The North-East Line (NEL) broke down for 30 mins during the peak period this morning (July 29th) and yet SBS Transit announced an advisory of only a 15 minutes delay. NEL services were unavailable between 7.31am and 8.11am, and the inaccurate 15 mins estimate resulted in many commuters choosing to “wait it out” instead of finding alternative transport.

According to a commuter on Twitter, there was no personnel on-site to direct the crowd and the free service buses were under-supplied. Transport fares were not allowed refunds, although a notification slip to employers was provided:

Photo from Twitter
Photo from Twitter

According to commuters on Twitter, the train stations were chaotic and train doors were closing in dangerous manners, trapping some commuters.

Train breakdowns in Singapore now frequents as much as fortnightly. Public transport operator SMRT will be nationalised by the government’s investment company Temasek Holdings as announced earlier this month. SBS Transit is also likely to be nationalised as the private corporations are cannibalising maintenance budget to uplift their profits. The Public Transport Council doesn’t fine SMRT or SBS for train breakdowns and hence the situation was allowed to deteriorate.