7 Taxis in SMRT

How Different are our Taxis? We look at the Seven Taxi Models that we have on the streets.

SMRT Epica Taxi

SMRT Chevrolet Epica Taxi

Chevrolet Epica

The tinted windows on the Epica keep the interior cooler on sunny days, providing a more comfortable ride.

Engine Capacity: 2ltr
Country of Origin: South Korea
Max. no of passengers: 4
Flag-Down rate: $3.60

SMRT Chrysler C300 Taxi

SMRT Chrysler C300 Taxi

Chrysler C300

The black beauty is the cab of choice for commuters who want to travel in style and comfort, and can claim cab fare.

Engine Capacity: 3ltr
Country of Origin: United States
Max. no of passengers: 4
Flag-Down rate: $5.00

SMRT Hyundai Azera Taxi

SMRT Hyundai Azera Taxi

Hyundai Azera

The Azera has one of the largest engine capacity in the fleet and its Eco-friendly too; running on natural gas for fuel.

Engine Capacity: 3.3ltr
Country of Origin: South Korea
Max. no of passengers: 4
Flag-Down rate: $3.80

SMRT Hyundai Starex Taxi

SMRT Hyundai Starex Taxi

Hyundai Starex

The Starex has facilities built into it to accommodate passengers with wheelchairs.

Engine Capacity: 2.5ltr
Country of Origin: South Korea
Max. no of passengers: 5 + 1 wheelchair bound
Flag-Down rate: $3.90

SMRT London TX4 Taxi

SMRT London TX4 Taxi

London TX4

Wedding couples and commuters who think they are Sherlock Holmes love the TX4. It also has enough room for one wheelchair.

Engine Capacity: 2.5ltr
Country of Origin: China
Max. no of passengers: 6
Flag-Down rate: $3.90

SMRT Ssangyong Rodius- Taxi

SMRT Ssangyong Rodius Taxi

Ssangyong Rodius

The rodius has plenty of room for a family and their luggage, perfect for those jetting off on holiday.

Engine Capacity: 2.7ltr
Country of Origin: South Korea
Max. no of passengers: 7
Flag-Down rate: $3.90

SMRT Toyota Prius Taxi

SMRT Toyota Prius Taxi

Toyota Prius

This Eco-friendly hybrid is spacious, making it perfect for that trip home after shopping.

Engine Capacity: 1.8ltr
Country of Origin: Japan
Max. no of passengers: 4
Flag-Down rate: $3.80

7 July NSEWL disruption investigation updates

Work on improving the robustness of the network of power cables, switches and substations that provides traction power to trains on the North-South East-West Line (NSEWL) has been put on the fast track following the 7 July 2015 power fault that disrupted train services on Singapore’s oldest MRT line.

 

1. What is SMRT doing to prevent an incident similar to 7/7 from happening again?

Work on improving the robustness of the network of power cables, switches and substations that provides traction power to trains on the NSEWL have been put on the fast track.

SMRT will work with LTA to segment the network of cables that supply power to the NSEWL where possible. This improvement will mean that a power fault on one part of the line will be unlikely to disrupt travel on other parts of the network. This is to be done even as trackside components are renewed.

The 7/7 NSEWL disruption underscores the urgency for SMRT engineering staff to renew NSEWL power-related infrastructure and also highlights the importance of condition monitoring efforts initiated by us a year ago.

 

2. How did the NSEWL break down?

SMRT has narrowed down the likely cause of the 7/7 disruption to the insulation of the third rail.

This insulation is part of the trackside infrastructure that is used to protect power cables that supply electricity to the third rail. Investigations point to the likelihood that the insulation of third rail could have affected the supply of traction power which in turn led to the tripping of the Touch Voltage Protection Relay (known by its code 64P) along multiple stretches of the NSEWL.

 

3. What is 64P and why did it have an impact on the decision to halt train services?

To protect the safety of commuters, the 64P relays are designed as a safety measure to mitigate the possibility of unacceptable touch voltage.

During the 7/7 disruption, the decision was made to halt train services temporarily to investigate the cause of the relays being tripped. It was these trips that resulted in loss of power that affected the train motors, air-conditioning and cabin lighting.

This decision was made to avoid a situation where a power trip would leave trains stalled in tunnels or on viaducts, which would then force commuters to detrain on track.

 

4. What was done to investigate the incident?

SMRT spared no effort to investigate the cause of power trips. The full and comprehensive investigation over the past nine days covered the following areas:

  • 200 km of train tracks on both bounds of the NSEWL;
  • All 67 power substations that support the NSEWL; and
  • All 115 MRT trains that were used on 7 July, and 26 additional trains at train depots.

