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Posts Tagged ‘LTA’

No need for PRC FTs or senior citizens

In Uncategorized on 12/09/2016 at 6:23 am

Several Tuesdays ago, I read in ST that SBS had no issues about the retirement age being raised to 67. It has lots of oldie drivers.

I also read on the same dat that SMRT will raise its basic starting salary for all its Singaporean and Permanent Resident (PR) bus captains by 20 per cent to S$1,950 from Sep 1, it announced in a press release on Monday (Aug 28). 

SMRT said the revised salary package will see new bus captains earning a monthly gross salary of up to S$3,540. Existing bus captains will also have their basic pay increased by at least S$300 “in recognition of their service to the company”, SMRT said.

This comes on the heels of similar pay hikes by Singapore’s two other public bus operators as competition for local bus captains intensifies.SBS Transit increased its starting salary from S$1,775 to S$1,950 in June while UK-based bus operator Go-Ahead increased its starting salary from the S$1,865 it announced in February to S$1,950 in July. 

(CNA)

This reminded me that LTA is exploring the use of self-driving buses*. No for SBS or SMRT to employ oldies or PRC FTs, and no need to compete on wages. They both had to taise wages because of an ang Moh bus operator “spoiling” the market. More FT operators pls.

But technicians to service these self-driving buses sure to be FTs. Cannot blame companies or govt given situations like this? Employing locals can be problematic.


*But pls keep SMRT away from this project. Look at its problems with self-driving trains on the Circle Line. I mean self-driving trains work in other cities.

Traingate: The only cyberwarriots LTA, MoT responded to

In Internet, Media on 15/07/2016 at 6:55 am

Trumpets please for SgDaily and Joel Koh, the new kids on the block in Blogosphere S’pore

LTA in the presence of, MoT, Khaw, answered the question that only SgDaily’s Joel Koh asked in public: What happens to service reliability and timings?*

There was no correlation to train delays of more than five minutes to the hairline cracks, LTA said at the briefing. It indicated that most of the delays since 2014 were linked to signalling faults, door or brake issues, with none linked to hairline cracks.

The authority added that even when trains were being repaired, there were always enough trains to meet demand.

For example, for 2016, there are 140 trains available for the North-South and East-West lines, and 124 trains are needed to meet demand. This will continue till 2019 – when replacement work is completed – where there will always be more trains available than needed, according to estimates.

(CNA)

Declaration of interest; My Facebook avatar can post stuff on SgDaily’s FB wall.

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*Yes no other blogger or website or activist or Oppo party asked publicly how the cracks affected train service. And neither did the running dogs** from SPH or MediaCorp asked.

So all but two guard dogs were asleep, just like their running dog cousins. Groupthink at its very best.

**Yes my dogs are getting extra treats for this insult to the K9 community.

Silence of SMRT, LTA & MoT explained

In Internet on 11/07/2016 at 7:40 am

In my own opinion, they should have disclosed it. Everyone has their reasons, but in the end there’s always consequences. Daniel Yap of TMG in a FB post when introducing this piece he wrote http://themiddleground.sg/2016/07/07/faulty-trains-tell-not-tell/

Piece is worth a read, explaining why it would have been better for the authorities to have disclosed the cracks and the remedial action: they would then have controlled the news agenda.

But this analysis and other criticisms of the silence miss the point.

PAPpies brains work differentlyL when the public doesn’t know a fact, that fact never exists.

In 2011, I analysed a senior PAPpy’s and his team’s  unhappiness with a TOC report.

I wrote, they must believe in an 18th century philosophical theory that is now treated as a forerunner of the concept of “subjective idealism”. One Bishop Berkeley argued that there are no material objects, only minds and ideas in those minds. He summarised his theory with the motto “esse est percipi” (“To be is to be perceived”). In modern PR-speak, this translates into,“Perception is reality”, one of the major tenets of the PR and public communication industry.

This theory of “Perception is reality” is best summarised in the following example he gave. If a tree in a forest falls, but no-one sees or hears it fall, has it fallen? Berkeley argues that it has not fallen. It is still standing.

