18 Apr 2012, 1.49PM
Massive chaos caused by disruptions in SMRT train service on Circle Line
April 18th, 2012 | Author: Editorial
Morning rush-hour commuters at Buona Vista station affected by Circle Line train service disruption (photo contributed by: Rayne Gan/Mediacorp)
SMRT train service between One-North and Bishan Stations on the relatively new Circle Line was disrupted for more than 2 hours this morning (18 Apr) due to a track fault.
SMRT first reported on its Twitter feed at 8.07am that there would be no train service between Holland Village and Caldecott stations. Eight minutes later, it announced that free bus bridging services would be deployed, adding that commuters should “make alternative travel plans where possible”.
At 9.03am, SMRT sent a press statement saying that there were no trains running in both directions between one-North and Bishan stations on the Circle Line.
At 9.55am, SMRT issued another statement, saying that “we are working to restore the system as soon as possible”. By 10.10am, train services in both directions had been restored, in a message broadcast to the media, on Twitter, and at MRT stations.
In addition to offering free bus bridging services, SMRT also provided excuse chits to commuters who were late for work, school and exams. The chits are for the commuters to prove that their lateness was due to the SMRT train fault and not themselves:
(Photo courtesy of netizen Wayne Chan)
However, at the train stations, there was massive confusion as there were no signs to indicate where the bus bridging services were. Also, with buses packed to the brim and long queues forming, many people gave up and took taxis. Bishan MRT station, the interchange for the North South and Circle Lines, was said to be particularly crowded.
Understandably, commuters are extremely angry over this latest train disruption.
“To be at the disposal of public transportation like this, it’s terrible! SMRT, you’d better shape up,” said @chaiiai on Twitter.
“What happened to the circle line today?!? Isn’t it supposed to be the new line?!?!” said @jeniceo.
Another netizen said, “I minimise my journey on train. The bus or the taxi is better. When you take SMRT, you sure be late.”
There were scenes of confusion at the bus bridging points at Bishan MRT. (Yahoo! photo)
SMRT later said in a press statement that refunds would be issued to those affected, “Passengers who could not continue with their journey because of the disruption, or had to exit an SMRT train station without taking a trip but had their fares deducted, can get a refund at the Passenger Service Centre in any of SMRT’s 83 stations in the next 14 days.”
This is the 4th MRT delay in 6 days and the 2nd disruption this year wherein train service stopped completely. On 15 March, there was no train service on the North-East Line between HarbourFront and Dhoby Ghaut stations for 10 hours due to faulty power cables.