Former Member of Parliament Lee Lilian has taken to Facebook to say that the MRT disruptions and delays have been so bad that even SMRT staff are afraid of breakdowns. She further said that the public transport operators should not hope that commuters would eventually get used to such frequent breakdowns.
Just in case you are not able to see her post, this is what she said:
Our trains are no longer reliable?
I was waiting for the train at the platform on Thursday morning, a day after another round of breakdown from the Circle Line.
I overheard 2 staff speaking to each other. They were talking about the breakdown. What caught my attention about the conversation was this phrase, “When I heard the breakdown on Circle Line, my heart was thumping so hard. I’m very worried that it will happen here.”
“My heart was thumping so hard….”
I see this officer every morning since I started a new job. He is always wearing a smile, doing his best in his capacity. Despite how grumpy some commuters may look in the morning, he greets us with a wide smile.
Unfortunately, these front line staff are often the subject of frustration when the train breaks down. I believe most Singaporeans are reasonable. It is acceptable when the train breaks down once in a blue moon, but not when it becomes a daily affair. My heart goes out to these staff.
These are people who have no control over the situation. They were simply doing their job, carrying out instructions.
When the MRT was introduced to us, buses along common routes were taken away. COEs and ERPs were put in place to discouraged car ownership. We were encouraged to take public transport instead of private ones. Singaporeans depend on the MRT to travel from one place to another. The frequent breakdown has become part and parcel of our life. It was once major news but now its no longer news.
I hope that the organisation responsible for bringing us reliable and efficient public transport is not sleeping on it.
I hope that they don’t think that Singaporean are already used to it.
I hope they don’t think that everything is alright.
This is an in-house report.