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    May 31, 2016

    Khaw: MRT to emulate Taipei's metro reliability

    SINGAPORE'S rail system has lost its "mojo" but it is working hard to regain its earlier standing, said Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan yesterday.

    Lauding the Taipei metro system for its reliability, Mr Khaw urged rail operators SBS Transit and SMRT to emulate its example.

    He noted that rail staff from the Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation (TRTC) - which was formed in 1996 - had in its early years visited Singapore to study the MRT, which began operations in 1987.

    "We were then an exemplary MRT player and a subject of study," he said in a speech at a forum on rail infrastructure maintenance.

    "Unfortunately, maybe due to complacency or distracted management attention, we lost our earlier standing. I prefer to use the word, we lost our mojo. Let's work hard to regain our mojo."

    He said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) is working with the TRTC to attach staff from SBS and SMRT to its metro workshops to learn its asset maintenance practices and engineering improvements.

    Mr Khaw's observations were garnered from a study trip to Taipei two weeks ago, led by LTA chief executive Chew Men Leong, together with SBS and SMRT.

    Last year, the TRTC clocked a mean distance of 800,000 train kilometres between delays exceeding 5 minutes.

    Singapore's rail network posted an average of 130,000 train-km between such delays.

    The preliminary figure for the first quarter of the year is 160,000 train-km.

    Mr Khaw challenged SBS and SMRT to aim for 400,000 train-km between delays by 2018. This should double to 800,000 train-km by 2020, he added.

    "This is a very high target... But looking from where we came from, and what others have already achieved, I say: why not? Let's go for it," he said.