SINGAPORE: SMRT has expressed its concerns to the Public Transport Council (PTC) over the revised penalty framework for Bus Quality of Service (QoS) Standards.
It has requested the PTC to reassess parts of the penalty framework.
From next month, bus operators will be slapped with heftier fines if they fail to meet QoS standards.
The PTC has increased the penalties for various lapses by 10 to 20 times. The fines will rise from the current $100 to $10,000... to a range of $2,000 to $100,000.
Mr Tan Kian Heong, Acting Vice President of SMRT Buses, said SMRT recognised the intention behind the revised penalty framework, which is to bring about more improvements in bus service standards through encouraging the desired behaviour of bus operators.
He said SMRT buses had always, and would continue, to strive to raise its service standards to provide a better commuting experience to its customers.
This includes renewing and expanding its bus fleet, monitoring and adjusting the bus schedules and bus routes, and adding trips to increase passenger capacity.
Mr Tan, however, highlighted limitations with bus operations including external factors like inclement weather, traffic accidents and behaviour of other road users that may affect SMRT buses’ operations.
He said due to these factors, commuters may be inconvenienced. This, Mr Tan said, may be instances of non—compliance of the QoS.
Responding to the statement by SMRT regarding its appeal, the Public Transport Council said it is maintaining its decision to proceed with the revision to the QoS penalty quantum.
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