It was reported that yesterday alone (3 Mar), SMRT was hit by two train service incidents, both during peak hours.
In the early morning, a signalling fault at HarbourFront station on the Circle Line stopped all trains between Haw Par Villa and HarbourFront. And in the evening, track faults disrupted services on the East-West Line. Track faults at Clementi and Lakeside stations caused trains to slow down from Queenstown to Boon Lay. Commuters were advised to add 20 minutes to their travelling time between Bugis and Jurong East stations in both directions as bridging bus services were activated. Services resumed about 2 hours later.
Many commuters were, understandably, angry with SMRT and lashed out at SMRT on social media (‘SMRT: Recent train incidents were ‘technically unrelated’‘).
In all, there were 5 train disruptions in the spate of 9 days. LTA also joined in to condemn SMRT, saying that the situation is “unacceptable”.
On LTA’s Facebook page yesterday, it said [Link]:
“Today’s disruptions on the Circle and East-West Lines are the latest in a recent spate of incidents on the SMRT rail network. Commuters have been severely inconvenienced again. This is unacceptable.
LTA has directed SMRT to investigate the various disruptions and give a full account of them. LTA is also conducting our independent investigations.
LTA will be working with SMRT on the immediate remedial actions to turn around the situation. We expect the SMRT Board and management team to put in maximum effort and resources. We intend also to review again SMRT’s management of resources and processes for the maintenance of the rail system.”
SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek was forced to come out to make, yet, another public apology.
However, commuters were still not pleased. They also took the opportunity to slam LTA on its Facebook page:
Shao Wei Chui Dear LTA, you most certainly do not keep my world moving. You keep mentioning that it’s “unacceptable” but so what? All that happens is a slap on a wrist on the transport companies and a fine but nothing changes and the fares go up to cover the fine
Leon Chow: Don’t be a joke. If you all bother, things would not have gone out of hand. Useless jokers
Shibly Mahmat: After investigate then what? Increase the fares again citing doing this for better service. Thats what you guys have been saying. But has the services ever improve? As far as all of us are concern, train disruptions due to faults are at an all time high now..is this your idea of better service?
Evonne Sim: LTA, what can/will u do besides telling us this is unacceptable. How many times u want SMRT to investigate/explain! How many times we have to go thru these inconvenience over & over again! n what u going to do besides having endless meetings with no outcome? stop FINE SMRT as it will not solve any problem other than increasing their so-called operating cost n resulted fare hike. don’t juz lip service, we want to see action by the authority…
Edmund Khor: you said you wanted to improve service.. but 4 years already, and it keeps getting worse. talk is cheap..
Ken Ong: It’s all wayang. Lta n smrt management are pretty useless. They should all step down n resign.
Calvin Xun Hui Wong: Another classic scene of relevant authority ‘takes action’ and ‘fine’ transport company, then on the other hand transport company takes the opportunity to raise fares with support from PTC (AKA the authority) to ‘improve transport system’. Its like LTA condemning SMRT but making the commuters pay their fines. So this is ‘action taken against SMRT’ ?
Some even asked Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew to do what National Development Minister Khaw had suggested to WP MPs during the AHPETC saga, which Mr Khaw blamed WP:
Rongjing Zeng: “In Japan, the chairman and CEO would call a press conference, take a deep bow and, in the good old days, they may even commit hara-kiri.” – KBW
Gordon Teo: Why Tuck Yew haven’t hara kiri yet ah?
Jabez Chai: What is our Transport’s Minister doing about it after so many years of breakdown and while doing nothing… He are being paid millions of dollars….
Some questioned the rationale of approving the recent transport fare hike when the train services are “unacceptable”:
Vasanthan Kanagasundaram: Could you also review why you think you deserve a fare hike.
Ray Ng: Dear SMRT, the upcoming fare hike in April is not written in stone. please have the conscience to delay the fare hike in light of the recent train faults
Robin Low: LTA, please justify why you allow price hike when there is no improvement and still lots of profits.
Still, others think that it’s the fault of the government to increase the population of Singapore quickly by importing too many foreigners:
Jeffrey Lim: So y import so many foreigners in the first place, if our mrt system can’t cope with it???
Tan Cheng Siong Leslie: Nothing new. Cant imagine if population is 6.9, those top ‘elite’ mgmt dun care coz they dun take public transport, to them say a few words of apology n conduct investigation for show fat salary still goes to their pocket. TALK ONLY la.. Increase fare some more? Aiyooo, i so paiseh to say tat!
Daniel Tan: Don’t blame SMRT, LTA. Blame the people who made the decision to overcrowd Singapore.
Finally, one commuter said:
“Main reason why I still hold on to my motorbike. Screw public transport. Now COE high, MRT haven’t improve, wanna encourage to take public transport. Screw that! I’ll never EVER let go of my motorbike!!”