MRT Rules Must Be Read In Context

Media Replies 31 Jan 2014

We refer to Mr Adam Tan’s letter, “Puzzled by MRT rules” (The Straits Times, 29 January 2014).  

The Rapid Transit Systems Act (RTS Act) provides for LTA and its authorised agents to plan, construct, operate and maintain the rapid transit systems.  As such, the provisions of the Rapid Transit Systems Regulations should be read in context to understand its intent.

For example, the regulation on “no entry into a train when it is full” provides for an authorised person to direct passengers not to board a train if he determines that it is not safe for the train to carry more, and penalises non-compliance.  In this context, the regulation empowers the staff of the public transport operators (PTOs) to regulate passenger activities, and ensure that the MRT continues to operate in a safe and efficient manner for the commuting public.  This is only used when the situation warrants it and no commuter has been fined for entering a crowded train.

Similarly, the regulation that states that items should not be passed between the paid and unpaid areas is intended to prevent the MRT from being used for trade or business purposes. As the primary purpose of the MRT is that of a people mover, it is important to minimise the use of the MRT system for the delivery of goods, which would impede commuter movement and add to crowding.

As part of regular review, LTA is currently working with the PTOs to review our approach towards violations under the RTS Regulations, so as to better take into account the severity of the breach in relation to the impact it could have on the safe and reliable operation of the rail system.

We thank Mr Tan for the opportunity to clarify.

Helen Lim (Ms)
Director, Media Relations
Land Transport Authority

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