Free bus rides islandwide as trains disrupted along North-East line
SBS gave out free bus rides this morning (26 Oct) amid service disruptions along the North-East line.
If you happened to miss out on work today, you also missed out on the free bus rides early this morning.
Free is a word that is rarely tossed around in Singapore, given our high standard of living on this tiny island, but SBS Transit gave away free rides for the first time since 7 Jul for a very good reason.
Due to today’s ‘O’ and ‘A’ Level examinations, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) decided, along with SBS Transit, to offer free bus rides to ferry affected students.
Steps taken by SBS
The Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) also did their part, by promising not to penalize students who were late for this morning’s papers — thus averting a national crisis because we all know how important exams are.
SEAB really shouldn’t have worried though, because the two-house disruption on the North-East Line caused fewer than 20 candidates to be late for their papers. The majority of affected candidates arrived within half an hour from the start of their exams, and were given full duration to complete their papers.
SEAB had also briefed candidates beforehand that if they were to be late due to a train disruption, they are allowed to take their exams at other schools near the MRT stations. Public transport operators were also on hand to help affected candidates.
If you paid for your own bus ride this morning, fret not, because you can proceed to SBS passenger service centres or TransitLink centres within a week for refunds. Commuters must bring along the EZ-Link cards used on Monday.
The reason for disruption has been linked to a complication in power lines, caused by a new train undergoing testing. The exact cause however, is still being investigated.
Singapore has faced tougher challenges
So there you have it, another episode of MRT breakdown here on this little red dot. Though breakdowns are common in Singapore’s scene these days, measures taken to help the public are commendable.
SBS’s decision to give free rides to the public shows their commitment in enhancing convenience for commuters when our ever reliable train system has never-ending issues. After all, Singaporeans love free gifts.
SEAB might have decided to not penalise the students in fear of the Singaporean parents that will come storming through their office to complain. But their efforts in helping students get to their examinations on time should not be overlooked.
Singapore has faced much bigger challenges than MRT breakdowns, and they will overcome this sooner or later. Till then, let’s be ‘kiasu’ and savour the FREE gifts.
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