SBS Transit trains along North-East line (NEL) broke down in the morning peak hours from 5.21am to 7.21am on O/A level examination day today (Oct 26). According to private transport operator SBS Transit, a power fault was behind the service disruption and that a new train pulled and broke a power cable while it was on its way to the depot.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) issued notification slips to exam candidates and have also notified the examination board from the Ministry of Education. At St Andrews Junior College, a passerby in the vicinity, who declined to be named, said he saw around 20 students coming in as late as “8.30am or 9am” and many looking flustered. It is unknown how many students have been affected by the train breakdown.
Employees on their way to work are however severely inconvenienced by SBS Transit’s train breakdown, with flood of complaints made across Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts.
SBS Transit has recently be rewarded S$816,000 by LTA for service improvements, which according to LTA, that commuters are more satisfied about public transport these days. These findings however contradict with the increasing frequency of train breakdowns and the level of crowd in public transport. SBS Transit made S$6.09 million profit in the recent quarter, 22.8% higher than a year ago. A 1% fare revision was announced for December despite having oil prices falling more than 25% since the last fare revision.
The new Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan has averted comments on the recent train breakdown, the profiteering of SBS Transit and fare revision due to oil prices. Khaw Boon Wan instead focused the attention on the “plight” of the train maintenance team and plead Singapore commuters for further “understanding”.