An example in the S’pore context would be that S’poreans were not aware of how close the voting would be on polling day in 1988 in Eunos GRC and in Cheng San GRC in 1991. The mainstream media did not report the sentiment on the ground in these two GRCs, so S’poreans were not aware that many S’poreans were unhappy with the PAP. The unhappiness did not exist because it was not reported.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/%E2%80%9Clittle-disappointment%E2%80%9D-tony-tan-to-toc/

Coming back to Traingate. SMRT, the LTA and MoT kept quiet because they like Bishop Berkeley believe that “Perception is reality”. So long as the public did not know that there were cracks in the 26 China-made trains, and that the trains had been returned for repairs, there were no train cracks. There were no cracked trains because If a tree in a forest falls, but no-one sees or hears it fall, has it fallen? Berkeley argues that it has not fallen. It is still standing.

What they still don’t realise that in this age of social media and the internet where many people walk around with smartphone cameras, If a tree in a forest falls, someone will see it or hear it fall. And tell others about the falling tree, after taking a selfie beside the fallen tree.

This being the case, disclosure of problems or cock-ups, not cover-ups or silence should be the best (and default) policy for the authorities and corporations They should assume that news of the cock-up or problem will become public knowledge and that by disclosing, the news agenda can, hopefully, be controlled..

But in one-party states, silence or cover-up are the default options, not disclosure. And this is the weakness of one-party states where people carry smartphone cameras. The one-party state will, in time, be undermined.

Ban smartphone cameras PAP? After all internet access for public servants will soon be restricted in this wired, connected nation.

 

 

Traingate: Only TRE reader sees the big picture

In Infrastructure on 10/07/2016 at 12:19 pm

Everone else is talking cock and singing song. The Oppo parties, anti-PAP cyberwarriors and activists, allied websites and bloggers, and other new media outlets are screaming their heads off over the cracks in PRC-made trains and the failure of SMRT, LTA and the transport ministry (MoT) to tell us about the cracks.

Only a TRE reader asks: Was our Jurong Port’s security compromised?

The report by Hong Kong’s Factwire Agency yesterday on SMRT defective trains certainly created an online furore amongst netizens.

Video footages of the trains being transported in the wee hours of the morning to Jurong Port by now must have been circulated and shared umpteen times on social media.

For most of us, the focus is on the trains that were defective and were transported `covertly’ back to the manufacturer. For those who have completely missed the video (there are a few others), you can click on the link here (credit of icablenews).

Now scroll to 35 second portion of the video.

This is my concern.

A drone was launched and had a bird’s eye view of the trains that were going to be shipped out.

Aerial surveillance by a drone (both daytime and night time) inside our port?

It is also frightening to know that whoever launched the drone over our port knows exactly the spot where the trains were being unloaded. No one actually spotted the drone hovering inside our port?

Our port is supposedly a protected area. Maritime Port Authority (MPA) perhaps can answer this question of whether drones are allowed to hover over our ports.

Now the next question, if indeed the drone was launched `inside’ the port, was our security so laxed that the perpetuator(s) was able to sneak by our the check points without proper security pass and clearance?

Imagine this drone carried explosives and launched by terrorists to crash into our critical facilities within the port.

Food for thought.

JY

*A concern citizen with more than 9 years’s experience working as a risk practitioner.

Shame on TRE* , TO** , the Indian***, TMG, mothership etc.

And shame on the anti-PAP mob who in their hurry to criticise SMRT, LTA and the PAP administration missed this open goal.

New media and anti-PAPpies are guilty of group think, something that they criticise the PAP of. They are just as guilty of gtoup-think.

————————

*OK it did publish the remarks but otherwise its coverage was juz as shirty as the other publications.

**OK Terry’s away and TOC did tell us about the HK report: the other publications were clueless until they read TOC. They didn’t even credit TOC for reporting the news first. Taz new media ethics fot you.

