More focus needed on contingency plans

The focus is now on finding out what caused Tuesday's unprecedented breakdown of both the East-West and North-South lines ("Independent expert to look into rail network"; Friday).

However, why were the efforts to deal with the fallout of the breakdown still not up to mark, despite the experience with previous breakdowns?

All machines, regardless of how well designed and maintained they are, will break down sometimes.

It is not possible to have zero incidents, but these should be kept to a minimum and their impact kept limited - not as massive as Tuesday's breakdown.

However, a lot of commuters' frustrations were over the poor management of the crisis, including unclear information on where the free shuttle buses were, the routes they would ply, as well as the chaos and the inability to handle it.

Why was so little attention paid to ensuring contingency plans would be well executed?

As a private organisation, SMRT would strive to maximise resources and would not have buses just lying idle, waiting to be deployed in the event of a train disruption. The same would go for SBS Transit.

Thus, when buses are required to ferry stranded commuters during a breakdown, it is no wonder that there are not enough available ones.

One solution is to tap private buses. I wonder if any were deployed on Tuesday night. Many of them would have been available at that time of night.

There needs to be more effort and focus on contingency plans, in addition to ensuring breakdowns are kept to a minimum.

Yeo Thye Lye