SMRT: Moving Stories

 SMRT: 30 Years

In 2017, SMRT celebrates 30 years of MRT operations.

Delivering a world-class transport service that is safe, reliable and customer-centric is at the heart of what we do.

As Singapore’s iconic train operator, we carry more than two million passengers on our train network daily. Throughout our 30 years of service, we have connected communities and transformed the way people live, work and play.

As we embark on our next leg, your journey matters. We look forward to the boundless opportunities to continue serving you and delivering safe and reliable travel experiences.

Our colleagues work tirelessly round the clock. Here are some of their stories.

 

“When the government first started recruiting for MRTC, I was young and raring for a challenge, so I went for the interview. They asked me whether I saw myself as a ‘railway man’. At that time, I was just a young engineer and did not understand the full implications of this question. Now, after 30 years in the industry, I can now say that I am.”

Vincent Tan, Senior Vice President, Corporate Services & Rail Operations

 

“I recall conducting a survey at Toa Payoh where I had to observe the traffic flow of people around the area. This helped to determine where to site the exits for the Toa Payoh MRT station.”

Chua Lee Na, Senior Planning Officer

 

“I had the honour of being selected to be the train operator of the first train to carry the VIPs and passengers from Toa Payoh to Yio Chu Kang MRT station.”

Hoong Mau Sui, Passenger Train Operator

 

***

Win an exclusive SMRT Trains Thumbdrive!

Question: Who was the Guest of Honour when MRT operations began on 7 November 1987?

Email your name and answer to Editors@smrt.com.sg by 24 September 2017.

 

Five winners will be picked from this week’s online giveaway.
Answers and winners will be published on this blog by 29 September 2017.
All winners will be contacted via email.

 

SMRT: Working For You

 30Years Anniversary Logo

In 2017, SMRT celebrates 30 years of MRT operations.

Delivering a world-class transport service that is safe, reliable and customer-centric is at the heart of what we do.

As Singapore’s iconic train operator, we carry more than two million passengers on our train network daily. Throughout our 30 years of service, we have connected communities and transformed the way people live, work and play.

As we embark on our next leg, your journey matters. We look forward to the boundless opportunities to continue serving you and delivering safe and reliable travel experiences.

 

Improving Reliability

Our renewal works on the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL) will ensure fewer train breakdowns, smoother rides and shorter waits.

Rail Renewal A
Rail Renewal B

Please refer to the Trains Operations Review 2017  for more information.

 

***

Win an exclusive SMRT Trains Thumbdrive!

Question: How many wooden sleepers on the NSEWL were replaced?

Email your name and answer to Editors@smrt.com.sg by 24 September 2017.

Five winners will be picked from this week’s online giveaway.
Answers and winners will be published on this blog by 29 September 2017.
All winners will be contacted via email.

Graphics: SMRT Trains Ltd. Operations Review 2017.

SMRT: 30 Years of Giving

 

At SMRT, we believe in having a positive impact on the communities we serve. With island-wide operations, we are committed to conducting our business in an economically, socially and environmentally–friendly manner that balances the interests of our stakeholders.

SMRT’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy ensures greater affinity between our CSR programmes and our vision of Moving People, Enhancing Lives. Our CSR objectives are to support sustainable development at SMRT, while giving back to society and building a fair and inclusive community. CSR at SMRT is defined by three fundamental principles relating to philanthropy, volunteerism, advocacy and operational practices.

These principles are encapsulated in our three pillars of:

Enabling mobility

Empowering through arts and education

Encouraging environmental sustainability

In August 2017, SMRT unveiled a $30 million Gift of Mobility Fund to benefit elderly and commuters with disabilities. Efforts include the sponsorship of specially equipped vehicles that can carry wheelchairs, and inclusive playgrounds configured for children with different needs, enabling all to mingle in a play setting that fosters diversity. SMRT will partner the Community Chest to channel the fund towards supporting those in need and enabling the social service sector.

The Gift of Mobility Fund will broaden and deepen SMRT’s collaboration with Community Chest to lend a helping hand to the public with mobility needs. Social service organisations can tap on this fund to explore partnership opportunities to improve mobility and inclusivity in Singapore.

In the last 30 years, SMRT has been actively involved in projects that enhance the lives of Singaporeans through greater mobility within and outside its public transport network. The Gift of Mobility Fund will enable SMRT to make more substantial contributions to mobility causes and extend its reach to an even larger segment of society, in particular the elderly and commuters with disabilities.

