Blackout at Toa Payoh bus interchange

SINGAPORE – The Toa Payoh bus interchange was hit by a blackout on Tuesday (April 19) afternoon.

The power outage happened at about 3pm, and lighting was restored by about 4pm, said SBS Transit in a statement.

Bus services were unaffected and continued to operate as scheduled. 

Some workers at the interchange noticed that the air-con was weak even before the lights went off at 3pm. While the lights came on at around 4pm, air-conditioning was barely detectable in some of the shops at 5pm.

A whole row of shops, including GNC and The Face Shop, were affected by the power outage. Shop employees said that business was affected.

An employee at The Face Shop, Kelly Chen, 23, said that only three customers walked into the shop during that hour.

"Both the lights and air-conditioning were down. Customers could only use cash to make payment," she said.

An employee at a brow grooming salon, who declined to be named, noted that there were significantly fewer customers during the power outage. Customers complained that it was too hot, she said.

Another shop staff at a fashion retailer, who gave her name as Angela, said: "We were in the process of serving customers when the power failed. Customers could not pay as our Visa and Mastercard systems were down."

When she reported the fault to the Transit office, SBS Transit workers were busy trying to solve the problem, she said

Some employees also said that their telephone lines were down. ATMs along the affected row of shops were reportedly not functioning.

SBS Transit said it is investigating the cause of the power trip.

Said Ms Tammy Tan, senior vice-president of corporate communications: “This afternoon at about 3pm, the Toa Payoh Interchange experienced a power outage. The engineers were activated and immediately started work at restoring the power supply.”

SBS staff were on hand to help commuters, she added.

“During this period, our staff stepped up patrols around the interchange to assist commuters where needed and to ensure safety and security was not compromised,” Ms Tan said.