On Wednesday evening, the Land Transport Authority intends to impose a heft fine of S$5.4 million on SMRT for the catastrophic disruption on the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL) on 7 July 2015.

Since a major disruption in December 2011 where 221,000 commuters were affected, this is the highest penalty meted out on a public transport operator. This fine will be channeled to the Public Transport Fund which helps needed families with their transport expenditures.

LTA’s investigations found SMRT to be responsible for the preventable incident and pointed it to SMRT’s maintenance lapses which resulted in the major disruption during the evening peak period. As a result of the disruption, more than 413,000 commuters were affected and many struggled to find a means of transport home.

To make matters worse, SMRT failed to meet standards under the Code of Practice for incident managed and failed to inform LTA of the problems in a timely manner.

According to LTA CEO, Mr Chew Men Leong: “After a full and comprehensive investigation, LTA concludes that the disruption is due to maintenance lapses by SMRT. LTA hence intends to impose a high financial penalty on SMRT in light of the seriousness of the incident, and given that several hundred thousands of train commuters, as well as motorists and bus commuters, were inconvenienced by this disruption. We require SMRT to review and improve their maintenance regime to prevent future occurrences.”

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