Why hasn't SMRT learnt from past breakdowns?

It is of great concern that train troubles continue to plague Singapore, the latest one coming after a recent fare increase ("2 major MRT lines down for over 2 hours"; yesterday, and "Bus and train fares to increase from April"; Feb 2).

Even more astounding than the massive train breakdown however, is how, after so many incidents, recovery on the part of SMRT leaves much to be desired.

I was stuck on the train on Tuesday evening and had to alight at Toa Payoh station. I caught sight of one staff member half-heartedly giving out fliers about bus services.

Surely, putting up a big sign with relevant information would have been far more effective.

There was no attempt at crowd control and the station appeared unmanned.

Announcements were made about free bus services available, but there was no information on where to go to catch these buses.

Train fares should have been automatically waived upon exiting the fare gates, but I was charged for my disrupted journey.

Announcements on the breakdown were also made in only English and Mandarin. We should not forget that Singapore has two other official languages.

Why were announcements not also made in Malay and Tamil?

Commuters have the right to expect better contingency plans being more effectively put in place, and I hope the Land Transport Authority will look into this before the damage to our nation's reputation, as an efficient First World nation, becomes irreparable.

Tan E-Ping (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 09, 2015, with the headline 'Why hasn't SMRT learnt from past breakdowns?'. Print Edition | Subscribe