Friday, 23 April 2010

NEL (Not Exactly Leaving)

On Wed morning, 21st Apr, I went to work as usual via the NEL from Potong Pasir. Nothing was unusual until I reached the platform to find more than usual commuters waiting for the train.

'Train late again...' was what I thought to myself. Because it isn't the first time that the train was delayed for about a few mins.

Like everyone I walked to my favourite spot to wait for the train. It was until the wait seem to take forever then people start to show their frustration.

Another 5-10mins later, the station officer then announced via the PA system that train going towards Harbour Front will be delayed.

I can then sense the uneasiness and frustration that some of the commuters are experiencing because I was one of them!

Exactly at this moment, a train arrive. No prize for guessing this right; the train was packed, very packed! I don't know how, but I manage to squeeze myself in only to realize that it was a big mistake when the train stopped at Farrer Park.

The door was open for commuters to step in then close for taking off to the next station.

The train did not move. It was simply stuck there with no announcement or whatsoever for at least a good 15 mins. People in the train including myself, started to call office to report late for work. Btw I was busy tweeting away about my frustrating train ride.

Then the announcement came, 'Train will be delayed pls try other modes of transport.'

Very funny!!! With the doors closed, try other modes of transport! How?

After that, the train started to move again! Just before it moved off, I heard this via the PA system.

'There will be no fares deduction.'

When the train arrived at Little India, the door was opened and YES, everyone walked out.

All of them looked lost and confused, not knowing what alternatives can they proceed with.

A queue was quickly formed at the station control with 1 common question that is,'Taxi stand, which exit?'

I was fortunate enough to overhear someone said 166 goes to the destination where I'm going to. Hence, I merely followed them.

And the usual 20 mins train ride to work took me 1-1/2 hours that day.

A friend of mine was stuck with the door closed in Serangoon for 20 mins with no announcement at all! Another one had the same experience from Hougang station.

My point is,
- Anmouncements should be clear and exact. Don't just say train will be delayed, how long???
- Person making the announcement sounded uncertain, no confidence.
- Exit point for taxi stand should be announced NOT 'There will be no fare deductions.'
- Anmouncements should be timely. To be stucked inside the train for 20 mins without any announcement is ridiculous!

This incident is enough to show that SBS Transit staffs are not equipped with the right skills set to even manage minor situations as such. Very disappointing!


siauderman said...

Strongly agree.

Especially "there will be no deductions".

Though the "please try other modes of transport" was probably meant for the commuters in the station who hadn't boarded the train yet.

Rakesh said...

PA systems are often used in small venues such as school auditoriums, churches, and small bars. PA systems with a larger number of speakers are widely used in institutional and commercial buildings, to read announcements or declare states of emergency. The simplest PA systems consist of a microphone, a modestly-powered mixer amplifier and one or more loudspeakers.There are four Types of PA System: Small Systems, Telephone paging system,PA over IP,Long line PA.

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