***Politician Ravi needs to  clean up the mess that he inherited ASAP before TISG’s past tarnishes his reputation.

Traingate: Only SGDaily asks the right question

In Infrastructure on 10/07/2016 at 4:42 am

And researched the answer.

Everyone else is talking cock and singing song. The Oppo parties, anti-PAP cyberwarriors and activists, allied websites and bloggers,  and other new media outlets are screaming their heads off over the cracks in PRC-made trains and the failure of SMRT, LTA and the transport ministry (MoT) to tell us about the cracks.

Can the critics answer the following questions:

Has anyone died as a result of the faulty trains?

Has anyone been injured?

And, has SMRT, LTA or the MoT lost money?

So why should the swing voter care?

There’s only one reason why the swing voters and all S’poreans should care about Traingate. But the usual suspects are too clueless to ask the question that will interest the swing voter. The usual suspects all own cars isit? Or they all unemployed isit? So no need to travel during rush hours?

Only SgDaily’s Joel Koh asks: What happens to service reliability and timings?

And better still, he did some research.

He writes: Remember that SMRT announced last year that it would be adding trains to shorten train service intervals. The current move to recall 26 trains removes 11 per cent from the current fleet’s capacity. Should we expect a corresponding decrease in service reliability and a lengthening of service timings?

This means longer waiting times and decreased passenger satisfaction. Perhaps in typical “only hear the good stuff” fashion, LTA has decided to keep mum about this to avoid making a bad situation even worse?

Yet it does get worse. The existing infrastructure may have to bear hidden additional costs because of this recall. With the reduced capacity, existing trains would have to make more trips, ferry more passengers and undergo more wear and tear during this period.

What would be disastrous is if the older trains also start to display similar issues or develop problems as a result of the need to meet this increased load, which could lead to more trains being taken out of service.

Article

Shame on the Oppo parties, anti-PAP cyberwarriors and activists, allied websites and bloggers,  and other new media outlets for not asking this question, resulting in missing an open goal.


To be fair to TeamTRE, after their rant there was this throwaway line which ended the piece

With 26 trains out of service, MRT commuters might want to consider waking up a few hours earlier than usual or bunking in at the office to avoid being late for work as it sure as hell is going to be more crowded than ever.

———————————————————–

Finally, a clarification. He wrote

This piece was inspired by Thoughts of a Cynical Investor. He asks why LTA did not mention how the train recalls will impact MRT train service timings.

Actually my question to SgDaily in an email was more general:

Do SMRT, LTA tell us how train services will be maintained as these trains are repaired.

Got any site, blogger asking?

Don’t see anything on above. LOL

 

 

 

SMRT: How long will new CFO last?/ What should really worry

In Uncategorized on 01/12/2014 at 5:04 am

Going by recent form, not very long because the previous one lasted all of 8 months and the one before that 30 months*.. The new CFO assumed the post last Saturday. He was previously SMRT’s head of its strategic finance and business structuring advisory office. He only joined SMRT in October 2013.

If SMRT had been an ordinary listco, the share price would have plunged when the previous CFO resigned because when a new CFO resigns (especiallt when the CFO is from outside the organisation) so quickly after starting work, investors worry about financial irregularities. More so given that the previous CFO lasted 30 months.

But the market took the resignation in its stride because SMRT is a TLC and TLCs  (and other GLCs) don’t do financial irregularities despite what the anti-PAP cybernuts say. Even TRE (no cybernut) didn’t bother, implying that the CEO and other ex-SAF senior mgrs wanted to bring in another ewx-SAFer.

What is worrying is that despite all the ex-SAFers, SMRT’s security is still so lousy in a region where there are Muslims willing to die for Jihad. :

 The two Germans charged for their alleged involvement in a case of vandalism of an SMRT train at Bishan Depot have been slapped with two additional charges each on Friday (Nov 28).

Andreas Von Knorre and Elton Hinz, both aged 21, are accused of entering the depot without authorisation on two other occasions – once on Nov 6 at about 2.43am and another on Nov 7 at about 2.20am.

