Channel NewsAsia

SMRT admits it should have sought approval for letting ACS(I) hire trains

The Land Transport Authority had said it was looking into taking "appropriate action" against SMRT for not seeking its approval for provision of train services that are not open to the general public.

SINGAPORE: Transport operator SMRT has explained to the Land Transport Authority (LTA) why it allowed Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) to charter five MRT trains as transport to a rugby match on Tuesday (Aug 27).

An LTA spokesperson said in a statement that SMRT "acknowledged that prior approval should have been sought", for provision of train services that are not open to the general commuting public.

LTA had said it was looking into taking "appropriate action" against SMRT.

"The operator is required to obtain LTA's approval to run trains for non-public transport purposes because as regulator, LTA is responsible for ensuring that train services to the public are provided as scheduled, and that any additional trips in the network do not adversely affect such services,"  the spokesperson explained on Wednesday.

LTA did not share details on SMRT's explanation, but SMRT had previously stated that it ensures that even when trains are chartered, train intervals are maintained at normal service levels at all times. It also says hired trains run between normal train services and strictly within off-peak hours.

It has previously worked with schools to charter trains to transport students for large-scale events such as National Education Shows during National Day Parade rehearsals.

"Our priority remains firmly set at providing efficient and reliable passenger service. This means requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, to ensure that chartered services do not interfere with regular train services," Mr Patrick Nathan, Vice President of Corporate Information and Communications at SMRT had said in a statement on Monday.

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia