It was broadcasted on the news yesterday that the local transportation authorities are flagging to the republic, that there are plans to freeze railway services over weekends in the near future, for purpose of maintenance & reconditioning of railway routes, in lieu of successive embarrassing outages in late 2011.
On the surface, it seems all good & dandy, considering they have chosen not to impede the critical mass, with intent to freeze the services on weekends, instead of weekdays. And, in substitute, to roll out substitute public transportation services for the durations when trains on the north-south & east-west lines are being maintained.
However, as the population increases, while, the trains plying on the affected lines have already reached threshold, the public should brace themselves for more regular service outages and/or suspended train services for more comprehensive repairs.
In the recent series of events, dust have been kicked, noise have been made, fingers have been pointing all over, so much so, that saw the sudden resignation of the ex CEO of the train service provider.
In hindsight, is it really the fault of one individual, or is it a pool of shortsighted executives with limited management capacity?
Well, the fault shouldn’t only be shouldered by these groups of people who try within their capacity to manage & ensure the operations. In fact, the fault starts from day 1 during the planning & design stage.
Pay a little more attention to the details, one would come to realize that the way the railway network systems were designed as if there was little or no consideration for accelerated wear & tear, as though repairs & maintenance could be managed between 0100hrs to 0400hrs.
On the roads, when lanes require repairs/ maintenance, there are alternative lanes passable to traffic, albeit, bottlenecked congested traffic flow. However, when the train lines require repair/ maintenance, there aren’t alternative parallel lines to ensure continued uninterrupted train operations.
To date, the authorities can only say that they need to do what needs to be done, to ensure continued train service providence for the republic. As much as many are not at all pleased with such inconveniences, it is inevitably no fault of the incumbent.
If only the sustainable planning/ designs for public commute can mimic the standards of how the other team has done so, for the success of our world class Changi International Airport.
In order to have better productivity & rapid growth, stop gap solutions is self-defeating. The movers/ shakers/ planners of our society need to start thinking long term.