KHAW BOON WAN ADMITS MRT BREAKDOWNS ARE INEVITABLE, WANTS “COMPREHENSIVE CONTINGENCIES”

According to a blog post by Minister of Transport Khaw Boon Wan, the Land Transport Authority is to conduct an exercise with MRT operators SMRT and SBS Transit this month to test contingency plans put in place following the unprecedented 7th July MRT breakdowns.

He says that he will be present to observe the exercise.

In the blog post, Mr Khaw stopped short of saying that disruptions were inevitable, but simply stated that it was important to recover service speedily and minimise inconvenience to commuters in the event of another major train disruption.

He also repeated his previous assertion that “low crime does not mean no crime”, pointing out that even the best in class – the Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway (MTR) – experiences an average of one major disruption per month.

“There must therefore be comprehensive contingency plans for breakdowns. More importantly, there must be actual and regular walk-throughs and “live rehearsals”, Mr Khaw wrote.

“This will ensure smoother execution of such plans when disruptions happen.”

Mr Khaw also revealed another tidbit of information about the higher management behind the MRT companies when he stressed the need for the top management of both operators to be present at such exercises, which seemed to imply that the higher management for both companies were not frequently seen at such on the ground events.

“Otherwise, the staff may carry them out half-heartedly, just to put a tick in the check boxes,” Mr Khaw admitted.

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