MRT breakdown: He walks 80 minutes to get home

MRT breakdown: He walks 80 minutes to get home
WALKED HOME: Mr Leroy Lee, 26, decided to walk back to his place in Bishan from Scotts Road when he saw the massive crowd at the bus stop.
PHOTO: The New Paper

He walked almost 80 minutes from the crowded bus stop outside Royal Plaza on Scotts back to his home in Bishan on Tuesday evening.

Mr Leroy Lee, 26, was waiting for a bus home after dinner with his friends at Orchard Road, but gave up after waiting for half an hour.

He could not get on any bus because they were all fully packed.

A power fault caused a 3½-hour disruption to train services on SMRT's North-South and East-West Lines on Tuesday evening, the first time train services on both lines had broken down at the same time.

Passengers were stranded at bus stops, trying to catch free buses home.

"There were so many people queueing at the bus stop and some were standing on the pavement," said Mr Lee.

Instead of taking a taxi, he decided to make the long walk home and stuck to it all the way.

"I just took it as exercise," said the programmer, who walked from Scotts Road to Newton Road, Thomson Road, Marymount Road, Jalan Pemimpin and finally to Bishan Road.

Miss Ain Zainal, 23, took 30 minutes instead of her usual 10 minutes by train to get home from work on Tuesday.

She had been waiting to break fast when she was caught in the train disruption. Her train stopped at Aljunied MRT Station, one stop from her home near Kallang station.

"The train lights went off and the doors were open," said the marketing and communications executive.

After train operators announced that services had stopped, she got off the train to take a bus at the station. But it was so crowded that she missed four buses.

"There was no free shuttle bus and no signs were put up. There were people giving out fliers with directions printed on it.

"I'm just so tired of this. I just wanted to go home and eat," said Miss Ain, adding that it was the third time she had been caught in a major train disruption.

A student, Miss K. Y. Song, 19, was heading home from dinner at Clementi on Tuesday night.

She took a bus from Clementi Station to MacRitchie Reservoir, hoping to switch to another bus to her home in Sembawang Close.

But the bus stop at MacRitchie was crowded and some buses arrived fully packed, she said.

Miss Song waited for about 40 minutes, then walked to an eatery at Upper Thomson Road, where she stayed for about 45 minutes before taking a Uber car home.

"I did not need to pay extra charges for my Uber ride, which was quite a nice perk," she said.

Miss Reshmi R. Nair, 30, took almost an hour to get from her workplace in Bukit Gombak to her home in Lakeside.

"The train journey usually takes me 10 minutes. But the trains were very slow on Tuesday night.

"The train doors couldn't close for 10 minutes at Bukit Gombak. The train also kept stopping in between Jurong East and Lakeside station," said the operations manager.

While the train breakdown left many commuters frustrated and red-faced, some were smiling because of it.

Madam Azlina Mohd, 45, who works at, a shop at Toa Payoh Bus Interchange, said that her food was sold out.

Many of her customers were Muslims, who were breaking fast.

"Usually, there will be a bit of leftover food when we close, but on Tuesday, we sold out," she told The New Paper.

Kusina Filipino, a Filipino food store at Jurong East bus interchange, saw sales increase by 10 per cent.

Said the stall's boss, Mrs Maria Koh, who has been running the business for more than two years: "Business was better because some people might have been hungry and thirsty from waiting for the free buses.

"We closed a bit later on Tuesday night as people kept buying my drinks."

She added that the bus interchange had been very crowded but orderly.

A worker at Shan Dong Da Bao, which sells buns at Jurong East bus interchange, said that business was slightly better.

"I guess those who didn't have dinner bought a bun from us. Some people also asked us for bus directions," said the worker, who wanted to be known only as Madam Liu.

"It was a bit messy at about 8pm, but by 9pm there were long, orderly queues.

"There were a lot of people, but the free buses came very quickly," said Madam Liu, a Chinese national who has been working here for more than a month.

This article was first published on July 9, 2015.
Get The New Paper for more stories.

Purchase this article for republication.



Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.