The Ministry of Transport is a hot seat for any minister. Do you think that PM Lee will be able to find another minister to replace Mr. Lui Tuck Yew who will be resigning at the next general election? What are the key tasks that the new minister should carry out to win the confidence of the public?
The replacement has to be an experienced and senior minister, such as Khaw Boon Wan, Teo Chee Hean or Ng Eng Hen. There is nothing much that the new minister can do to solve the problem of train breakdown due to the overload and to the poor conditions of the tracks and signals.
The strategy should be to get the support and understanding of the commuters. The following measures can be taken.
a) If there is a train breakdown, all the affected commuters should be credited with $5 into their fare card. This allows them to take a bus, taxi or alternative transport. At least, they are compensated directly for the inconvenience. This will be a heavy financial cost to SMRT, but the commuters might feel "sorry" for SMRT to have to give out these payments.
b) When there is a breakdown, the taxis and private buses should be alerted to provide the alternative transports at the affected stations. They can be informed through the mass media and internet. The travelling public can also be notified.
c) It is important to improve the bus information system, so that more commuters will know how to take buses, instead of relying mainly on the trains. This will help to spread some of the load from the train to the buses. Many commuters do not know how to take buses because the bus routes are confusing. This has to be streamlined.
These are my ideas. Perhaps you can give your views on what needs to be done.