SMRT President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Desmond Kuek said: “Over the past 30 years, we have grown a strong tradition in SMRT of giving back to the community whom we serve.  Looking ahead, we will take our corporate social responsibility to a whole new level, with focus on inclusiveness and accessibility. Starting this year, we will set up a Gift of Mobility Fund of $30 million in cash and contributions in kind, and working together with our partners and beneficiaries, aim to reach out to better support those in our society with special mobility needs. This is in line with our vision of Moving People, Enhancing Lives.  Being at the fore of commuter service, we are committed to providing safe, reliable and comfortable rides for the more than one billion passenger journeys on our trains, buses and taxis each year.  And we want to also extend that service to include that one more elderly or special-needs person who might need a bit more care and support on their travel journey.”

 

***

Win an exclusive SMRT Trains Thumbdrive!

Please list two initiatives under SMRT’s Gift of Mobility programme.

Email your name and answers to Editors@smrt.com.sg by 24 September 2017.

 

Five winners will be picked from this week’s online giveaway.
Answers and winners will be published on this blog by 29 September 2017.
All winners will be contacted via email.

Bridging the Reliability Expectation Gap

In transit systems from London to Sydney, rail passengers are told to “mind the gap” between the train and the platform.

For Mr Shahrin Abdol Salam, Senior Vice President, Plans and Development, SMRT Trains, the phrase takes on a deeper meaning as his team works on the massive renewal of the 30-year-old North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL), Singapore’s oldest, longest and most heavily-utilised MRT lines.

One of the biggest challenges is the way commuters judge the MRT system. “A commuter only cares about one train – the one that is either at or not at the MRT station at the moment he arrives. He does not care about the trains that have been running since 5am, or the ones that come after he has completed his journey.”

SMRT Trains, like many other rail operators, including Hong Kong MTR and Taipei Metro, uses Mean Kilometres Between Failure (MKBF) as a measure of service reliability. In the first half of 2017, MRT trains in Singapore travelled an average of 393,000 train-kilometres before a delay of more than five minutes, about three times better than 2015. The target is 1,000,000 train-kilometres in 2020.

The commuter, however, judges the system by what is happening the moment he’s on the platform, so past – smooth, comfortable and uneventful – journeys are quickly forgotten, he says, adding: “That’s why there will always be that gap.”

It is worth looking at what it takes for that single train to run without incident, Shahrin suggests. It takes interconnected systems of thousands of moving parts not just to work together, but to not break down. A failure in any one of these systems or subsystems can lead to a delay while the situation is rectified. Replacing any one of the systems also means having to ensure that they have to snugly fit into and sync with both the hardware and software of all the other existing systems.

The age and design on the system creates its further limitations – the primary one being the design of the initial system. There is no room for additional parallel tracks. That means, unlike in Tokyo or London, there is no option of shutting down a main line like the NSEWL, and diverting commuter traffic to alternatives.

“The NSEWL, which bears the brunt of most failures and complaints, is the backbone of our rail travel, and we don’t have the option of closing the system down. All our lines feed into it. So this 30-year-old system has to be renewed as it runs, and we continue to work hard and minimise the inconvenience associated with that.” The multi-year, multi-project rail transformation includes new concrete sleepers, a new signalling system, new power rails, refurbishment of midlife trains, progressive addition of 45 new trains and the delivery of 12 new trains by 2018.

Predict, Prevent, Recover

Various contingency plans have also been put in place to allow for quicker recovery from incidents when they do happen. When a hiccup occurs, inspection continues until the fault is identified, Shahrin says. “It is very easy for two- to three-minute faults to evolve into faults that last five minutes or longer. That is why we keep a close eye on every single fault.”

Through the 24-hour Maintenance Control Centre located at Bishan Depot, engineering staff from different technical disciplines work together to react to incidents – big and small – faster. Frontliners at stations are also being trained as first responders to incidents.

From electronic displays in stations, real-time in-train information, mobile app SMRTConnect, a Twitter feed with live updates and a dedicated WhatsApp number (97884398) for fault reporting, a growing list of options allow for effective two-way communication.

“We anticipate that there will be issues, and adapt our processes accordingly. We have trained staff to be more responsive in dealing with delays,” says Shahrin.

But for many of these moving parts, there will continue to be limitations.

“We are dealing with assets that are reaching end-of-life. Replacements are due and must be carried out to provide the safe and reliable journey that our commuters depend on us for,” Shahrin explains. For us, this means listening to our commuters to both identify and bridge those gaps.

 

Credits: Infographic – SMRT Trains Ltd. Operations Review 2017.

Singapore’s First Intergenerational Playground in Nursing Home

SMRT CEO at Intergenerational Playground at St Joseph's Home

A space where children can play and interact with the elderly – Singapore’s very first intergenerational playground in a nursing home was unveiled at St Joseph’s Home yesterday (28 Aug 2017). The $100,000 sum is the first donation from SMRT’s Gift of Mobility Fund announced two weeks ago. The government will match the sum dollar for dollar to help St Joseph’s Home support other mobility-related needs as the home expands to its full capacity of over 400 residents.

