A day just before the government Public Transport Council (PTC) announced a rapid 4.3% increase in fares, the Downtown Line (DTL) saw a major train breakdown lasting over 30 minutes on Monday evening. According to SBS Transit, a “train fault” caused a major disruption across the island from the eastern region, at Expo station, to the west, Bukit Panjang station at 5.51pm.
The profitable Temasek Holdings-owned company tried to play down the incident and lied that services would resume after 10 minutes. Commuters who believed in the government and chose to wait, became increasingly frustrated after they stood there waiting for over half an hour.
There were no free bus services until some 20 minutes after the service was disrupted. By then, the stations were jam-packed and employees who finished their day-long work were stuck at their stations. The other train lines and bus services were similarly crowded as many tried to seek alternative transport instead of relying on the hopeless train network.
State media Straits Times blamed the incident on commuters instead, portraying them as a complaint lot.