The East-West Line (EWL) experienced s major delay on Thursday (30 March) due to a train fault near Tanah Merah station during the rush-hour period.
At 5.57 pm, Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (SMRT) announced on its Twitter account that commuters were asked to add 20 minutes travelling time from Pasir Ris towards Joo Koon due to a train fault.
However, 20 minutes later, it stated that 40 minutes additional travelling was needed.
SMRT provided free bus services for affected commuters between Tanah Merah and Paya Lebar stations.
The service resumed to normal at about 6.55 pm.
The disruption caused total chaos to commuters at the affected stations. Many of them took to social medias express their frustration.
Commuters wrote that SMRT staff were not helpful and responsive and pointed to the fact that SMRT never gave an accurate picture of the situation in their announcements.
Some of them also posted pictures of the delay on social media sites.
Matthew Mohan posted a picture inside a bus, writing, “When SMRT trains break down during peak hour, it’s not pretty. Buses packed, little done to address passenger overspill.”
While Kim posted a picture of the station full with people queueing. He asked SMRT the reason that the disruptions always occur during peak hours.
Here are some posts that commuters wrote during the delay:
- Nooraini Saleh wrote, “I was caught at Tanah Merah station. Sad thing was that there were so many tourists caught in the train, clueless about what’s going on, with inaudible announcement that even I could not understand because of the thick foreign accent used n bad speakers. There was only one announcement made. We were not sure if it was 14 or 40 minutes that was mentioned. We waited in the train for about 10 minutes till we realised that something was happening. People slowly moved out of the train. Even then, the staff didn’t know what’s happening n just ushered us to take the free bus rides. It’s a given that the bus stops were packed with people. The tourists had to lug their bags all the way here n there. I reached home 3 hours later as I took a bus to Bedok mrt station n took another home. Wow, SMRT, after so many breakdowns, u still can’t keep the act together. Shame on u that everyone was inconvenienced. Again.”
- Nasirus Den Galen wrote, “They still don’t want to say it’s overcrowded and overloaded.
Even lifts have its weight limits; even Mustafa Center also have counters to monitor how many people are in the building. Have our trains no maximum limit meh? Anybody knows our trains’ seating and standing capacity?
I’m expecting the answer to be: our trains are extremely safe and the public does not need to know its limit. What the public needs to know is to tap in when enter and tap out when exit..
Just like our lifts, no longer a statutory requirement to furnish maintenance certificates in every lifts.. maybe because they are well ” taken care” of.”
- Abdul Rashidin wrote, I thought last month there was a survey by some “experts” that SMRT commuters are satisfied with its service. I can see many satisfying faces in the photo grab.”
- Sharon Tan wrote, “Indeed hopeless! Train fault matter never ending. I was carrying a sleeping baby while stuck in Pasir Ris station. No announce made when I board the train till only abt 10-15mins later.”
- Karen Teo wrote, “So pissed off. The board show 2 minutes. Than announced say the train at platform B is not for boarding. Then 20 minutes later still no train coming. Then 40 mins.”
Please. Next time please make accurate announcements. Don’t waste our time waiting for the impossible train to come. In the end, the staffs asked us to leave the MRT station at Bedok.
Then Uber price Super ex, taxi stand also very Long. Super pissed.
And the train always chooses the same timing to breakdown. Always peak period. Well done SMRT!”
- Guo Xiongwei wrote, “I wonder how much is the SMRT CEO collecting for his salary this year; wasn’t it PM LHL who told/bragged to the foreign press he practised meritocracy & had the best people i/c?”
- Crimson Carnage wrote,”It is not just the train towards Joo Koon but the train service towards Pasir Ris. On the way back, I have to alight at Eunos as the train could not proceed eastwards. Please be more complete in the facts, SMRT.”
- Phillip Tan wrote, “We might as well not have a Transport Minister if all he does is pretend everything is still running smoothly whilst lounging at home.”
- Natlie Tang wrote, “Breakdown once in blue moon I understand but almost every other week!! Really something is wrong somewhere. Staffs also so rude. We were confused and he was there screaming.”
- Vijayakumar Palani wrote, “The recent survey does not stand. Look at the feedback. The frustrations, the impact, one too many to accept as exceptional.”
- Tennas Than wrote, ” But at the station, the announcement is due to the train breakdown leh. So is SMRT saying all happen at the same time??? How come I am not surprised when the service is run by a bunch of…”
- Selina Chaztel wrtoe, ” When I tap in at Paya Lebar at 610pm also no warning/notice given till I got up the platform de saw the long queue.
They at least should have announced it so I can just go take a bus.”
