SBS Transit, LTA Issue Statement On Train Incident Only After Passenger Reports Crash
If not for the highly anticipated parliamentary sitting on 38 Oxley Road on Monday (July 3), this would probably have been headline news.
MustShareNews has been documenting SMRT’s reluctance to update commuters on their service disruptions, and now, it appears SBS Transit has decided to join the party as well — by not saying anything about an incident that happened on the Sengkang LRT on the same day of the parliamentary sitting, until the next day.
On Monday, a passenger by the name of “Hong” was reported by Stomp as saying that the Light Rail Transit (LRT) train she was on collided with another train in front of it.
The incident occurred between the Sengkang and Renjong LRT stations at 7.08pm, and was reported by Stomp in an article that has since been taken down.
However, not without us grabbing a screenshot of the article that was posted by Stomp:
Source: Screenshot of http://stomp.straitstimes.com/singapore-seen/two-lrt-trains-collide-between-sengkang-and-renjong-lrt-stations
According to Hong, commuters who weren’t holding on to the bars or grab-handles “fell down from the impact”, which she reckons was “25% to 30%”. She was quoted by Stomp as saying:
One woman fell on me and I quickly held her to stop her from falling.
Following the incident, the lights in the cabins were dimmed and the air-conditioning was switched off, leaving passengers stuck in mid-air.
The ordeal lasted for 15 minutes before the trains resumed service, albeit at a snail’s pace.
Passengers from both trains were eventually able to disembark safely at Renjong station. A “single elderly station staffer who was waving and smiling at us” greeted them, Hong claimed.
No updates were seen on the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and SBS Transit social media pages about the incident.
No Free Ride
To end off a miserable day, affected commuters were not entitled to a free ride home to compensate for their bad experience. Hong was quoted by Stomp as saying:
When we went down to take the bus, I asked the driver if it was ok that we don’t tap our EZ-Link cards. However, the driver informed us that he had received no such instructions, so we had to pay the normal fare for the bus ride.
It took SBS Transit and the LTA till Tuesday (July 4) to release a joint statement, which was carried by The Straits Times, the sister site of Stomp.
The statement said that the incident did not involve 2 trains, but one train that had 2 train cars joined together.
The train had stalled suddenly, which caused some passengers to fall, and this “may have given the wrong impression that the trailing train-car had hit the one in front”, according to the statement.
Well, any misunderstanding would have been avoided if SBS Transit had issued a statement or update on social media before a passenger wrote in to Stomp.
Imagine, instead of hearing about the incident first from SBS, most of us knew about the incident from Stomp and Straits Times articles that have since been retracted.
We can’t help but wonder if SBS Transit should be sending their heartfelt thanks to the Lee family. Their family dispute has thoroughly overshadowed this incident, and in the face of mounting pressure on our transport service providers, a lack of transparency will not go down well with millions of Singaporeans.
Even if it was indeed just a stalling and not a crash, the incident would have drawn more attention than it did if not for the 38 Oxley Road saga.
In the meantime, the stalling of a driverless LRT train is definitely cause for concern — what if the train behind it had crashed into it?
If it was indeed a glitch in the system that caused it, Monday’s incident might not be a one-off event and there could be serious injuries sustained in future episodes.
As such, we hope SBS would have answers for us soon.
Featured image from Calvin Teo