MP Leon Perera

Mr Leon Perera asked the Minister for Transport (a) how many times have the Emergency Stop Plungers at MRT stations been activated in each of the last five years; (b) what proportion of such activations occurred during peak hours; (c) what proportion of such activations are non-emergencies; and (d) what is the average duration of service disruption caused by such activations.

Mr S Iswaran: Emergency Stop Plungers, or ESPs, are located on walls or pillars near the platform screen doors. Passengers may press the ESP in case of emergencies, for example, if they see a fellow passenger stuck at platform gaps or doors. 

Over the past four years, there has been an average of two to three activations of the ESP per month. About 25% of such activations occurred during peak hours. A majority, or about 60% of all activations, are for non-emergency purposes, such as when passengers want to retrieve their personal belongings which dropped onto the track. 

When the ESP is activated, trains will be brought to a safe stop and station staff will attend to the situation. Train services will only resume when staff at the station and Operations Control Centre have assessed that it is safe to do so. It typically takes less than five minutes to resume train services. 

Rail operators will continue to ensure that emergency situations are addressed safely and swiftly, and remind passengers to only use the ESPs in the event of emergencies.

Ministry of Transport
29 November 2022

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