Monday, August 13, 2012

14 August 2012 MRT Breakdown on East-West Line

Yes, SMRT did it again! I was just trying to go to a late morning meeting today using East-West MRT Line and when I went all the way up to the Bedok MRT Station platform there was this big "surprise": An MRT train bound to Joo Koon direction is on the platform, its doors are closed and people are evacuated from the first car (later the doors were open). Many people on the platform and yes another massive breakdown again: No MRT train will operate in the next few hours to Joo Koon direction. Yes yet another big  train disruption. Luckily it was just a little after the peak hours but still it will effect many.

One big problem is that SMRT does not put enough warning signs and you climb all the way up to the platform to find out that something is wrong. Ok I am not expecting a warning message to my phone (not a bad idea indeed) but when you head to the platform, TV screen shows all the MRT Lines are having normal service and the train has arrived for Joo Koon direction and the next will arrive in 3 minutes! This is when one of the busiest line is not having a normal service at all and the train arrived is stuck in the station and the next one will not come for a while!

Update : 3 days later, North-East Line (NEL), operated by SBS Transit has suffered disruptions.

When this happens, you have nearly no chance to get a taxi since thousands of people are calling one. You need to find a bus and head to where ever you are going. I have missed a very important meeting today and I am writing this from a bus which will arrive to my office in 1.5 hours.

Unfortunately, Singapore's overloaded, under-maintained MRT systems failures have been a part of life in Singapore recently and it seems like it will be here for a while. In December 2011, two massive MRT breakdowns let people to walk in tunnels to reach the MRT stations and caused massive transportation disruptions. Later SMRT was fined for 2 million SGD by LTA due to its failure, among other things, to exercise due diligence and vigilance expected of a public transport operator, and to maintain its network in good and efficient working condition.[1]

[1] - SMRT fined S$2m for December train disruptions


  1. i found this entry when i searched for train break downs today, since i was one of the unfortunate passengers on board a train in tanah merah when they started announcing that the train service would be delayed for approximately 15 minutes. I was hoping it would get fixed faster but i knew that based on past experiences with train breakdowns, it may take time to resolve such problems. You're right, they should have alerted the people by posting something before the passengers tapped in the ezlinks, so they could have turned back and taken an alternative route already, it would have saved people a lot more time.

  2. happened to me too. Important meeting also, scheduled for 10am.
    Some of us just started an fb page, hoping to grow an alert system (e.g. message to the page)

  3. oh no not again SMRT! It is an annoying experience when you wake up early and expected to come to your destination on time, then you will be surprised that there's another train disruption and then you have no choice but to make an alternative route.. until you came in late on your appointment. nah ah