1. This afternoon, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) carried out a ground deployment exercise with SBS Transit to validate the procedures of SBST’s Operations Control Centre (OCC) and the workability of its contingency plans for bus bridging, free bus service and deployment of Goodwill Ambassadors (GAs) during a simulated prolonged train service disruption. About 300 personnel including representatives from LTA, SBST, SMRT, the Singapore Police Force’s Transport Command (TransCom), Traffic Police and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) participated in the exercise. Train service continued as per normal and commuters were not affected by the exercise.
2. Codenamed ‘Exercise Greyhound 2013’, the exercise went through the scenario where passengers on a southbound train from Kovan station heading to Serangoon station spotted smoke in the tunnel. A commuter onboard then activated the detrainment door button at the rear end of the train causing the train to brake and make an emergency stop. 1,000 passengers onboard the train were detrained and walked back to Kovan station. This affected train service at Potong Pasir, Woodleigh, Serangoon, Kovan and Hougang stations.
3. SBST activated its Joint Incident Management Plan. During the exercise, SBST arranged for 20 buses to shuttle passengers between the stations. Goodwill Ambassadors were also activated. About 165 ambassadors were deployed to the five stations to help affected passengers.
4. LTA, as the exercise coordinator, assessed SBST’s contingency plans in managing a prolonged train service disruption including its processes for incident reporting. The exercise also tested the bus bridging plans and the activation and coordination of free bus services to provide transport service between the affected MRT stations drivers. LTA also validated SBST’s train to track detrainment procedures and compliance with the fire emergency plan. SBST was also tested on their public communications procedures, which included promptly informing the public of a train service disruption and alternative travel arrangements through the bus bridging and free bus services, as well as providing regular updates at the stations and through the media and social media channels until normal service is resumed.
5. Mr Chew Hock Yong, LTA's Chief Executive, said: “Today’s exercise allowed us to test SBST’s contingency plans and ensure coordinated response across the different agencies. Such exercises are necessary to validate emergency and response plans and ensure that systems and procedures are in place to detect and respond speedily and effectively, should an emergency occur in the tunnel. We will assess the actions carried out today, and share with both SBST and SMRT the learning points from the exercise.”
6. Mr Gan Juay Kiat, Chief Executive Officer of SBS Transit, said: "This exercise has provided us with the opportunity to test our incident management responses and capabilities in close co-ordination with the various agencies. This will allow us to further fine-tune and strengthen our operations and emergency preparedness plans to minimise inconvenience to our passengers."