I experienced my first ever Singapore’s train service breakdown by SMRT on the 11th January 2014.
Well technically it was my third, but the other two previous occasions, the disruption was on the other platform that broke down, not the one I was traveling on.
Wanna guess how many more disruption we’ll be having this year?
From my personal experience alone, yes the train disruption was a hassle as I was late for work some an hour plus.
While I applaud the effort of SMRT staff in doing the best they can to help the commuters, there is still room for improvement for the S.O.P. in the event of a train disruption.
This is how the event unfold for me on 11th January 2014, Saturday during the SMRT disruption.
12:45pm – Arrived Marsiling MRT
As I walked on the overhead bridge heading to Marsiling MRT I spotted a long queue at the taxi stand. Longer than usual but I thought it was just a busy Saturday, an event happening nearby perhaps.
Then as I arrived Marsiling MRT I saw a crowd forming at the entrance of the train station. Commuters was streaming out of the gantry, and no one was entering.
So the long taxi queues was from this.
I then noticed the standing fold-out banners and the TV screen flashing of train disruption. There’s no train service between Kranji to Yew Tee.
In the 20 minutes I was there waiting, there was no announcement made on the disruption, no info how long the disruption will be or caused by what and also alternative transport made known for those affected.
I was heading to Yew Tee for work that day, and later on it was reported the disruption started around 12:30pm. Damn I should have left my house earlier and not dilly-dally.
1:40pm – Walked to Woodlands MRT
So my only option now is cabbing since I’ve no info on the free bus bridging services.
But the taxi stand queue at Marsiling MRT was darn long.
So I decided to walk towards Woodlands Mrt station from Marsiling MRT station, hoping to catch a cab.
Well I wasn’t the only one with such an idea. I even tried booking a cab via phone to no avail.
I didn’t managed to get a cab that whole stretch of the long walk. And it was a hot day!
By now I arrived Woodlands MRT station, and only then announcements was made regarding free bus bridging services.
2:15pm – Getting on the free bus bridging services
It was pretty confusing.
First there was no info on where will the free bus bridging services be.
When it finally announced on the location of the free bus bridging services, people was confused if they were on the right bus.
The bus drivers didn’t changed their bus number, instead was having bus numbers or info on the bus other than “free bus bridging services”, etc.
After I successfully boarded the crowded bus, perspiring stenched by now, when the bus stopped at Kranji MRT station to alight people, I overheard a SMRT staff not in uniform talking to the bus driver, the train has resumed services.
So I dashed out of the bus to board the resumed train.
So nearly an hour plus plus plus later, I finally headed to work, late, tired and frustrated.
Here’s to our world-class transport which will be having a fare hike yet again.
Well done SMRT and incumbent.