reliability.

According to the Public Transport Council, one of the factors for the increase in costs is manpower wages.

Should having staff on board driverless trains be reviewed then? More often than not, I see these staff playing games on their phones.

Is Singapore harnessing technology sufficiently to improve the reliability of its public transport while ensuring it is sustainable?

Can the Government and public transport operators provide regular updates on what they are doing to manage public transport costs?

On the revenue side, can more be done to increase non-fare revenue? For instance, there seem to be significantly fewer advertisements on public buses. Is it possible to get more revenue through selling of advertising space?

Martin Lee Ming Han

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 31, 2019, with the headline 'Review need for staff on board driverless trains'. Print Edition | Subscribe