- Nick Pedro wrote, “Shame it makes everyone laugh at such a system. Perennial problem none can solve. I don’t care if I spelt that right. This is already a disgrace. And the Khaw will come out smiling and laughing from a Malaysian view to the Singaporean Mass. You ask for it!”
- Desmond Lim wrote, “Singaporeans are indeed that little green frogs being slowly cooked by the unreliability of SMRT and with each passing breakdowns, feeling less proud and even feel ashamed especially when we ride on those MRTs overseas.”
- Pang Soon Tan wrote, “The jam has snowball to Jurong. Yet there arent alternative buses. S154 freq at Clementi to Toa Payoh in excess of 20 mins.”
- Claudette Zewell wrote, “Transport minister should be held responsible. If we screw up like this ar work sure get the boot. Why is he so quiet? Other countries like Japan and Korea, the CEO or chairman of the company or even the ministers would apologise and bow to the people. They understand the concept that the citizens are not the governments servants. Its different here. Our million dollar ministers don’t take bus or MRT. So they don’t know and looks like don’t care too. During LKY time the big heads will roll. He wont go after the small fry. That’s the way!”
- Jack Chan wrote, “It is about time the entire team needs to be replaced! Cowards don’t take responsibilities but are trained to brag and brag giving excuses. And worst, they even gone hiding! I wish the entire network is privatised then at least we will see improvement even though the price is increased.”
- Jeya K Rajoo wrote, “I didn’t see any free bus service. The crowd was tremendous. First time got caught in this kind of situation.”
- Jaichandra Ramanujam wrote, “I witnessed one train pushing another when I got off Eunos Station. A lot of commotion at the fare-gate because some were charged for the trip.”
- Siew Yee wrote, “Affected my schedule and kids go hungry. Everything was delayed for at least 1.5 hours!”
- Soo Tommy Leong wrote, “Not surprised. Some two weeks ago train stalled in between simei n tampines for 20 minutes. Confusing announcements over pa making commuters more confused in stalled train.”
- Chin Hua Yak wrote, “Always. Electrical fault. Train Fault. Signalling Fault. But how come like it is always “It’s Nobody’s Fault!”?”
- Victor Seet wrote, “Trains bought from China what do you expect?
In the old days when MRT first started all the trains was bought from Kawasaki Japan you hardly hear or see them breaking down at all.”
- Khor Kian Beng wrote, “MRT suka suka breakdown. Million dollars minister can’t solve the problem, may be proposed pay cut 30% so to let him understand an efficient public transport system is important. Frequent breakdown affects and reduce the productivity of Singaporeans, hence GDP is at stake.”
- Kiwi Goh Kee Wee wrote, “The delay is all the way to west and not just east side. Shouldn’t the bus service be all the way to west since all are affected ?”
- Wilkie Ong Keng Soon wrote, “Trains should turn around anywhere along the line going towards joo koon, the lines now is disproportionally distributed, few trains in one direction. SMRT is very poor in dissipating crowds building up along the lines.”
- Colvis Tan wrote, “Transport minister to take note of 40 min delay. It can fine them (SMRT).”
- Michael Ng wrote, “It became a regular event since SMRT done the so called to be Major upgrading of track when trains were delayed on Sunday with later start time then NOW still so many breakdowns. What going wrong is it the prior to 2015 upgrading studies incorrect. Whenever it’s raining the signal problem or trains caught a cold. SMRT is upgrading their signal systems. The cause of these delays?”
- Cecilia Radha Michael wrote, “Nonsense. First they said 20 minutes Tanah Merah to Paya Lebar. Then they said 30 minutes. Then after 40 minutes, they say no service to JooKoon (We were still at TM station by the way)! And finally, they said take public transport!! And when walk over to the bus stop amongst huge crowd..then the bus comes, which only goes until Clementi (and my stop is BOONLAY)!…with a huge crowd pushing to get in! WTH!!”
- David Lee wrote, “The more SMRT survey to show the service level is good, the worst the problem will surface in no time. So the survey is manipulated to reflect what SMRT wants to show. We know how surveys are conducted by the government agencies.”
- Daniel Lee wrote, “SMRT need to be responsible for this clueless response after the breakdown that creates chaos and frustration to its commuters. Where is the station manager, station leader, station master, having a break when SMRT BREAKDOWN ?????????? Announcements should be loud and clear to ensure the message is properly transmitted for all commuters to understand to smoothen their doubts and do not speak with a SPOON in your mouth. SMRT needs to implement exercise for TRAIN BREAKDOWN just like firedrills.”
- Yu Love Jenny wrote, “Tourists with luggages were lost after alighting at Tanah Merah station. Very bad impression.”