When I first learnt about driverless trains, I thought that the idea was cool.
But then I often wonder how they’re gonna do all the technical sh*t when there’s a breakdown.
Just FYI, these thoughts were formed before our rail network started to disappoint us drastically.
So you can guess how far I’m rolling my eyes now.
I’ve personally been stuck on the CCL during a breakdown before.
The lights and aircon were off, and there was no announcement or anything.
And we (the passengers) can’t just pry open the machines and try to save ourselves, so you can guess how frantic we were.
The only thought I had in mind was how a driverless train was a super bad idea.
I mean, it’s efficient and all…but can we really depend on machines for answers?
I guess both SBS Transit and SMRT are also re-looking into the problem, because their driverless trains ain’t driverless anymore.
According to The Straits Times, this is an effort to increase reliability.
The company operates the North-East Line (NEL) and the Downtown Line (DTL).
It has started to plant a staff on board every NEL train since October last year.
SBS Transit spokesman Tammy Tan said: “We have staff on board our driverless trains not only as a reassurance to commuters, but also for operational contingency.”
SMRT also added drivers to some trains on the Circle Line (CCL) in the second half of 2017.
It plans to implement this in all driverless trains soon.
It has been seen that adding trained staff on these trains can help service to recover faster in times of breakdown.
Which I already guessed. Just saying.
A driver will be able to carry out a “push-out” immediately. It basically means pushing a faulty train out of the way.
With a driver on board, there’s no need to wait for a driver to make his way to the train.
That saves your time, my time, everybody’s time.
So…goodbye driverless trains?
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Featured image: The Straits Times