The two men were first charged on Nov 22 at the State Courts. They each faced two charges of entering the depot without authorisation on Nov 8 between 2.48am and 3.29am, and using spray paint to paint graffiti on the left exterior cabin of an SMRT train at the depot. (CNA)

Taz right, they broke in three times in three days, implying that the first two times their entries went undetected.

In any organisation such a lapse of security is unforgivable; more so here where commuters lives can be  dangered and the economy wrecked by such break-ins (if bombs had been planted …), and where the senior managers are all military men.

LTA and DPM Teo should be puttingb some serious pressure on SMRT to improve its security before a bomb explodes on the MRT, killing S’poreans and the PAP’s much loved FTs., and wrecking the economy.

——

*SMRT has lost 3 CFOs since 2011 when SMRT trains started breaking down regularly (The CEO CEO Saw Phaik Hwa “resigned” in January 2012 after one P Ravi .) .

In September 2011, CFO Lim Cheng Cheng left and was replaced by Catherine Lee Khia Yee.
In January this year, SMRT announced that Ms Lee had resigned from the company to “pursue other career opportunities”. The same announcement said that Sam Ong, Hyflux’s Group Senior EVP and Group Deputy CEO, would take over from her on 1 March as SMRT’s new CFO. Ms Lee left SMRT after 2.5 years there. She is currently CFO at Clifford Capital.

Just  8 months later, Mr Ong has also left.

SMRT says in its statement to the stock exchange, saying that Mr Ong left to “pursue philanthropic interests and business prospects”.

What LTA, SMRT & SBS CEOs, senior mgrs must do

In Infrastructure on 10/11/2014 at 1:52 pm

Commute to work using their very own system. The head of Moscow’s Metro explains why

Dmitry Pegov, head of the city’s metro, has signed an order obliging his own deputies and heads of departments to use the underground to reach the office “just like ordinary passengers”, the state-owned TASS news agency reports. “One should personally see and understand what is going on in the department that they oversee, how the work is being conducted, and what should be improved or changed,” Mr Pegov says. “I go to work on the metro, every day I get down to the station and travel for nearly 35 minutes, and even have to change lines,” he tells the agency. One of the perks of his job means Mr Pegov could travel up front with the driver, but he says he prefers to be in the carriage with the masses.

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-29954523

Well for starters, SMRT will step up the security of its depots as its CEO and senior managers won’t want to get blown up. At present, it’s our problem, not theirs if a bomb explodes.

Seriously, investors should sell SBS, ComfortDelgro and SMRT shares if the mgrs have to use their transport systems to commute. Expenses will balloon.

It’s more about financing; car dealers contradicts LTA

In Public Administration on 13/08/2014 at 4:36 am

In the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, the Scouring of the Shire was left out. In it Wormtongue (remember him?) turned on Sauron Saruman, killing him, after yrs of being bullied and abused by him.  I was reminded of this episode when I read, The re-classification of Category A Certificates of Entitlement (COEs) may be one reason for the rise in the number of cars with a lower open market value (OMV) registered, but some motor distributors believe the tough loan curbs are having a bigger impact.

They were responding to the letter from the Land Transport Authority (LTA) last week, which credited the introduction of a power cap, in addition to the usual engine-displacement criterion, for the rise in number of cars with lower OMV being registered. .

The LTA had disagreed with a reader who said “the addition of an engine power criterion in Category A has not improved the demarcation between premium and mass-market cars”. BT 6 Aug

[Background: In February, Cat A for cars under 1,600 cc was re-defined to include an engine output limit of 97 kW or 130 hp in a move designed to keep luxury models out of this small-car COE category. S’poreans have been bitching that high-end cars had been blamed for high COE premiums in the past three years.]

The LTA said in its letter: “The additional criterion has resulted in a significant decrease of almost 30 per cent in the median OMV of cars registered in Cat A over the past six months.

“Correspondingly, there are also now more cars with lower OMV of up to $20,000 registered in Cat A.”

