SMRT was fined for causing a 7 hour service disruption on 21st January 2008. Someone wrote in to the Straits Times forum stating that LTA should not consider the appeal. Now that the writer’s wish come true, one can’t but wonder who will eventually pay for the fine. Hmm…

THE Land Transport Authority (LTA) has turned down rail operator SMRT Corp’s appeal to reduce a $387,176 fine.

SMRT was fined for a seven-hour service disruption on Jan 21 morning that affected several thousand rush-hour commuters. The incident happened because SMRT workers failed to engage the parking brake of one portion of a maintenance train.

This caused the train to roll back when its primary brakes failed. It slammed into its locomotive, shutting the track between Tanah Merah and Pasir Ris stations. Service resumed more than seven hours later, after the damaged trains were removed.

Although SMRT provided free bus shuttle services and mobilised 300 employees to mitigate the disruption – a mitigating factor which it said was the premise of its appeal – the LTA stood firm. The authority acknowledged the mitigating actions, but said that this had already been taken into consideration when the penalty was determined. Hence, it is rejecting the appeal.

SMRT, which has two weeks to pay the fine, said it ‘noted’ LTA’s decision. But it added that ‘the lapse in compliance was not a systemic failure but was caused by staff non-compliance’.

Said its spokesman: ‘SMRT will not tolerate any non-compliance or complacency and has reiterated the seriousness of non-compliance to all staff as failing to do so may compromise the safety of and convenience to commuters.’

Article obtained from on 3rd April 2008 – TIBS buses first started plying between Sembawang and the CBD in 1983

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