The Rapid Transit Systems (Amendment) Bill was passed in Parliament yesterday without objection yesterday on Tuesday.
Key areas of the new amendments are;
- Appointment and removal director; No licensee under this act shall appoint or re-appoint or to remove its Chief Executive officer, director or the chairman of its board of director unless it has obtained approval from the authority.
- In the event of licensee fails to provide and maintain an adequate, safe and satisfactory service, it will have to pay a financial penalty of $1 million or 10% of the licensee’s annual fare revenue that is received. (Previously the fine is capped at S$1 million.)
In regards to the increasing of the fine cap, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said authorities will continue to channel penalties paid by the train operators into the Public Transport Fund, which will benefit needy households.
NMP Gerald Giam said in his speech,
“However, despite the maximum penalty being imposed for the December 2011 disruptions, there has been no consistent decline in the number of incidents on the MRT network causing delays since then. In fact, the number of incidents causing greater than 5 and 10 minute delays increased from 2011 to 2012 before declining slightly in 2013. This does not give very much reason for hope that increasing the penalties further will improve service levels.”
Mr Giam also asked if the ministry would be looking at introducing other regulations to make senior managers of public transport operators more personally accountable for the quality and reliability of their MRT services.
He gave an example of LTA requiring licensee to name the individual who is assigned crucial responsibilities like rail and train maintenance, so that when regulatory action is taken against the company, the LTA will know which senior people should be held responsible, and, if necessary, censured.