But some distributors say the rise in number of cheaper cars sold is more a result of the vehicle-financing restrictions introduced in 2013. Car buyers now need up to a 50 per cent cash downpayment, and to sign up for a maximum repayment period of five years. Before the change, it was possible to borrow 100 per cent of the car price, and pay up the loan over up to 10 years.

The managing director of a volume dealership said: “The loan curbs have not hurt the ability to buy a Cat A model as much as a Cat B model, simply because the latter costs more.”

Someone who can no longer afford a new Cat B model will likely look to a cheaper Cat A car … He moves down the price range to a model that fits his budget … pushing up demand for Cat A cars.”

The sales manager of a luxury dealership conceded that it was true that the re-categorisation had contributed to more lower-OMV cars sold.

“But from what we have seen, the main reason is still the financing restriction,” …  pointed to the Cat A and B COE premiums from the past six months: In the last tender before the recategorisation, that is, the second tender for January this year, a Cat A COE cost S$72,290 and Cat B one, S$79,000.

In the most recent tender two weeks ago, Cat A COEs were S$62,890 apiece, and Cat B, S$65,001 … “Cat A has fallen S$9,400 or 13.0 per cent, but Cat B has dropped by more – S$13,999 or 17.7 per cent. COE supply issues aside, it shows that indirectly, there is now less demand for Cat B, with its more expensive models, than for Cat A.”

The gap between the Cat A and B premiums has narrowed, from S$6,791 in late January to S$2,111 late last month. In the past, when this gap became smaller, most prospective buyers gravitated towards Cat B because they perceived such models to be better value for money; this would then typically push up the big-car premium and widen the gap again …  “So we will have to see in the next few rounds whether that happens. If it does not and the gap stays small, then it implies that demand for Cat B is softening, and that it is probably due to the loan curbs’ impact on affordability.”

When the constructive, nation-building BT is willing to carry a story contradicting LTA’s BS, LTA should realise that its BSing is too much for even brown-nosers.

Related articles

Property * credit

Property & credit II

Property & credit III

LTA, SMRT: Learn from NY & Dubai pls

In Infrastructure on 04/06/2013 at 5:48 pm

“Sponsorship is already used on metro systems across the word in places like Madrid, Dubai and New York,” says a Tory party report, and it suggests “Sponsorship deals to rename London Underground lines and stations should be considered as a way to fund a freeze in fares, Tory politicians have said.”

A report by the Conservative Party on the London Assembly said if £136m was raised in sponsorship it could freeze fares for a year.And it claimed £204m would cap rises at inflation for the next three years.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-22745677

“Transport for London (TfL) said the cost of of changing maps and signs made a deal of that kind unfeasible”, and bet you that LTA and SMRT would give the same excuse.

But here’s shumething that SMRT cannot say, “Every penny of this and our other revenue goes towards keeping fares as low as possible”,. because as a listco, controlled by Temasek, it got to pay dividends.

Reason WP quietly ditched its public tpt nationalisation call?

In Infrastructure, Political governance on 09/07/2012 at 7:01 am

(“Trying to serve residents better, WP ditches manifesto call nationalise public tpt?”)

My WP “Morocco Mole”* (the sidekick of  “Secret Squirrel” in the carton series: bit like Yaw to Low) tells me that at July’s parly seating, GG will again keep quiet on the above issue in the debate after the ministerial statement on the major disruption in the MRT system. Tells me no other WP MP will raise the issue of public tpt nationalisation, as this is GG’s responsibility.

He asked, “Why so cock, when the Commission of Inquiry’s findings  that SMRT was skimping on maintenance can be used to support WP’s election manifesto call to nationalise public transport? Also shows WP can think better than PAP.”

I referred him to this ST report, where it was reported that MPs are lobbying LTA  for better bus services in their wards: all because the $1.1 bn subsidy.

I told him since WP has appointed Ah Huat (remember him?) to co-ordinate its efforts for more buses to serve Hougang and Aljunied, it would be most awkward for him (and WP) to beg LTA, and SMRT and SBS to improve services in WP areas if the WP is publicly proposing to destroy their staffs’ rice bowls. It would have no leg to stand on.

