Uber price surge during train disruption irks users

Commuters outside Bishan MRT station (far left) waiting for buses after train services were disrupted last night. Over at City Hall MRT station, commuters snapped photos of a signboard displaying information on the disruption of services on the East-
Commuters outside Bishan MRT station (above) waiting for buses after train services were disrupted last night.PHOTO: JUN KAI FOONG
SMRT staff putting up a train disruption notice at a bus stop outside Lavender MRT station on July 7, 2015.
SMRT staff putting up a train disruption notice at a bus stop outside Lavender MRT station on July 7, 2015. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

SINGAPORE - A Uber price surge during Tuesday evening's SMRT train disruption led many users of the taxi booking app to voice their displeasure on Twitter.

Some complained that they had to pay rocketing fares during the few hours the North-East and East-West lines were down.

Sometimes this meant as much as five to six times the usual fare. Twitter user Bernice Neo (@berniceneo), for instance, claimed she had to fork out $124 for her trip.

"@Uber_SING And I just paid 5x. Could you look into it please? Thx," she wrote.

Another user (@mxhxthxr) said his $20 trip surged to $100.

At 9.20pm, Uber Singapore tweeted: "In light of the recent #MRTbreakdown, we've disabled surge to help commuters get home easily."

The company also replied to concerned users on the social media site, promising to look into their inflated bills.

The latest train disruption, possibly the country's worst yet, could have been caused by a rogue train.

In a statement, the Land Transport Authority said: "A faulty train could have caused the power to trip; arcing was observed on the underside of this train. The power surge caused the protective relays across the entire North South East West Lines network to be activated, leading to a shut-down of power across the two lines."

Train services on the East-West and North-South lines resumed at 9.20pm and 10.35pm respectively, at reduced speeds.