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Five major MRT service disruptions occurred in just the first quarter of this year, already close to half the total of last year's.

30 Jul 2015 | Local News : Singapore

According to figures on the Land Transport Authority (LTA) website, there were five service delays lasting more than 30 minutes between January and March this year. This was almost half of the 12 such disruptions for the whole of last year; there were eight such delays each in 2012 and 2013, reported The Straits Times.

When the number of major service delays in the first quarter of the year is averaged out over 100,000km of train distance travelled, the incident rate is around 0.07. This is up from 0.04 last year, and 0.03 in 2012 and 2013. It is also higher than the 0.05 in 2011.

Asked yesterday why the number of major disruptions is creeping up despite the lessons learnt from earlier disruptions in 2011, LTA Chief Executive Chew Men Leong noted that much has been done to boost MRT reliability since then.

Mr. Chew said that joint working teams have been formed by the LTA and the public transport operators (PTOs), with the upgrading of key assets on the East-West and North-South lines - such as sleepers, signalling systems and the third-rail - also under way. He said these efforts have "made useful improvements", but added, "Is it good enough? Is there room for improvement? I would say definitely so."

Meanwhile, the total number of service delays of more than five minutes has been reduced across the MRT network over the years. The incident rate per 100,000km in the first quarter of this year was 0.79, down from 1.17 last year. It was also lower than in 2013 (1.18), 2012 (1.49) and 2011 (1.75).

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