In the midst of worries about 2019-nCoV cases in Singapore, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan has been doing his rounds and posting about the progress of the public transport sector.
On Thursday (Feb 6), at 3.07 pm, Mr Khaw posted an update on the MRT network’s expansion. “While everyone is seized with nCoV and engaged in battling this serious medical outbreak, there is more to life than nCoV,” he said.
He reported that the Land Transport Authority had signed a contract with Korea’s Hyundai Rotem Company, officially ordering 62 trains for the Jurong Region Line. The JRL is set to be operational by 2026. “New trains will come with new features: Wider train doors, more space for wheelchair users and strollers, advanced sensors and diagnostic systems, etc.,” he said.
On top of this, Mr Khaw said that, much to the delight of the One Transport Team, the Mean Kilometres Between Failure for all MRT lines had already passed the one million kilometre mark — which is cause for celebration as the achievement signifies reliable rail performance. Furthermore, increased measures have been taken in order to maintain the sanitisation and cleanliness within public transportation. “Together, we will help one another live through this outbreak,” he said.
In another post, Mr Khaw talked about the impact that 2019-nCoV has had on the aviation sector. “Flights between China and Changi have shrunk by 70, 80%. While China travellers made up 11% of Changi traffic, they accounted for one-third of the retail sales,” he said. “It affected the shops and also the sales staff as many of them largely earn through sale commissions.”
Thus, Mr Khaw paid retailers a visit, as he preferred to speak with them on a personal level. “I assured them that we know their pain and we are preparing a package to help them tide over the crisis,” he said. “We are in it together, and they will not be battling the virus alone. This is what Singapore is about — together, we will ride it out.”
In yet another post, Mr Khaw shared with the public that, according to the results of the 2019 PTC’s Public Transport Customer Satisfaction Survey, there has been “continued improvement in commuters’ perception of our bus and train services”. Reduced wait time for buses and the 1 million MKBF achievement, have resulted in an increase in the number of commuters. 7.69 million people rode a bus or a train each day in 2019, making for a record average. “This is a 25% jump from the ridership in 2012,” he said.
Despite the feat for the public transport sector, Mr Khaw said: “We are pressing on with expanding our bus and train networks, so that our city can be even more liveable.”
Netizens expressed satisfaction with the improvements.