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    Jan 08, 2014

    SMRT out to lift service level

    SMRT is moving to adopt an international set of standards for the management of its assets, such as trains and rail systems.

    The transport operator, which has been hit by some major service disruptions over the past couple of years, said the move will lead to safer and more reliable rides for commuters.

    The firm is seeking certification under the Publicly Available Specification 55 (PAS55) - the optimised management of physical assets. This certification is handed out by the British Standards Institution.

    The PAS55 has a 28-point checklist of requirements for asset management, including everyday maintenance.

    SMRT spokesman Alina Boey said the certification will "enhance SMRT's infrastructural-asset management across its life cycle, as well as our predictive-maintenance capabilities".

    "All these will go towards providing commuters with safer and more reliable rides," she said.

    Only the Hong Kong MTR has received PAS55 certification so far. SMRT said the Melbourne Metro is being certified.

    Separately, a technical advisory panel of seven experts met SMRT for the first time this week to give recommendations on improving its rail network.

    SMRT chief executive Desmond Kuek said last year that he would put in place such a panel to beef up its engineering strengths.

    He hosted the experts yesterday and on Monday.

    The panel, a mix of local and international experts, is chaired by Professor Alfred Huan, executive director of A*Star's Institute of High Performance Computing.

    Its other six members are from the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Imperial College, KCPM Consulting and Sentosa Development Corp.

    The operator plans to hire more engineers in the coming years, and invest in technology to boost its predictive maintenance.

    This includes more sensors to detect flaws in the rail system, and a new communications system, said Ms Boey.

    Prof Huan said it is "reassuring" that SMRT is looking to enhance its technical departments and invest in technology. He is confident that the initiatives "will benefit SMRT's safety and service operations and thus benefit the commuting public".

    Mr Kuek said SMRT's engagement with the panel shows its commitment to strengthening its operational performance.

    The panel has brought new insight and ideas to enhance SMRT's operations, he said. "We look forward to studying the recommendations in greater detail."