In yet another paralysing train breakdown affecting more than 60,000 passengers during this morning’s (Oct 21) peak hours, Singapore’s public transport operator SMRT made four inaccurate updates on Twitter in the single incident affecting stations between Queenstown and Jurong East.
At 7.01am, SMRT announced on its official channel, Twitter, that passengers should expect a delay of 20 mins travel time and said that the service resumption time will be 7.30am.
“[EWL]: Due to a train fault, pls add 20 mins travel time from #Queenstown to #JurongEast towards #JooKoon. Train service is still available. — SMRT Corporation (@SMRT_Singapore)”
However at 7.31am, SMRT then announced a further 15 mins required. At 7.44am, SMRT claimed that the train fault was cleared and that the trains are “progressively returning to normal speed”.
This is however not true because the trains were “literally crawling” according to updates by affected passengers. The fault affected all stations across the entire East-West Line line but this is not reported by SMRT.
At 8.23am, SMRT again announced that services between Queenstown and Jurong East station were resumed despite having claimed that “the fault was cleared” in the earlier update.
SMRT is believed to have made these inaccurate claims deliberately in a calculated public-relations move to protect their image.
It is understood that some GCE O Level students taking Maths today were affected by the train breakdown, but there was no advice from the Ministry of Education on affected students.
Unlike during the earlier days when train breakdowns were first reported, incidents these days have no penalties on SMRT or SBS Transit. Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan has been avoiding media appearance and mention over the increase in frequency of train breakdowns.
He has however arranged a photo op of himself taken in a crowded train two days ago (Oct 19). The million-dollar minister is facing increasing criticisms for being out-of-touch and not caring about the state of public transport because he is unaffected.