Child at Intergenerational Playground

The playground will provide a common space for the home’s residents and children to interact and play together, improving their overall wellbeing.Its unique features include a see-saw with a ramp, and a merry-go-round that has wheel-locks for wheelchairs and custom-built seats for toddlers.

SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek, Senior Minister of State Amy Khor

Senior Minister of State, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources & Ministry of Health, Dr Amy Khor, President and Group CEO, SMRT Corporation, Desmond Kuek, joined staff and residents for the official launch of the playground.

SMRT CEO engaging elderly from St Joseph's Home

Speaking at the event, Mr Kuek said SMRT was encouraged by the success of the first two SMRT-sponsored playgrounds located at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park and Ghim Moh.

“So when we heard about the intergenerational playground at St. Joseph’s Home, we jumped at the opportunity to help along in this very meaningful project to better connect our community,” he said.

Top shot of brand new St Joseph's Home

Gift of Mobility Fund

“It is most timely, as we are starting a Gift of Mobility Fund to commemorate our 30th anniversary, and have pledged $30 million in cash and contributions in kind over the coming years to aid those with mobility needs in our community,” he added.

In line with SMRT’s vision of ‘Moving People, Enhancing Lives’, the Gift of Mobility Fund will help those in need keep on the move and extends our commitment to providing safe reliable and comfortable rides to those who need more care and support on their travel journey.

Trains Operations Review: Giving at SMRT

SMRT's Inclusive Playground

At SMRT, we believe in Moving People, Enhancing Lives. We believe in giving back to society and fostering a fair and inclusive community.

Three pillars – Enabling Mobility, Empowering through Arts & the Education, and Encouraging Environmental Sustainability – form the foundation of our Corporate Social Reasonability efforts.

SMRT's CSR Efforts Graphic

“I am very happy that I can go for the Home Nursing Foundation (HNF) outing in the mini bus! It is not easy for patients like me to go out because it is very inconvenient. The mini bus is also very spacious and comfortable. Thank you SMRT!”

– Lim Ah Moi, HNF beneficiary

Close to 70% of the patients HNF serves have mobility issues or are bed-bound. For patients in wheelchairs, such as 59-year-old Lim Ah Moi, the custom-fitted passenger mini bus sponsored by SMRT offers the gift of mobility so they can attend social and recreational events.

Previously reluctant to leave her house, Ah Moi readily agreed to join in a Lunar New
Year luncheon for beneficiaries upon hearing about the sponsored mini bus.

Pathlight School Student contributing artwork to SMRT's Train Stations

“I enjoy looking at every detail on trains and buses, and learn more about the different models. I even construct my own transport system with Lego bricks at home. I love train and bus hopping with my parents on weekends. Travelling on public transport makes me happy. When I grow up, I hope to work in SMRT.”
– Trusten Ng, Pathlight School Student

Trusten was one of the students from Pathlight School who contributed his artwork. Trusten’s art piece was displayed at Bishan MRT station, along with 18 other paintings by his fellow schoolmates.

Get more details on our CSR efforts in the SMRT Trains Ltd. Operations Review 2017.

Graphics: SMRT Trains Ltd. Operations Review 2017.

Trains Operations Review: Nurturing Our People

Train Captain at Work

SMRT Trains has a workforce of 5,200 to support our goals of delivering service and reliability to our commuters. Stationed across the island, with some starting their day long before the first train service, our people are the cornerstone of our success.

Profile of SMRT Employees

As SMRT Trains’ headcount increases to meet growing capacity and maintenance needs, we continue to shape a lean and productive workforce.

Profile of SMRT Staff Age

Our people play a critical role in meeting commuter service expectations. We believe in cultivating an empowered engineering technical and operations workforce, and are focused on offering opportunities aplenty for their professional development to ensure that our engineering staff are well-equipped to manage our new and complex systems.

Staff Programmes

At SMRT, we believe that creating a workplace that is healthy, safe and conducive to high standards of performance is everyone’s responsibility.

We nurture a caring and cohesive culture supported by fair employment practices; proactively provide recognition, training and development for our people; and encourage them in their own journeys to build a rewarding life.

With our people at their best, we know that our commuters are in good hands too.

Graphics: SMRT Trains Ltd. Operations Review

SMRT 30 Years of Giving Appreciation Dinner

SMRT will give $30 million to aid those with mobility needs in our community, through a Gift of Mobility fund. This was announced by President and Group CEO Desmond Kuek at the ‘SMRT: 30 Years of Giving Appreciation Dinner’ held at SCRC on 16 August 2017.

