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“We’ve yet to push people into the train” – SMRT CEO

Leong Wee Keat / Today /

Her comments last week about crowding on trains have raised the hackles of some commuters, especially in cyberspace.

When asked if she had read the comments and blogs, SMRT chief executive Saw Phaik Hwa said with a laugh: "I'd be a very depressed person if I read every comment about me."

She went on to clarify her comments. "I never said that I didn't recognise it's crowded ... I accept it's crowded. The point is, in comparison with others, we've yet to push people into the train," she said, referring to Japan and some parts of China.

Ms Saw was reported as saying last Saturday that SMRT does not carry what is referred to as crush loads. She had also said that "people can board the train - it's whether they choose to".

She clarified that the latter comment was made in context of the morning peak period. "It's not because ... they choose not to board. It's because they also know there's a next train that's coming, which is much less crowded," she said.

Some netizens have wondered when Ms Saw last took a train ride. To this, she told MediaCorp she takes a train almost every week, with her last morning peak trip "a few months ago".

"The fact is, we're so bothered by it (overcrowding) that we place senior management's attention to this inordinately," she said.

"It is crowded, but I push my way in. It is crowded, but when they are already running at 2-3 minutes (intervals), it's the most that I can do. I cannot go faster than that without compromising safety and reliability." - Saw Phaik Hwa, Channelnewsasia.

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Ms Saw Phaik Kwa has yet to reply to TOC’s email. The above is Today’s report, in which she addresses some of the questions we had asked her in our email.

From Today / "She takes a train almost every week" /

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Picture not from Today's report. Picture from eforum1.

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