RT11 – Dr George Sun – Rail transit research at LTA Singapore

RT11 – Dr George Sun – Rail transit research at LTA Singapore

Researching Transit – Episode 7

Published: June 2020

Keywords: public transport, Singapore, rail transit, LTA, reliability, railway engineering, operations research, data analytics, collaboration

Singapore is a leading force in railway reliability and service quality. In this episode of researching transit, Professor Graham Currie speaks with Dr George Sun of Singapore’s Land Transport Authority’s (LTA), to find out how research contributes to Singapore’s rail transit success.

Dr Sun discusses how Singapore’s rapid network growth is an important factor in creating the environment for research to thrive. LTA has leveraged research to educate and upskill its entire workforce. This has helped the organisation shift away from reactive, to proactive reliability engineering. The emergence of data analytics and automation have helped this effort, though it is with a cautious attitude that LTA is embracing these technologies.

People thought that data analytics was about building fancy models, but it is far more important to clean the data, to have domain knowledge, to make judgements in what type of model can deliver a quick solution.”

Dr Sun expresses the role of automation in decoupling rail reliability from human performance. He notes that while Singapore’s rolling stock are embedded with automated capabilities,  infrastructure has yet to be upgraded before the rail network (MRT) can become fully automated.

Key to Singapore’s excellent track record in railway reliability (1) is its commitment to an ecosystem of research. Dr Sun discusses LTA’s vision for the future of railway transit reliability in Singapore. He notes a shift toward solutions that are not only research-focused, but also technology and innovation driven, requiring the involvement of stakeholders from start-up companies to operators as well as universities.

To learn more about public transport in Singapore, visit the LTA’s website

1 – Professor Currie notes MRT experienced just 20 major delays, referring to figures published in 2018

Theme music for this episode is from https://www.purple-planet.com

  • Date August 16, 2020
  • Tags Podcast