SMRT draws flak for lack of announcements on morning NSL disruption

Commuters experienced crowded train platforms during an MRT disruption on Thursday (9 November) morning. (PHOTO: Twitter/Alexis Cheong)

In the second disruption to North-South Line (NSL) operations this week, commuters experienced delays during the morning rush hour on Thursday (9 November) due to a train fault on the line.

Local media outlets reported that stations were crowded with would-be riders who had to wait up to 30 minutes for their trains.

While announcements regarding the disruption were made aboard trains and at MRT stations, SMRT did not publish any information on the issue on its official social media channels.

Similarly, no messages were posted on the rail operator’s Twitter and Facebook accounts with regards to the southbound NSL service disruption that took place between Yio Chu Kang and Newton MRT stations on Monday morning.

SMRT also failed to make social media announcements amid the major East-West Line (EWL) service disruptions on 19 September and 24 October.

However, it did announce on Twitter the NSL disruptions that took place on 25 and 27 October as well as the 4 November delays on the EWL.

As of 5pm on Thursday, SMRT had made no mention of the day’s service disruption on its Twitter or Facebook accounts.

Commuters raise questions

Thursday’s service disruption left many commuters criticising the lack of information provided by SMRT.

Alexis Cheong said on Twitter at 8.58am, “Super delayed trains yet no announcements from @SMRT_Singapore why???”

Another user, “freetrooper”, wrote at 10.25am, “Yes, I am now stuck in a train that’s stopping in between each station. Again total silence & no announcement of breakdown from #SMRT.”

“As usual… no update again by @SMRT_Singapore on NSL train delay/fault. We are advised to plan our journey when train is not functioning properly but how to when we are clueless of it,” tweeted Harry Kay at 8.48am.

The MRT system has been plagued by train disruptions recently, with one of the most severe incidents having taken place on 7 October, when NSL operations were disrupted for about 20 hours after the tunnel around Bishan MRT became flooded amid heavy rainfall.

SMRT later apologised to the public over the incident and said maintenance records for the anti-flood system at Bishan MRT had been falsified and that no actual works had been done. SMRT chief executive officer Desmond Kuek also said that “deep-seated cultural issues” within the company were partly to blame for the lapses.

Yahoo News Singapore has reached out to SMRT for comment on Thursday’s disruption.

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MRT flooding: SMRT’s role is to help the government earn money – Low Thia Khiang

MRT tunnel flooding: 6 SMRT staff to face disciplinary action