Due to a train breakdown, some residents of Sengkang had to walk on the LRT track on the first day of Chinese New Year (Feb 16). According SBS Transit, a light rail vehicle (LRV) heading towards the Sengkang Town Centre stalled at 11.09am on the Sengkang West Loop due to a power fault.
Residents in the vicinity and the affected commuters reported that they heard an explosion before the train stalled, to which SBS Transit said a dislodged shoe collector was the cause and that the train stalled as a safety feature.
SBS Transit took more than 2 hours to get the Sengkang LRT network working again at 1pm, causing major congestion in Sengkang. The state-owned transport operator earlier this week reported a 50.3% jump in net profits, which is largely contributed by a train maintenance budget.
Owner of SBS Transit, Temasek Holdings, also managed to secure a S$30.8 million government bailout for the transport operator, where taxpayers had to fund their profit by buying over the depreciating assets of SBS Transit. According to the Land Transport Authority, the legalised corruption saw a 20-year contract wheree SBS Transit keeps the profitable portion of rail management and that profits is guaranteed. If SBS Transit is unprofitable, there is a clause stating that the government have to “reimburse” the operator.