SMRT may face LTA sanctions for allowing ACS(I) to charter trains
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Tuesday that it will take "appropriate action" against transport operator SMRT after it allowed Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) to charter five MRT trains to ferry students to the Schools National C Division rugby final.
An LTA spokesman said: "Under the Circle Line licence, SMRT has to seek LTA's prior approval for the provision of train services that are not open to the general commuting public.
"In this case, SMRT did not seek our approval before agreeing to provide the service. We are looking into the appropriate action to take. We have also reminded SMRT that its primary focus must be to ensure good service delivery to the commuting public at large."
In response, SMRT yesterday said that chartered trains run between normal train services and strictly within off peak hours only. It added: "SMRT assures passengers that train intervals are maintained at normal service levels at all times."
SMRT had on Monday said that it had previously worked with schools to charter trains and transport students for large-scale events such as the National Day Parade rehearsals.
About 3,000 members of the ACS(I) family boarded the trains from one-north Circle Line station to Stadium station, where their rugby team beat St Andrew's Secondary 28-8 in the final at the new National Stadium. The match was the first school final to be played at the new 55,000-seater arena.
Pictures of the trip were posted all over social media. While many praised the innovative idea, saying taking trains was a better idea than hiring close to 100 buses which would cause both added stress to the roads and logistical problems, some netizens slamming the decision to allow public transport to be used for private use.
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