Study shows 65% of respondents have lost confidence in MRT system


A poll conducted by a market research company, Blackbox Research, has found that public confidence in the MRT system has severely dipped after several high-profile disruptions occurred recently, with 65 per cent of respondents saying they do not believe the public train system is well-managed.

The findings of the survey echo Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s comments on 19 Nov that persistent rail issues have “hurt public confidence a lot”.

The head of government’s observations came less than a week after the MRT collision between two trains at Joo Koon station, injuring about 38 individuals. The collision  followed an unprecedented tunnel flooding near Bishan Station on 7 Oct, affecting about 250,000 commuters.

It was later revealed that the maintenance records for the the anti-flood system at the station had been falsified, while no actual works were conducted for close to a year before the incident.

SMRT fired several employees over the incident but the Ministry of Transport and the Land Transport Authority – a statutory board under the Ministry – declined to convene a Committee of Inquiry to further investigate the matter.

While acknowledging that the train collision and flooding should not have happened, PM Lee reiterated his belief that Singapore has a “first class public transport system” and said “we are not the best, but we will get better” at the PAP Convention 2017 earlier last month.

In the survey of 1,000 people aged 15 and older, slightly more than half of all respondents (55 per cent) rated current train performance poorly,

About six in 10, or 59 per cent, of respondents do not think that things will improve within the next year despite assurance from the authorities that the signalling system upgrade on the North-South East-West Lines will be completed within one year, enhancing the reliability of the train network.


More than of the individuals polled (57 per cent) did not feel confident that the MRT problems will be resolved, and that the train system will become world class within the next decade.

A majority of the respondents (57 per cent) also reported that they did not feel that they have been “kept informed and told the truth” about the MRT issues. On whether a public inquiry should be held on the tunnel flooding incident, 69 per cent responded with a resounding yes.

Additionally, slightly over half (51 per cent) of respondents opined that SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek should resign, while 29 per cent replied that they were unsure about whether the top executive who has occupied the position for the past five years ago should go.

The Blackbox poll is part of the organisation’s series of monthly surveys. It has a margin of error of 3.1 per cent.


  1. There is nothing…nothing and more nothing that Singaporeans can do. What they will call it …Lan Lan. P/S : – don’t think election will help.. Nothing.

  2. The biggest joke is on the people running the show. 65% of commuters may have lost confidence in the MRT but Transport Minister Khaw, LTA and SMRT CEO Kuek & his mgmt team of army buddies think they’re on the right track & doing a great job.

    Oh wait, Sgreans are losing confidence in the clueless PAP Govt who continue to bring in planeloads of third world trash even as they drag down productivity & service quality while turning upside down SG’s clean & green environment & breaking down SG identity & messing up the peaceful, civilized place Sgreans used to call home. But the PAP Ministers & Ministers of State with the fattest paychecks & bonuses the world has ever seen still think they are doing a great job & the best in class.

  3. Trying doing the same survey after the inconvenience caused by SMRT trying to fix their shit for 19 affect MRT stations mostly in the Western side of Singapore on the projected last day 18 Dec…! 65% is a miracle number now available for bumping up thanks to stupidity of the elite few in charge but collecting millions!

  4. It’s not no confidence in the system, it’s no confidence in KBW & his cronies including the sick sulky face CEO!

  5. What to do.
    When an organisation want to make more money , best way is to cut headcount as less workers more money saved. Then employ lower skilled worker at cheaper pay to replace the gap. Short term save money. Long term is you lost your experienced resources and replaced with inexperienced lower skilled workers.

  6. 1st generation G treats Singapore as their family. Singaporeans as their children. Make sure the children have roof over the head. Have work to do and mobey to feed their family.
    Current G trats Singapore like a corporation. Singaporeans are workers. Making money n high GDP is priority. I dun care if the workers have a roof over their head or got money to feed their family. I just give them some incentive so they will not die of hunger can liao and this shows i care for them. Anyway, about 70% of workers agree with me. Even i make them out of job they also believe me.

    • It’s called progress!

      Especially when the 1st generation G bred a country of self entitled grandchildren!

      The current generation G is doing what they can to propel the country in line with the progress pace. They are facing huge problems because the ‘child’ and ‘grandchild’ are spoilt brags hoping not to work and still get fed with a silver spoon. Worse, they complains about everything when things don’t go their way!

  7. Even a cleaner had taken photo from his handphone for evident before n after he had clean the premises. He can’t even think of this simple method to control the SMRT maintenance staff. Still using old method which we called Lim Yew Hock Government before independent of Singapore .

  8. I have confidence that the MRT system can get back on track, however not so for the management, especially those racking in millions and pushes blame down the line.

  9. Is it correct Desmond CEO smart served 5 years? What has he done all these years? What so difficult in running a company that does not require to do marketing and no need to look for customers? Why pay him millions and shares for that position?

  10. I am writing this for the government to read and I hope your agencies will forward this comment : You are suffering from Tacitus Trap (a political phenomenon). This means that no matter what good you do, what good policy you have, the people will not believe you. This is because of lack of social trust. Next, I am writing for the readers. We kept on bashing Desmond Kuek. He is really just a piece at the end of the whole chain of a policy decision made wrong when we privatised SMRT and put it under Temasek. As I said before, years of extracting share price increase and dividends plus lack of sufficient revenue to pay for rising maintenance, cause CEO to take decisions to the ultimate end. Even if we fire Desmond, Khaw Boon Hwan will encounter another breakdown, another thunder strike, another maybe accident, etc. And even if the PM comes out to explain, most people don’t believe either. It really started from the time when SMRT shipped the defective trains back to China. And followed by disbelief in what the government said about signalling, and then about maintenance staff skiving. Basically, there was selective dissemination of info, and as more problems rolled, people beginning to think that the government is kidding them.

  11. Does this mean the trains will be less crowded? Because without this 65%, the trains should be.

    If not, then this 65% is just nonsense! Lose confidence but still travel on it! Not principled and do not stand by their beliefs!

  12. Let’s get Low Thia Khiang to be SMRT CEO since he is stepping down from local politics!

    With 3 decades of running town council as he claimed, maybe he has what it takes to run SMRT better!!!!


  13. Way I see all these series of spiak spiak by the Top Management and the politicos..are NOTHING but macam re-arranging the sun and deck chairs of a “torpedoed ship” cos when the ship founders and or even capsize then all THESE PROPER, POSTURING, WELL-INTENTION and PATRONIZING wallahs would have life-jackets n escape boats….It will be LEFT to the “LITTLE PEOPLE” to DO the DYING…Look at NOL and its ex-TOP Management like the CEO (hahaha where is he, NOW?)…classic example..NO???.

  14. All the covering up of each other’s backside, one blaming the other, etc etc. cannot improve matters anymore. Can we wait another 5 years for things to get better? Or wait for another accident to happen, this time major one in the Yellow Line @ the deepest part of the the people inside will wake up from their sleep. U be the judge but don’t complain (not allowed) if u support them now.

  15. Mrt getting slower n slower…..n service is getting bad to worse…to the ceo n your team pls make way for capable ppl to take over before another incident happen

  16. This guy is defensively stubborn. For that $2 million dollars job…he’d rather be struck by a lightning than voluntarily dive n parachute out…that’s for sure.Tougher n Thicker skinned than those 1980’s NS army PVC boots !

    • Dont condemn the General until like that leh. His wife and children will not dare to leave the house for market and school. Dont force them to commit suicide.

  17. 35% must be some dead soul in the survey. These soul need no fares, ride for free, break down still can travel down the tracks…..eeek scary!

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