From just five stations between Yio Chu Kang and Toa Payoh in 1987, SMRT has become Singapore’s premier multi-modal land transport provider. As SMRT continues to enhance reliability and improve service standards, we are mindful of our commitment to society.

We will take our Corporate Social Responsibility to a whole new level, as we mark our 30th anniversary. The Gift of Mobility Fund will allow SMRT to better serve the community and help build an inclusive society. SMRT has pledged to give $30 million in cash and contributions to aid those with mobility needs in our community. We will be able to reach a larger segment of society, in particular the elderly and commuters with disabilities, through this partnership with the Community Chest.

Mr Kuek said the Gift of Mobility fund is in line with our vision of Moving People, Enhancing Lives. “Being at the fore of commuter service, we are committed to providing safe, reliable and comfortable rides for the more than one billion passenger journeys on our trains, buses and taxis each year. And we want to also extend that service to include that one more elderly or special-needs person who might need a bit more care and support on their travel journey.”

Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin said, “I am encouraged to see large corporate organisations stepping forward to engage and give back to the community through various community building initiatives and projects. It is important that as we strive for growth and development, we continue to look out for the elderly and the less fortunate amongst us.”

St Joseph’s Home and the Singapore Red Cross are amongst the first beneficiaries of the Gift of Mobility fund. At St Joseph’s Home, a nursing home with infant and childcare facilities, an inclusive playground will allow the elderly with mobility needs to interact with children attending the childcare centres there. Singapore Red Cross’ first ‘Clinic on Wheels’ programme will bring physiotherapy directly to the elderly in our community.

SMRT is also planning an innovative programme with Singtel and MINDS to improve our SMRTConnect mobile app to make land transport more inclusive and accessible for those with mobility and other special needs.

Trains Operations Review: Improving Reliability and Connectivity

SMRT staff at work

There are over two million commuter rides on our trains every day. SMRT Trains is working to ensure that we bring you safe, reliable and comfortable rides every day.

Our multi-year, multi-project efforts in renewing the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL) as well as our plans to increase reliability on the Circle Line and Bukit Panjang LRT are in full force. Here’s a snap shot and progress update on our ongoing renewal works.

SMRT Rail Renewal figures

The NSEWL will receive 57 new trains by 2018, of which 45 new trains have been delivered to Bishan Depot and Tuas Depot. The trains are being fitted out and tested extensively to ensure they are certified safe for passenger service.

Designed to operate with the new signalling system, we will be able to deploy more trains on the NSEWL in the foreseeable future.

SMRT upgrades older trains and buys new trains

As we work toward improving rail reliability, we place strong emphasis on growing our operations capability.

The Maintenance Operations Centre (MOC), the first of its kind in the region, was set up in 2015 to allow us to solve complex technical issues in real-time, so we can rectify track faults more quickly. The MOC has introduced new condition monitoring technologies and real-time data analytics to bolster our existing fault rectification arsenal.

Here’s a look at how we measure reliability and how we perform against the Land Transport Authority’s benchmarks.

SMRT measures reliability

From June 2017, SMRT began operating the Tuas West Extension, an extension of the EWL from Joo Koon Station.

With this, commuters travelling to Jurong and Tuas enjoy significantly better public transport connectivity.

Opening of the Tuas West Extension and Circle Line Loop

SMRT Trains will continue to bring you greater convenience and comfort.

Graphics: SMRT Trains Ltd. Operations Review 2017

Trains Operations Review: Our Service Commitment

In 2017, SMRT celebrates 30 years of MRT operations.

Delivering a world-class transport service that is safe, reliable and customer-centric is at the heart of what we do.

As Singapore’s iconic train operator, we carry more than two million passengers on our train network daily. Throughout our 30 years of service, we have connected communities and transformed the way people live, work and play.

As we embark on our next leg, your journey matters. We look forward to the boundless opportunities to continue serving you and delivering safe and reliable travel experiences.

***

Firstly, we thank you for your support! With 162 compliments to every complaint received, your feedback goes a long way in encouraging SMRT staff. Always there to help you, our station managers and ambassadors are ever-willing to go the extra mile to make you feel safe and comfortable on our trains.

 

Feel free to tap on the many commuter service touchpoints we have across our stations, passenger service centres, platforms and trains to make your commute with us more comfortable.

Stay in touch with us through our digital platforms. Our two-way communication channels provide you with real time travel updates and a platform to give us feedback too.

At SMRT, we strive to create and provide a safe, inclusive and accessible environment for all our commuters. Here are just some initiatives we have implemented.

SMRT Trains will continue to bring you greater convenience and comfort.

Graphics: SMRT Trains Ltd. Operations Review 2017