Photo of Khaw Boon Wan from CNA

Barely a day after Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan made a rare appearance on Tuesday (Aug 29) announcing the appointment of the new SMRT chairman and claiming that train disruption is going down below 5 minutes, the SMRT-operated train lines saw another disruption for the second day in a row on Thursday (Aug 31).

Train services along the North-South Line (NSL) was delayed by more than 40 minutes from around 6pm onwards yesterday (Aug 31). SMRT under-reported a delay of 25 minutes, and normal train service resumed only at 7pm. However, the stations were still overcrowded due to the peak hour and commuters continued to see delays stretching as much as 20 minutes per journey. SMRT also reported that it was not a signalling fault, but was unable to pinpoint the exact fault that caused the disruption.

This is the second disruption after a track fault on SMRT’s East-West Line on Wednesday’s peak hour morning (Aug 30) which lasted more than 4 hours. Coincidentally, just on the evening before the disruptions, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan promised shorter disruption:

“I have no doubt his chairing SMRT will speed up our efforts to raise rail reliability, to meet the new target of 1 million train-km before any delay exceeding 5 minutes.”

Singapore has two Transport Ministers – Khaw Boon Wan and Ng Chee Meng  –  and SMRT has two CEOs – Desmond Kwek and Lee Ling Wee. All four were unavailable to comment on the slew of disruptions plaguing the Singapore public transport for the past 6 years.