Tuesday, July 17, 2012

SMRT Gets a Painful Slap on the Face

$1million fine slapped on left cheek. $1million fine slapped on right cheek. Total is $2 million fine and two slaps on the ass cheeks! Some will always say it is not enough. OK. Since when it is ever enough LOL.

Back in 2007, SMRT was fined before by LTA about $400,000 for a 7-hour delay for services between Tanah Merah and Pasir Ris MRT stations. This time, the fine is about 5 times more. $1 million for disruption on December 15, and another million for the frustration and inconvenience caused on December 17. The amount fine is the max permitted under the Rapid Transit Systems Act and that is the law, so we should not be dumbfuck and bitch that the right formula for the fine is 10% or 50% or 90% of the average profit for the past 5 years and some shit pulled-out-of-our-ass keyboard commentator insights.

The fines are huge amounts and the limits of the law, although they are loose change dropped into the seat for one player in the public transport oligopoly. According to SMRT, the profit from train services was around $91 million in FY 2012 (while buses and taxis were in the red). Remember also that the government as part of Budget 2012 gave a $1.1 billion subsidy to SMRT and SBS to renew and improve their bus fleets and routes earlier this year. A handout to the strained and stretched public transport system. Seriously?

So SMRT shareholders, don't feel too down about the hefty fines and jump in front of a MRT train and further disrupt MRT services and inconvenience the peak hour commuters out of stupid spite. There is still net gain in the books, although the company reputation's has derailed.

Singapore subway operator fined for December breakdowns

(Reuters) - Singapore subway operator SMRT will be given the maximum fine of S$2 million ($1.58 million) for two major disruptions in December that affected hundreds of thousands of commuters, a regulator said on Monday.

SMRT, about 54 percent owned by Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings, failed to maintain its network in good working order, the Land Transport Authority said.

A series of train disruptions in December tested Singapore's reputation for efficient services and dealt a blow to government efforts to promote public transport in the small and densely populated city-state of 5.2 million people.

During one of the biggest outages, hundreds of commuters were trapped underground without light or ventilation for more than an hour before they heard from SMRT.

"There were overall shortcomings in SMRT's maintenance and monitoring regime," the regulator said, adding that the maximum fine it could impose for each incident was S$1 million.

SMRT, which also operates buses and taxis, had net profit of S$120 million in its 2011 fiscal year on revenues of nearly S$1.06 billion, according to Temasek's latest annual report. ($1 = 1.2650 Singapore dollars)

1 comment:

  1. Painful? Not at all - just two caressing strokes on the cheeks. What is $2 million compared to operating profits of $148m? Peanuts indeed.