On 11 and 12 July, the team re-enacted the incident on the NSEWL in an effort to trace the cause of the power trips. The re-enactment helped investigators rule out two earlier suspected possibilities for the power trips – two track voltage balancing cables and a relay in a power substation. This led the engineering staff to focus investigation works on the insulation of the third rail as the possible cause.

SMRT approached international operators, including London Underground, for a rail operator’s views on our preliminary assessment of the incident. This is part of SMRT’s pledge for an independent consultation into the 7 July incident, which is essential for the Company to learn from the incident and deal with it decisively to strengthen the safety and reliability of the NSEWL.

SMRT has also engaged retired staff to assist.  Two of them were part of the Mass Rapid Transit Corporation team involved in the development of the power network in the early years.  They will assist with concurrent investigative works and mitigation efforts, including the project to segregate the power network of the North-South from the East-West lines.

In the meantime, as the joint investigations by SMRT and LTA continue over the weekend to determine the root cause conclusively, with the support of the appointed external consultants, SMRT is taking all possible precautionary and preventive measures to safeguard the system in terms of safety and service reliability.

 

The full press release can be read on the SMRT Corporate website.

Questions about the 7 July NSEWL incident

A press release on the breakdown of the North-South East-West Line (NSEWL) was made public on 10 July, Friday. The information from that press release answers some frequently asked questions about the incident.

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Five quotes from SMRT President and Group CEO, Desmond Kuek that shows he aims to transform the company to serve commuters better.

In an interview with The Straits Times on 17 June 2015, SMRT President and Group CEO Desmond Kuek shared his thoughts and plans for SMRT in the coming years. These five quotes from him shows his intention to transform the company to better serve commuters.

1. He says it as it is.

In November 2012, 171 bus captains went on strike. Since then, employees have been given clearer career path opportunities and feedback channels have been set up for staff to send in their concerns.

In November 2012, 171 bus captains went on strike. Today, employees have clearer career paths and feedback channels to voice their concerns.

Desmond Kuek took charge of SMRT as President and Group CEO in 2012. He acknowledged that getting SMRT back on track is “incredibly tough and challenging” as he described the company to having “deep-seated issues… managerial, structural, cultural and systemic issues” at that time.

2. When it comes to improving rail reliability, he never aims for “just enough”.

SMRT Trains on service at Jurong East

SMRT Trains on service at Jurong East

SMRT’s train withdrawal rate was at 1.05 in 2014, down from 3.3 for every 100,000km in 2012. On this, Desmond Kuek said that “This is the lowest in seven years and we are targeting to go even lower this year.”

3. He has no illusions of the amount of effort needed to reach the goals he has set.

STARIS

With the replacement of rail sleepers completed on the North-South Line and works starting on the East-West Line, plans to overhaul the system’s signalling system are also underway. Desmond Kuek said, “This may not sound like anything exceptional to some, but Thales, our contractor, tells me that this is its biggest project on a ‘live’ system anywhere in the world.”

4. He has SMRT’s long term sustainability in mind.

SingRail Engineering will be refurbishing our second generation trains.

SingRail Engineering will be refurbishing our second generation trains.

Since 2012, Desmond Kuek has worked with Faiveley Transport from France to set up the rail engineering subsidiary, SingRail Engineering. SMRT had also considered being a passive investor in OMGTel, a telecommunications company that was bidding to be Singapore’s 4th service provider but has since dropped the idea. “Sustainability, not simply profitability, is our aim.” said Desmond Kuek.

5. He has commuters’ interests at heart.

Commuters on trains

Desmond Kuek looks at Hong Kong counterpart, MTR, as a positive example of how things can be done in Singapore, in both rail reliability as well as service standards. “We are determined to achieve as high a level of operational excellence as MTR’s. Our aim is to be the people’s choice – that people will take the train because they want to, and not because they have to.”

 

 

Read the full interview at The Straits Times online: Rail improvements to put SMRT on fast track

Credit: The Straits Times, 17 June

Credit: The Straits Times, 17 June

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visits Bishan Depot

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong found the time in his busy schedule to visit Bishan Depot for the first time.  The Prime Minister was accompanied by his wife, Madam Ho Ching, as well as Minister for Transport Lui Tuck Yew and NTUC Secretary-General Chan Chun Sing.

PM Lee visits SMRT Bishan DepotArriving just after midnight, the Prime Minister was invited to view how sleepers are replaced by our own resleepering team.

Wooden sleepers can weigh up to 250kgs. It takes 4 men to lift one sleeper.

Wooden sleepers can weigh up to 250kgs. It takes 4 men to lift one sleeper.

He also observed how the Track Tamping Vehicle, Rail Grinding Vehicle and the Multi-Function Vehicle all play a part in rail maintenance.

The Track Tamping Vehicle uses vibrations to settle the ballast, which are the small rocks found at the tracks.

The Track Tamping Vehicle uses vibrations to settle the ballast, which are the small rocks found at the tracks.

PM Lee inspects are refurbished train

Prime Minister Lee was also shown the different refurbishments that SMRT has done on the trains, such as the new signalling system, the Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (a quieter and more energy efficient motor), and the Linear Variable Displacement Transducer, a sensor which checks the alignment of the third rail which supplies power to trains.

The new signalling system will service intervals to be shortened to 100 seconds from the current 120 seconds.

The new signalling system will service intervals to be shortened to 100 seconds from the current 120 seconds.

The night visit ended with a rousing dialogue session where staff took the opportunity to speak to PM Lee personally.

PM Lee speaks to the staffPM Lee visit, group shot

PM Lee speaks to the staff at SMRT

Just before he left Bishan Depot, PM Lee expressed his gratitude to the staff present for their hard work on keeping the rail system working well. He also posted this message on his Facebook the following day,

Work on MRT trains does not stop when the last passengers alight and the stations close. I paid a midnight visit to…

Posted by Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday, 26 May 2015

SMRT amongst first rail operators in Asia to be awarded with ISO 55001 certificate

SMRT amongst first rail operators in Asia to be awarded with ISO 55001 certificate as part of its drive towards higher train service reliability

SMRT was presented with the ISO 55001 certificate on 4th May 2015 by TUV SUD PSB, a German-based technical services provider, after months of preparation and reviews in the way it manages its rail assets such as trains, tracks and signaling systems. By benchmarking its maintenance processes and service levels to best-of-class international standards, this certification marks a key milestone for the transport operator towards higher rail reliability and service excellence.

L-R: SMRT President and Group CEO Mr Desmond Kuek, SMRT Trains Managing Director Mr Lee Ling Wee, TUV SUD ASEAN Vice President Mr Clement Teo, TUB SUD ASEAN CEO Mr Richard Hong

L-R: SMRT President and Group CEO Mr Desmond Kuek, SMRT Trains Managing Director Mr Lee Ling Wee, TUV SUD ASEAN Vice President Mr Clement Teo, TUV SUD ASEAN CEO Mr Richard Hong

The achievement of the ISO 55001 standard is part of the journey that SMRT has embarked on to expand its asset management approach and maintenance regime from one that relies on OEM recommendation (fixed maintenance intervals) to one that includes identification, analysis and mitigation of asset failure risks, where intervals of maintenance works are regularly reviewed based on asset conditions. This risk-based maintenance regime embraces the predictive maintenance approach and will lead towards better resource optimization, reliability and commuter experience.

Mr Lee Ling Wee, Managing Director for SMRT Trains said, “The SMRT Trains team has worked hard for the past year to review and align our systems and processes to ISO 55001 standards. The achievement of this certification affirms that we are moving in the right direction. Having the right systems and processes in place, we now have to apply ourselves to each category of critical assets within the network that we operate, to deliver the highest standards of train service reliability.”

SMRT is currently the only rail operator in Singapore to have the ISO 55001 or equivalent asset management certification, and the second in Asia after Hong Kong’s MTR.

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

The week of National Mourning saw SMRT operate trains and selected bus services overnight twice in a week, with transport services operating on extended hours on other nights. This effort saw more than 400 of SMRT staff from buses and trains work through the night, thus allowing thousands of Singaporeans to pay their last respects to Mr Lee.

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Motivation and Capability

I read with great interest a letter in the Straits Times forum page on 13 March on “Motivating Transport Operators to Change”. I came away with respect for the writer, Lim Yi Fan. Although the letter was not addressed directly to SMRT, I have taken the liberty to add my voice to the conversation.

With some probity, the writer noted that: “the solution can be found only in the fundamentals.” I agree. The writer further suggested reviewing the existing contracting framework for the provision of public transport, and pegging it to a set of “performance indicators” to shape the behaviour and motivations of transport operators.

This may well be a necessary “step in the right direction”.

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