Forum: Puzzled by awarding of rail reliability incentive

It was reported that SBS Transit (SBST) has been awarded an estimated $30 million for rail reliability last year (SBS Transit gets estimated $30m rail reliability incentive, April 2). This is the first award of its kind.

It is not known how much exactly each of the rail operators, SBST and SMRT, was awarded.

The report said SMRT "would not say if it had received any incentives for rail reliability".

I understand that the Land Transport Authority (LTA) may have wanted to provide incentives for rail operators to deliver better rail reliability.

Considering that taxpayers' money is being given to a commercial entity, why are these incentives not revealed to the public?

As there were reports of train delays and service disruptions, how did the LTA determine the incentive amount?

Apart from how many million train-km there were between delays of more than five minutes, what other factors were considered to determine that rail services were reliable?

It has been reported that financial penalties may be imposed should rail operators fail to meet rail reliability standards.

For transparency, the criteria for financial penalties and incentives, including the amount collected and given in past years, should be published on the LTA's website.

From a commuter's viewpoint, fully reliable train services are a basic requirement of train operators.

Why do they need financial incentives to provide this basic service?

Tan Teck Lee