Yesterday night, SMRT’s two major train lines, the North-South lines and East-West lines broke down, causing huge clog-up on Singapore’s densely populated isle. This took place during peak hours after work yesterday, leaving hordes of passengers stranded across the island.
According to Today Online, services between the Pasir Ris and Joo Koon stations were restored after two hours, while the North-South Line resumed after 75 minutes.
This morning, the Land Transport Authority has stepped in to announce that investigations were being carried out, and that train services would return at a delayed pace. According to the article, preliminary investigations discovered a faulty train which could have caused the power to trip.
Here’s transport minister Lui Tuck Lew’s statements on Facebook as of last evening:
Meanwhile, just from last night to this morning, affected commuters have seen an outpouring of grievances on social media as they were stranded for hours.
This is the second major train network outage since 2012. The earlier incident caught SMRT off-guard, leading to a PR crisis of huge proportions, and later led to then CEO Saw Phaik Hwa exiting the firm.
As SMRT and the LTA scramble to communicate to the public and get services up and running, it looks like some brands have quickly stepped up to react to the situation.
McDonald’s Singapore stepped in quickly as some of its staff stepped out to offer food to frustrated commuters, as shown in this user’s tweet:
— 敏 (@lilyjamesgrey) July 7, 2015
Uber was another brand to reach quickly, disabling its peak hour surge charges specially in light of the situation.
According to Uber, surge pricing kicks in on its platform when demand is high for its services to draw more drivers to take up bookings. These are usually accompanied by a notification on the app. However this was only done after an earlier price surge on Uber caused an outcry amongst users as receipts ran high.
For example, one user Bernice Neo tweeted this:
— Bernice Neo (@berniceneo) July 7, 2015
Uber has since been reaching out to users on Twitter to respond to queries on the fare surge. Marketing is reaching out to both brands.
Radio show Muttons in the Morning tweeted this cheeky post:
— MuttonsInTheMorning (@muttons) July 7, 2015
One brand that seems to have misjudged its reaction to the breakdown is Xiaomi. The smartphone brand posted this on Facebook, and got slammed by users for trying to awkwardly take advantage of the situation.
One user commented that the direction shown in the compass was incorrect and another remarked that there was no value in the post.