At approximately half past the sixth hour, on the twentieth day, on the ninth month of the eleventh year past the millennium, the land scarce island’s self-acclaimed 1st world transport service experienced the embarrassment of the millennium. Staffs sweat beads before sunrise, to get the train services on the Circle Line (CCL) up & running but to no avail.
According to the local press, there was a power outage. As a result of it, great inconveniences caused for massive numbers of commuters that rely on spiking commute fare prices on public transport networks to get to work. How many affected? By estimates based on the sectors that the line running through several heartlands, with several interchanges en-route, should set the number at approximately 20’000-25’000 commuters spanning across 0630-0900hrs (GMT+8).
While tuning in to national radio broadcasts, as at 0920hrs, only several stations on the affected line have resumed, which means commuters cannot travel effeciently to desired destination, given that they shall have to transit onto contingency shuttle bus services rolled out by authorities.
It is no longer news that the island has been facing threshold capacity crowds during the morning rush hours, where students of all levels, working adults of varied tiers & industries have gone thru the daily “scrum” (quite apt for the ongoing RWC) to pack themselves like sardines daily for commute.
With the entire Circle Line (phase 1) down & out, it is beyond doubt that we’d witness sudden shift of human traffic flow towards all alternative train routes & bus services. Therefore, no prizes for guessing how many more bouts of “scrums” to take place at all other stations, and queues at bus terminals longer that the jackpot lottery queues.
Public transportation runs like veins & blood vessels in the body, such an outage has proven to be a crippling factor for the community & workforce. While nobody is perfect, minor glitches are tolerable, but for an entire operation line of train services to be out, is not something that people will expect swept under the carpet. Gripe & frustration can brew to boiling point if services do not resume by mid-day.
Nonetheless, the juggernauts between the relevant bodies in this epic failure shall be getting manicures done & commence the finger pointing exercise later today, if and/or when more detailed investigation results can be conjured in time.
On a side note, it is very clear that the public must understand & believe that the public transportation companies are all privatized. Given that they are all privatized, nothing’s stopping the public, especially those who’ve experienced great inconveniences, suffered loss of opportunity costs, incurred incidental costs, experienced aggravated claustrophobia and/or distress (or all the above) to take up case against the relevant parties for damages.
At the very least, there is no stopping of affected commuters to bring the matter to the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), on the service failures.
Having said, given the reported cause of failure, perhaps nationalizing the transport network shall protect the service providers from libel entanglements hereon forth.