SMRT appoints 3 officers to boost maintenance, rail operations

SMRT said the move to appoint two chief maintenance officers is in line with the transition to the new rail financing framework in October 2016.
SMRT said the move to appoint two chief maintenance officers is in line with the transition to the new rail financing framework in October 2016.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Rail operator SMRT has appointed two chief maintenance officers to be in charge of strengthening its maintenance regime and engineering capabilities.

One of them, Mr Yee Boon Cheow, is on secondment from the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

The deputy group director for rail infrastructure and expansion at LTA started in his new role with SMRT yesterday.

He will work alongside Mr Chia Chun Wah, SMRT's current senior vice-president for maintenance and engineering, who was also appointed as a chief maintenance officer on the same day.

Mr Yee has been with the LTA since 1999, while Mr Chia has been with SMRT since 1994.

Mr Yee will also concurrently head the Integrated Maintenance Office, which is a part of LTA's collaboration with SMRT to jointly improve rail reliability and performance.

In a statement to The Straits Times, SMRT said the move to appoint two chief maintenance officers is in line with the transition to the new rail financing framework in October 2016. Under that framework, SMRT works more closely with the LTA - which took over ownership of all rail operating assets - to improve rail reliability through maintenance regimes and the replacement of ageing rail parts.

SMRT said yesterday that it has also appointed Mr Alvin Kek, currently the senior vice-president for rail operations, as chief operations officer for rail.

Mr Kek, who joined SMRT five years ago, will oversee operations for the North-South and East-West Lines, the Circle Line and the Bukit Panjang LRT system.

Several changes have been made in SMRT, as the company looks to recover public confidence amid public frustration with frequent disruptions and an MRT tunnel flooding in October last year as a result of maintenance lapses.

It got a new chief spokesman this month, with Ms Margaret Teo, the head of corporate and marketing communications, taking over from Mr Patrick Nathan, who has announced his resignation.

Corporate communications veteran Elaine Koh was also appointed chief commuter engagement officer last month.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 02, 2018, with the headline 'SMRT appoints 3 officers to boost maintenance, rail operations'. Print Edition | Subscribe