SINGAPORE: Rail operators SMRT and SBS Transit could soon face heftier fines for any serious train disruptions in future.
The revised penalty framework was introduced in Parliament on Monday under the Rapid Transit Systems (Amendment) Bill.
Rail operators can be fined 10 per cent of their annual fare revenue for the affected line.
Currently, rail operators can be fined only up to S$1 million per incident.
The government intends to amend the Rapid Transit Systems Bill to raise the maximum overall financial penalty for rail incident or regulatory breaches to better reflect their impact on commuters.
The review followed a high-level Committee of Inquiry recommendation that the Land Transport Authority improves its oversight of train operator's maintenance and handling of incidents.
SMRT was fined S$2 million for two major disruptions in 2011 which affected more than 200,000 commuters.
Professor Lee Der Horng from the Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering at National University of Singapore, said: "I think it's very significant in terms of the quantum that the penalty may be imposed on the public transport operators in the future especially if the major incident of the operation is found to be on the PTO's (public transport operator's) fault.
“In a way, I think this may also trigger some positive momentum to get the public transport operators to pay even more attention to maintain their operations to be reliable."
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