His response, “Tan kuku. Even if Sylvia, Glenda and Angela (remember her?) perform [expletive deleted] on the LTA, SBS and SMRT male managers, and Show Mao [expletive deleted] the female managers, think that they will improve services in WP areas? Why WP so cock?” 

He has a point. SIGH (Victor Hugo: “A traitor always pays for his betrayal in the end.”)

Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/hougang-only-up-to-a-point-lucky/

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*Moley is a WP cadre but not on the Central Executive Council,. He is ex-Barisan. He early last week told me that the WP had tabled only one question abt public transport (abt the release of the COI report). He is right. Which makes WP’s silence on this issue more deafening. Look at the topics raised: what the public wants raised for the most.

Seeing the funny side of SMRT’s woes (Part II)

In Infrastructure, Political governance on 19/04/2012 at 7:19 pm

(Part I)

I also had a laugh when despite Second Solicitor-General Lionel Yee pointing out from the start that the inquiry looking into the December 2011 breakdowns “is not an adversarial proceeding but a fact-finding one”, the lawyers for LTA and SMRT put the blame on each other’s client.

(Leading to a Voice to comment, “Since it has been stated upfront that the proceedings are non-adversarial, why is there a need to hire expensive senior counsel, some at the expense of taxpayers? … SMRT Corp and the Land Transport Authority must have competent senior officials who are capable of assisting the COI with the investigations.”)

I can understand SMRT wanting to evade responsibility for commercial reasons. It could be fined heavily, and made to spend more on maintenance, depriving it of revenue to pay management bonuses and shareholder dividends. But should be so be so aggressive trying to pin the blame on SMRT. Scared of showing LTA was less than competent?

LTA’s lawyer Andrew Yeo, from Allen & Gledhill, took issue with the SMRT’s maintenance regime which could be improved, although it was “comprehensive and satisfactory”.

Citing a report by the transport operator’s internal investigation team, Mr Yeo said: “SMRT’s maintenance expenditure and manpower headcount for the maintenance of trains and trackways has not been increasing in recent years, at the same rate as the increase in kilometres travelled per train,” said Mr Yeo.

According to Mr Yeo, SMRT records showed that there has been a reduction in the number of wheel-profiling works between 2009 and last year even though there has been an increase in incidents of wheel defects over the same period. He also said that SMRT’s maintenance budget had not kept pace with the increasing ridership.

SMRT also “could do better” in terms of record-keeping, especially in the tracking of defects. “That would in turn enable any lapses or deficiencies in maintenance work to be easily detected and rectified,” Mr Yeo added.

Mr Yeo’s comments drew a response from SMRT’s lawyer Cavinder Bull. The Senior Counsel from Drew & Napier asked: “Whose duty is it to do what?”

He pointed out that the infrastructure was technically owned by the LTA. Also, any modifications to the infrastructure “must be submitted to the LTA for their review and approval”, Mr Bull said.

Alluding to findings from a team of experts, Mr Bull said that the SMRT has acted with “appropriate due diligence” in terms of its maintenance and engineering regimes.

Mr Bull added that any wheel defects or third rail gauge variation – which may have contributed to the higher vibrations, which in turn may have contributed to the dislodgement of claws – “did not occur due to a lack of maintenance”.

In fact, he said, the SMRT’s maintenance regime has been more stringent than what is recommended by the manufacturers: The various checks on the third rail are done every three or six months, which is more than the yearly inspection which manufacturers recommended.

Mr Bull also stressed that the dislodgement of the multiple claws which led to the breakdowns was caused by “a rare confluence of factors, none of which individually could have resulted in the incidents”.

Reiterating that it was not the SMRT’s intent “to shirk its responsibilities”, Mr Bull said that after discussions with the LTA, SMRT intends to change all the claws to “fifth generation” ones, which are installed on the Circle Line, as well as the Changi Airport and Boon Lay Extensions. Today article