Reducing train frequency because of H1N1? That’s ridiculous!

According to CNA, SMRT said train frequency will be reduced by 30% once Singapore’s pandemic alert level hits red. This is because its service staff are divided into two teams to prevent the potential spread of the H1N1 virus.

This is the most ridiculous excuse I’ve heard to reduce train frequency! Does SMRT realise what’s going to happen if train frequency is reduced by 30%? Crowds will swell on the platforms and stations, and the trains will be packed even fuller with people (as if they aren’t already). That would surely be a formula for an even more rapid spread of the flu, should anyone of the 8 persons per square metre of train space happen to sneeze or cough.

I know many organisations, particularly government and government-linked ones, have plans to divide into two teams if the situation gets severe, but this is not something that essential services companies should do — or at least it should not affect their operations to such an extent.

Do you hear of Singapore Power, PUB and the police telling us that our electricity, water and security forces will be cut by 30% if the alert level hits red?

Nice try at cost-cutting, SMRT.

Author: Gerald Giam

Gerald Giam is the Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC. He is a member of the Workers' Party of Singapore. The opinions expressed on this page are his alone.

13 thoughts on “Reducing train frequency because of H1N1? That’s ridiculous!”

  1. If the red alert goes up, then declare holiday, let everyone stays at home. This way the SMRT can reduce train frequency by 50%.

  2. ive had landlords use droughts as an excuse to demand i limit showers to 2 minutes daily. so yes, people will use anything as a crutch to get what they want.

  3. What a good way to cover inefficiency.

    Might as well said that the hot weather made the viruses fly around easier. Stop all trains when the temperatures hit new highs.

    Oh no, Singapore does not have four seasons.

  4. As a shareholder of SMRT, I applaud their move.

    As a passenger who sometimes takes public transport, I will pack my N95+hand sanitiser before I board the 30% fewer trains running during an alert “RED”.

    Majullah SMRT!

  5. don’t u guys get it?
    smrt is a company just like singapore. profit is no. 1

    they prob are not paying any more for the extra checks & cleaning, but when reduce the frequency of trains by 30%, shazam! instant extra profit.

  6. The extent that corporates go to justify ways to protect their profits…sigh

    Simply illogical – just like the case of cinemas RAISING ticket prices to combat lower patron attendance…

    But they still can get away with it – because we consumers/commuters hold the short end of the stick…

  7. Reducing trains by 30% is outragesly moronic !!! Common sense would tell you that is likely to increase the spread of flu. Its not like people are going to start flying if trains frequency goes down.

    Really, SMRT must think Singaporeans lack common sense. But how abt the expats? Pap loves them right, do they also lack common sense? But if they had common sense Pap wouldnt like them….

  8. i always advice my kids to wear face masks when going into crowded areas. swine flu is really scary and i dont want my kids getting infected by it.

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